|Paisley and Renfrewshire North|
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.
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