Lord Malcolm Offord, the UK Government’s Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Scotland, today visited the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre to see first hand how the world class facility is setting the standard for low carbon energy sites across the UK.
During his tour of the state-of-the-art building, Lord Offord was shown the HALO’s low-carbon tech, including its 107 rooftop solar panels that can generate 36kWh of electricity, its 75 carport solar panels producing 24kWh of electricity from its electric bike and car recharging stations, the 50kW battery power storage and the HALO’s very own bespoke electric bus.
Lord Offord also visited the HALO’s Barclays Eagle Lab which is supporting start-up and scale-up businesses from across Ayrshire who are building and growing specialised digital and cyber businesses.
The minister met with Stephen Rooney of PRA Group, the HALO’s anchor tenant, before visiting the HALO’s 15,500 square foot #RockMe trading floor where he met HALO members Jordan Nelson of Nelson Track Solutions, John Dougan of Cadence BPO, Sandy Kennedy of IGS and Hassan Heshmat of Hydro-C.
Thirteen years in the making, and the vision of Marie Macklin CBE, The HALO Kilmarnock is a £63m brownfield urban regeneration project on a 23-acre site, formerly the home of Johnnie Walker, designed to maximise collaboration between entrepreneurs and UK PLCs.
In partnership with ScottishPower, The HALO explores energy innovations for a lower carbon society and harness the utility’s business and technical expertise to support start-up and scale-up businesses located at the site.
The HALO Kilmarnock has received funding of £3.5 million from the UK Government, £3.5 million from the Scottish Government and £2 million from East Ayrshire Council as part of the £251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal – a 10-year investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and local authorities.
The award-winning Enterprise and Innovation Centre was named ‘Best Regeneration Project’ at this year’s prestigious Scottish Property Awards and recognised as Scotland’s ‘Best Corporate Workplace’ at the 2022 British Council for Offices’ Regional Awards.
Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of HALO Urban Regeneration Company, said: “Today was a big moment for the HALO as we welcomed Lord Offord to the HALO Enterprise Innovation Centre.
“Everyone at the HALO is extremely grateful for the support and investment of the UK and Scottish Government’s and on today’s visit, we were able to show Lord Offord how the HALO is setting the standard for low carbon energy sites across the UK and how we are offering a state-of-the-art environment for entrepreneurs specialising in green growth by building a sustainable community powered by renewable energy.
“We have big ambitions for the HALO and we are currently looking at how we can create more sustainable developments in economically challenging areas across the UK and around the globe.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said: “It’s fantastic to see the progress of HALO. Enterprises such as these, backed by the UK and Scottish Governments, are vital as we tackle the rising cost of living, breathing new life into the area to generate growth and potentially create 1500 jobs.
“Maximising the use of this dynamic commercial, educational and cultural hub – all powered by renewable energy – will truly regenerate Ayrshire, showing the area’s resilience and encouraging its potential to be an economic powerhouse.
“This investment is part of the £2bn the UK Government is investing in projects across Scotland to level up communities”.