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Further funding for Ayrshire project

Brown unveils £5.3m boost for HALO

Marie Macklin and Keith Brown

Marie Macklin and Keith Brown on site

A plan to turn a former whisky bottling plant into a low carbon business and housing development has secured £5.3 million from the Scottish Government.

Around £3.5 million will be invested in the former Johnnie Walker factory in Kilmarnock. The site will include an enterprise and innovation hub for business startups and a renewable energy facility.

The Scottish Government investment includes £1.8m from the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme for a new geothermal heating system that will provide low cost, renewable energy for hundreds of affordable homes.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown announced the investment while visiting the site in Kilmarnock.

He said:  “I have already made a commitment to support an Ayrshire Growth Deal and this ambitious new development is part and parcel of that commitment.

“As a responsible, progressive nation, Scotland must also continue to demonstrate strong leadership on climate change. That is why I’m pleased that the Scottish Government will also be able to support our first new geothermal heating system in almost two decades, allowing local residents to access low carbon energy at an affordable price. 

“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.” 

Marie Macklin of The HALO Kilmarnock, said: “Right from the outset The HALO has been about creating a community solution for this site that the people of Kilmarnock and Ayrshire can be proud of.

“This has truly been a joint effort and this additional support from the Scottish Government will help to turn this vision into reality, creating up to 1,800 jobs in the process and contributing £63 million of GDP to the Scottish economy.

“A £65 million development across three phases, 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 4th industrial revolution – the digital revolution.”

The HALO project is an investment proposal within the Ayrshire Growth Deal.  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.

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