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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. This state of the town was immortalised in the song "Letter from America" by The Proclaimers, the lyrics "Linwood no more" referred to the closure of the car factory.
In December 2011 Linwood 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 has undergone a major redevelopment which began in 2008;
- Four schools have been rebuilt or refurbished
- New housing stock - private and social -
- £24 million sports facility - home to several sports clubs
- Tesco town centre regeneration
- Community care home
Linwood is located to the nearby Phoenix Retail Park. Originally a brownfield site, numerous private developers have invested in retail, vehicle showrooms, restaurants, cinema complex, hotel and business centre.
The town has nine educational establishments;
- East Fulton
- Our Lady of Peace
- 3 Bears
- East Fulton
- Our Lady of Peace
- Linwood High
- St Benedict's RC High
Linwood is home to the specialist education provider Clippens School . This school, the sole provider in Renfrewshire, caters for the needs of children and young adults who suffer complex learning difficulties including sensory and physical impairments and autistic spectrum disorder.
Located to the nearby A737 which links the town to Glasgow and Ayrshire via Garnock Valley Linwood is easily accessible. The A737 begins at Glasgow Airport and is linked to the M8 motorway which further links to the M74 and M80.
Local transport is served by McGills and First Buses who have several services that link the town to the nearby towns of Jonstone, Bridge of Weir, Houston and Paisley, and it also has services which connect the town to Braehead and Glasgow.
Rail transport can be accessed from the nearby rail terminal Johnstone Station operated by Abellio ScotRail. The routes provides services westwards to Ayr, Troon, Stranraer, Irvine, Kilwinning, Largs, Ardrossan and Lochwinnoch and eastwards to Paisley, Hillington, Cardonald and to Glasgow Central Station whose routes deliver onward travel to Manchester, Birmingham, Crewe, Edinburgh and London.