The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kilmarnock Campus construction officially underway

First Minister performs sod-cutting and announces 
figures demonstrating £830m+ college investment

First Minister Alex Salmond has today (Wednesday, 25 June) visited the construction site of the new £53 million Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus to formally mark the start of the redevelopment.


The First Minister and College Principal Heather Dunk OBE were joined by the first apprentice to be employed, Rachel Kyle – also a student of the college – for a sod-cutting ceremony on the site of the former Diageo bottling plant.

Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus NPD (Non-Profit Distributing) support of £53 million reached financial close earlier this month, bringing the total NPD funding for Scotland’s college estate to £330 million. The visit comes as the First Minister announces that the Scottish Government has invested over £500 million in capital funding for Scotland’s college estate from 2007-2013, over and above the £330 million NPD investment.


The new building will create a stimulating learning environment that is ‘welcoming, accessible and flexible’. It will include a health and wellbeing centre, hair and beauty salon, a learning resource centre as well as sector leading facilities for sport and science, technology and engineering. 


At the sod-cutting ceremony on-site, the First Minister said: “Ayrshire College’s new £53m Kilmarnock Campus will play a huge part in the on-going regeneration of the town. Being built on the former Diageo site, it will deliver state of the art learning facilities, as well as create more than 170 construction jobs, apprenticeship places – like Rachel Kyle, whom I met today – and numerous work placement and training opportunities.

“Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus is the third college benefiting from a combined total of £330 million NPD funding, with work also underway at both the £228m City of Glasgow College campus and the £52m Inverness College campus. Diggers are already on site and I’m sure staff and students are eager to start enjoying their new state-of-the-art campus when it opens in 2016.

“This is the latest in a long line of investments in Scotland’s college estate. I’m delighted to announce that we are supporting investment of over £830 million between capital and NPD supported projects since 2007 to ensure we deliver a first rate education and that Scotland’s young people have access to state of the art facilities. These facilities will also help us to develop a truly world class vocational education system in line with Sir Ian Wood's recommendations on the development of Scotland's young workforce. 

“Our investment in Scotland’s infrastructure as a whole – including schools, hospitals and roads - is set to top more than £8 billion over the next two years, supporting around 50,000 full time equivalent jobs across the Scottish economy.” 


Rachel Kyle is the first apprentice to be employed through the construction project. Rachel said: "My new job is exciting, I am grateful to be a part of this project and look forward to the future. It will be a learning curve but what a place to learn on such a massive commercial project. Work ethic is changing and a lot more women are gaining employment within the construction industry.

“Once I finish my apprenticeship and degree I would like to stay with McLaughlin and Harvey with hope to become an Assistant Site Manager, working on more projects to gain experience. I would love to move on to be a Manager and take on my own site with a view to working locally in Ayrshire.

“Do not let stereotypes put you off: 11 or 12% of construction workforce are women – let’s make this bigger. If you have the drive and the enthusiasm in construction then go for it – it’s the best job in my eyes.”

Ayrshire College Principal Heather Dunk OBE said: “This is a historic day for Ayrshire and we are delighted to be moving forward with this significant investment for the young people of our community in Ayrshire.”

For more information on Ayrshire College’s new Kilmarnock Campus, CLICK HERE  

College NPD projects are part of the £2.5bn pipeline of projects to be delivered by NPD as announced in the Scottish Government’s 2011-12 budget. NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector. For more information on NPD schemes CLICK HERE 

A further selection of photographs taken at this event has been posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle in an album on Flickr CLICK HERE 


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