The HALO Urban Regeneration Company continues to forge strong relationships with Israel following an international hybrid event held today (1st June) in Kilmarnock.

Marking the start of the HALO’s summer programme the hybrid event, ‘Energy Transition to Net Zero – UK & Israel Perspectives’ saw representatives of Israel visit the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre to explore a future collaboration in urban regeneration, community rebuilding and the transition to net zero. Amos Lasker, Managing Partner at Amrav Investment, former CEO of the Israel Electricity Company, presented a keynote speech virtually to the event from Tel Aviv.

Over 200 guests joined the hybrid event from the multi-award winning HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Kilmarnock which was streamed live to an international virtual audience with an interest in net zero opportunities in the UK, Israel and across the globe.

With a focus on the national and international aspirations for net zero, the event looked at how low carbon projects can be delivered and financed in industrial settings. There was also a local focus on how communities can get involved and deliver net zero projects in their areas.

VIP guests at the HALO’s hybrid event included Ofer Fohrer, Minister of Economic Affairs, Economic & Trade Mission at the Embassy of Israel in London.

Fourteen years in the making, 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.

With a vision for a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter where people can ‘Live, Work, Learn and Play’, The HALO is setting the standard for low carbon sites across the UK and will provide a sustainable community approach to a mixed-use development, providing jobs, economic growth, skills development, clean energy and 210 smart homes.

The HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre is powered by its 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 all powered by100% renewable energy.

Following a successful visit to Kilmarnock as part of COP26 held in Glasgow in November last year, The HALO’s collaboration with the Israel Government goes from strength to strength.

Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO, said: “As the HALO’s international reputation continues to grow we were really pleased to welcome members of the Israel Government to the HALO.

“The multi-award winning and low carbon HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre is a world class facility here in Kilmarnock and this was a fantastic moment for us to be able to co-host such a special event with my colleagues in Tel Aviv.

“Our hybrid event was an excellent opportunity for anyone interested in the net zero aspirations of both the UK and Israel to hear from our VIP speakers on how best the UK and Israel can make the next steps towards our goal of a net zero Tomorrow’s World.”

Minister Ofer Fohrer, Minister of Economic Affairs, Economic & Trade Mission Embassy of Israel, said: “Israel recently laid out plans to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050, including targets to achieve 50% renewably generated energy by 2030. International collaboration in key sectors and technologies is essential in achieving this, both for Israel and partnering countries with similar timeframes.

Following an excellent visit to the HALO complex and Whitelee Wind Farm during COP26 by the Israel Electric Authority and The Economic & Trade Mission to the UK, we are delighted to return this year to further explore the challenges, overlaps and areas of collaboration between the UK and Israel in both achieving vital net-zero goals.”

Other speakers at the event included: Vivian Scott, Team Leader, International – Committee on Climate Change, and Senior Researcher University of Edinburgh, Lindsay McQuade, CEO Scottish Power Renewables,  Amos Lasker, Managing Partner at Amrav Investment (former CEO, Israel Electric Co.), Allan Dowie, Partner N4 Partners LLP.

Set within Phase one of The HALO Digital Cyber Innovation Park is the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC). The HEIC will collaborate with the HALO’s platinum partner, ScottishPower, to establish the principles for a “living lab” test bed site across the entire HALO campus, delivering positive outcomes for the people of Kilmarnock in an all-electric, low-carbon campus.

The HALO provides a blueprint for a future net-zero society covering energy production, use and storage, new energy products and services and transport. ScottishPower will also utilise the HEIC to deliver staff training and host events and will support growing businesses on The HALO trading floor, establishing The HALO at the forefront of the digital Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The HEIC is a state-of-the-art building home to a 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

Young people are at the heart of the HALO’s vision and they will benefit from the HEIC’S innovative digital, data and cyber facilities which will enhance the skills of local employees working at the HALO. By investing in local young people, the HALO will also provide future generations with the skills and development they need to combat climate change.

The award-winning HALO 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.

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 ten-year investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and local authorities. The HALO site was sold to the project for £1 by Diageo, who contributed a further £1m to the project.

The HALO Digital and Cyber Innovation Park includes:

  • The HALO Enterprise & Innovation Centre a 50,000 sq ft low – a carbon BREEAM Excellent rated building
  • 210 innovative smart homes of the future fuelled by 100 per cent renewable energy and digital healthcare monitoring systems
  • 40 low carbon Live Work Units for entrepreneurs
  • The HALO #Rockme Green Economy Cyber Research & Training Centre
  • Light Manufacturing Low Carbon Zone
  • Urban Eco Sports Park
  • Children’s Innovation & Learning Hub
  • VR Education & Gaming Hub
  • Wave Surf Leisure & energy monitoring centre
  • Digital High Street
  • HALO low carbon EV transport hub.

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