The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Community groups want to rebuild belief and confidence in Kilmarnock

A wide-ranging group of local organisations and businesses attended a special ‘conversation’ with The Klin Group on ambitious proposals to regenerate the site of the former Diageo bottling plant in Kilmarnock.


[Pictured: Marie Macklin, CEO of The Klin Group.]

Attendees were asked to help shape the future of the Hill Street site in a special evening at Centrestage. Participants were drawn from Ayrshire-based sports, educational, cultural and other community groups and local manufacturing, service and retail businesses – all to hear first-hand about The Klin Group’s initial thoughts for transforming the now vacant site.

The Klin Group’s proposals are community-based in education, health, community sports and culture, with an opening-roof arena that would provide a year-round, town centre venue for sporting, conferencing and entertainment events.  The development would feature premises and facilities for enterprise, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, driving a new economy for Kilmarnock and East Ayrshire but serving a much wider area with components that would be unique in Scotland.   

Marie Macklin, CEO of The Klin Group, said:  “I’m thrilled that so many people came along to our special ‘conversation’ event and shared their views.  We believe that ambitious, bold proposals are needed to help build confidence and create something that really puts Kilmarnock on the map.

“We were delighted with the warm response to our initial concepts and we had a wealth of positive and constructive feedback, and lots and lots of ideas. What came across loud and clear was that this has to be a community-based transformation; it has to be something that helps make Kilmarnock a unique destination, and it must be iconic in a way that local people have real belief in the town’s potential and shows that Kilmarnock is looking to the future with confidence.”

“Those who came along contributed fully to the conversation and we value that input enormously.  We have listened carefully to all of the feedback and it will inform our thinking going forward. This is just the beginning – we will continue to engage the local community, local and national businesses - and this dialogue will be crucial to the success of the project.”

The Klin Group has an exclusivity agreement with Diageo, the current owners, in order to come forward with plans to redevelop the land at Hill Street.  

The Klin Group, established in 1988, is a privately owned entrepreneurial investment company based in Kilmarnock. The company focuses on regeneration initiatives in Scotland and in prop


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