A £65 million urban regeneration on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock’s reached a significant milestone last week when it received the green light from East Ayrshire Council.
The HALO project, which includes a provision of affordable housing, could create around 1,000 permanent new jobs.
Plans for the development include:
- A Resilience Capability Business Centre for digital and online resilience businesses in research, development and application, locating innovators in financial services, private investors, insurance and technology companies
- An enterprise, engineering, manufacturing and textiles centre for small and medium sized businesses
- 1,000 capacity education, conference and exhibition centre (benefiting local schools, colleges and universities)
- A cultural hub for small creative businesses and social enterprises in crafts, film, art, music, media, literature, marketing and technology
- A year-round leisure and water sports facility
- 3,000m2 of commercial offices
- Health & wellbeing premises, life-style shops and cafes
- Landscaped public plaza
- 175 affordable rented houses
- An energy centre powering a district heating system
- Public space including new road and footpath networks connecting to the Rail Station and town centre.
At a special meeting of East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee on Friday, councillors agreed to grant planning permission in principle for The HALO, allowing the developers, HALO Kilmarnock Limited to proceed to the submission of detailed plans for the development to East Ayrshire Council over the coming weeks.
Marie Macklin, The HALO’s founder, said: “This important community-led project has been eight years in the making and I am thrilled that we have reached this landmark today. We can now push forward with the development of The HALO, creating enterprise opportunities, not just for Kilmarnock, but for East Ayrshire and Scotland as a whole.”