The award-winning HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Kilmarnock welcomed The Rt Hon. Lord John McFall of Alcluith, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords and a keen supporter of urban regeneration, on a visit to the development last week.
Lord McFall was greeted by The HALO’s Founder and Executive Chair, Dr. Marie Macklin CBE, who gave her VIP visitor a guided tour of the facility including its #HALORockMe trading floor – the world class co-working and technology-driven space that is home to some of Ayrshire’s top businesses.
Lord McFall, who visited on Friday 26th May, was also introduced to The HALO’s largest tenant, Nasdaq listed PRA Group, which occupies 35,500 sq. ft over two floors at the facility having consolidated its presence in Kilmarnock at the HALO, creating high quality local jobs and making the HALO their European HQ.
Almost 15 years in the making, and the vision of Dr. Marie Macklin CBE, the HALO Kilmarnock is a £85m brownfield urban regeneration project on a 23-acre site, formerly the home of Johnnie Walker whisky, designed to maximise collaboration between entrepreneurs and UK PLCs.
With a vision for a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter where people can ‘Live, Work, Learn and Play’, the HALO sets the standard for low carbon sites across the UK, providing a sustainable community approach to a mixed-use development.
The HALO’s Enterprise and Innovation Centre opened its doors last year and Phase II of the development is a blueprint for a move towards greener housing in the UK, which will bring 210 world class smart homes of the future to Kilmarnock, emphasising the HALO’s commitment to the local community. Fuelled by 100 per cent renewable energy and digital healthcare monitoring systems, the smart homes, which have attracted support funding from the Scottish Government’s “Scotland’s Heat Network Fund”, will be built at the HALO using sustainable construction materials and techniques.
The HALO’s #RockMe Trading Floor is also home to some of Ayrshire’s most exciting businesses with shared working spaces where tenants can meet, work and network while on site at the HALO. The #RockMe Trading Floor is also home to the Green Growth Accelerator Unit at the HEIC, backed by a green investment fund, designed to attract not only Scottish businesses but companies from outside Scotland, with the intention of creating investment opportunities for the HALO and its partners and tenants.
Marie Macklin said:“Lord McFall’s track record in urban regeneration is without equal. The Strathleven Regeneration Company that was created when the J&B whisky plant closed in Dumbarton, and which he chaired for 10 years, is credited with bringing an incredible £365 million to that area. Lord McFall’s visit is timely as we aim to roll out the ‘HALO effect’ across the UK and globally.”
“It has been a privilege for us to host him at The HALO Kilmarnock and I hope we can work together more closely in the future.”
Additional pictures captured throughout the visit: