Johnnie Walker regeneration plans in Kilmarnock hit new milestone as offices take shape

The venture behind the regeneration of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant site in Kilmarnock is anticipating “strong interest” after launching a marketing campaign for a four-storey office building.
Andy Cunningham, Marie Macklin CBE, Drew Macklin and Fraser Lang.Andy Cunningham, Marie Macklin CBE, Drew Macklin and Fraser Lang.
Andy Cunningham, Marie Macklin CBE, Drew Macklin and Fraser Lang.

The Halo Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC) is currently under construction and is set to open its doors in spring 2021.

One of just a few speculative office developments currently being constructed in Scotland and the UK regionally, the 46,000-square-foot building is being marketed by property agencies CBRE and Graham + Sibbald.

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The HEIC, which is in a “prime location” next to the new Ayrshire College campus and Kilmarnock railway station, will provide quality Grade A workspace and is expected to attract interest from a range of local and national businesses, despite the trend towards homeworking as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

The Halo Kilmarnock is a £63 million urban regeneration project on the 23-acre former Johnnie Walker site. It promises to be the first town centre net zero carbon energy project in Scotland.

The HEIC will include an “industry-leading” digital, data and cyber training and learning facility.

Marie Macklin, founder and executive chair of the Halo Urban Regeneration Company, said: “We’re delighted to take our vision for Halo out to the occupier market and begin the search for the first tenant for the HEIC.

“Given the strength of Kilmarnock and East Ayrshire’s resident labour pool market and the severe shortage of new build office space in nearby Glasgow we expect there to be strong interest in this development from across the UK.

“As we move into the marketing stage of the development and target occupiers with CBRE and Graham + Sibbald, we move a step closer to The Halo’s ultimate vision of a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter.

“Everyone at the Halo is extremely proud to see the Enterprise and Innovation Hub in construction. It’s so exciting to see the main road and services infrastructure going into the site as well as the HEIC really starting to take shape.”

Andy Cunningham, senior director at CBRE, said: “This development will be the first of many at the Halo to regenerate Kilmarnock’s former Johnnie Walker whisky site. As well as being a fantastic start to the project, it also promises to create a legacy for Kilmarnock and the wider East Ayrshire region by tackling issues such as social inclusion, job creation and low carbon energy.

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“The HEIC is a going to be a truly Grade A office building, with large flexible open plan floor plates, changing and drying room facilities for cyclists and runners, and a roof terrace.

“In addition, the building will also include a virtual reality arcade, cafe, retail space and chill out zones, electric vehicle charging points, best in class sustainability credentials.”

Fraser Lang, partner and head of Ayrshire at Graham + Sibbald, added: “We anticipate that the HEIC should attract interest from both national and local occupiers, particularly at this time when many companies are considering cost savings by de-centralising from city locations.”

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