Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon re-opens Kilmarnock Opera House
Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Minister for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, has officially reopened Kilmarnock’s Opera House on John Finnie Street.
[Pictured left to right at the official opening of the Opera House Project: East Ayrshire Council chief executive Fiona Lees; Marie Macklin CEO The Klin Group; East Ayrshire Council Lord Provost Jim Todd; and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.]
The former building was subject to a devastating fire in 1989 and was regarded as causing economic blight and being a barrier to town centre regeneration. The Klin Group, in partnership with East Ayrshire Council, repaired and conserved the B listed façade and the Opera House is now providing high quality, modern accommodation for over 250 Council staff. The Opera House was built in 1875 and had been derelict for 22 years.
The redevelopment is considered a significant boost to the regeneration of Kilmarnock Town Centre and has resulted in increased footfall, which has helped stimulate the local retail trade and contribute to the town centre economy.
Marie Macklin, CEO of The Klin Group, said: “This is a brilliant day for Kilmarnock. We have great respect for the heritage of our town, and I’m delighted that Deputy First Minister has recognised the significance of the project by officially opening this beautiful building, with its restored listed façade and now fully functional contemporary office space.
“This initiative is close to my heart and after ten years of persistent steps to own the property, I’m thrilled that we now see the building restored and in full use again. We have a wealth of history in our architecture and our town, which I believe shouldn’t be forgotten but should be passionately restored and, where possible, create new meaningful uses for the people of Kilmarnock – all helping to boost our local economy.”