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Linwood shown within Renfrewshire
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|UK Parliament||Paisley and Renfrewshire North|
|Scottish Parliament||Renfrewshire South|
The expansion and economy of Linwood from 1961 onwards relied heavily on the Rootes, later Chrysler then Peugeot Talbot car plant, and the associated Pressed Steel Company body parts pressing facility.
Construction of the car factory began in 1961 to produce the Hillman Imp, a revolutionary small car which went into production when the factory was opened on 2 May 1963, and was not discontinued until 1976. The factory, opened by the Duke of Edinburgh, had the advantage of a direct rail link, which allowed cars to be transported by rail to places all over Britain. It later produced the Hillman Avenger (later badged as a Chrysler and finally a Talbot) from 1970 and the Imp's successor, the Sunbeam.
After Chrysler UK was bought by Peugeot Talbot, a review of the plant and associated models decided to close the Linwood plant in favour of retaining the Ryton plant near Coventry. Linwood was closed in 1981 with most of the factory demolished soon afterwards. The remaining part was demolished in 1996.
The closure left mass unemployment in its wake. It is estimated that 13,000 workers were left jobless as both direct and indirect consequences of these closures. From 1980 to 1995 Linwood had one of the highest unemployment rates in Scotland. This state of the town was immortalised in the December 1987 song Letter from America by The Proclaimers, the lyrics "Linwood no more" referring to the car factory being demolished and the resultant need to leave your Scottish home.
Linwood came to national attention in December 1969 after a bank robbery which later resulted in two police officers being shot dead while attempting to apprehend the suspects in Glasgow.
In December 2011 Linwood was received the annual Plook on the Plinth award for 'Scotland's most dismal town', part of the Urban Realm magazine's Carbuncle Awards. The magazine suggests that the award is intended to cause debate and inspire redevelopment.
Linwood is still today a deprived area, and many buildings have fallen into disrepair. A commuter town for Glasgow, with proximity to Glasgow International Airport and the M8 motorway to both Glasgow and Edinburgh. There are frequent daily bus services to Paisley, Johnstone and Glasgow.
The new Phoenix retail park was developed and opened in 1996, which includes leisure facilities. New council houses are being developed in place of the old high rise flats.
There are three primary schools, two non-denominational; Woodlands Primary School, and East Fulton Primary School and one Roman Catholic; Our Lady of Peace, and by two nearby secondary schools; one Roman Catholic, St Benedicts, one non-denominational; Linwood High School, newly rebuilt on its former site.
Linwood is linked to Glasgow via the A737 which also links Linwood to Ayrshire via Garnock Valley
For a small town Linwood has many bus services linking the local areas with Paisley and Glasgow.
- Paul Lambert: Former Scotland, Celtic, Borussia Dortmund and St. Mirren midfielder and former Livingston and Wycombe Wanderers manager. He held the captaincy for both Scotland and Celtic. He was also manager of Norwich City until recently. Currently manager of Aston Villa.
- Billy Thomson: Former Scotland, Rangers, Dundee United and St. Mirren goalkeeper. He is the current Kilmarnock FC Goalkeeping coach..
- Darryl Duffy: Former Swansea City and Scotland Under 21 Striker.
- John Hillcoat: Current Alloa Athletic goalkeeping coach and former Goalkeeper.
- David Lowing: Ayr footballer