Halo innovation centre to transform former Johnnie Walker Kilmarnock plant

Halo's Marie Macklin with economy secretary Keith Brown. Picture: Guy Hinks
Halo's Marie Macklin with economy secretary Keith Brown. Picture: Guy Hinks
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The Scottish Government is investing £5.3 million in a project to transform the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock into a site with hundreds of new homes and an enterprise and innovation hub.

The Halo regeneration project will also include a renewable energy centre and commercial and leisure units.

• READ MORE: Diageo backs radical revamp of former Kilmarnock plant

The Scottish Government investment includes £1.8m to fund a geothermal heating system that will provide low-cost, renewable energy for the homes on the site.

Economy secretary Keith Brown said: “We want to support local economies as well as the next generation of innovative manufacturing and digital companies, which is why the Halo project is such an exciting development.

“I’m sure that the Ayrshire and Scottish economies will reap the benefits from this project for years to come.”

Businesswoman Marie Macklin of the Halo project said the latest support will help to turn the vision for the site into reality, creating up to 1,800 jobs in the process and contributing £63m to the Scottish economy.

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“The Halo will feature a new urban park, surrounded by entrepreneurial businesses in computer technology, cyber research, engineering, fashion, financial services and light manufacturing and an enterprise and innovation centre, ensuring that the young people of Ayrshire can develop the skills needed to benefit from the fourth industrial revolution – the digital revolution,” she said.

• READ MORE: Cyber-crime hub planned for Kilmarnock’s Halo project

David Cutter, president of global supply and procurement for Diageo, added: “Our ambition has always been to see this site redeveloped for the benefit of the local economy and community in Kilmarnock and this investment from the Scottish Government is a significant step towards achieving that goal.”

The £25m first phase redevelopment of the site will be supported by funding from the private sector, Diageo, East Ayrshire Council and the UK and Scottish governments.

Diageo gifted the 23 acres of land for the development following the closure of the plant.

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