The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 3 November 2017

Kilmarnock regeneration company HALO sets up new working partnership with Ayrshire College

Kilmarnock-based regeneration company HALO and its neighbour Ayrshire College have set up a new partnership to encourage leading-edge, practical learning in enterprise and innovation, cyber resilience and digital security to support the creation of a future workforce of digitally skilled young people from Ayrshire.

[Pictured: Marie Macklin CBE, who is leading The HALO initiative, and Heather Dunk, Principal and Chief Executive of Ayrshire College, sign up to the new partnership.]

The HALO and Ayrshire College have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which they have agreed to combine knowledge, resources, networks and efforts to support the creation of the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC) and the cyber security/digital hub that are planned as part of the impressive regeneration project. This is the second of two key educational partnerships for The HALO which is also working with the University of the West of Scotland.

Part of the HEIC will be an experiential learning space designed and equipped for the digital age. The Centre will house spin-out and start-up businesses within the new well-connected town centre offices which are due for completion in summer 2019. The HEIC will be part of a national and international network of Government and industry-inspired cyber centres making Scotland a leader in digital knowledge and understanding.

The partnership also aims to explore and promote new approaches to stimulating self-discovery, self-motivation and self-confidence, particularly among young people, in the communities served by the college.

Marie Macklin CBE, who is leading The HALO initiative, said: “This is the second of two critical educational relationships for The HALO to be recognised as one of Scotland's key cyber centres. Our proposals to make The HALO a leading location for learning and developing digital skills represent an ideal opportunity to combine the knowledge and teaching expertise of Ayrshire College and the University of the West of Scotland.

“Together we are aiming to create a unique environment and a range of learning experiences for people of all ages and abilities making Ayrshire one of the most digitally-aware, digitally-skilled areas in Scotland. This will increase employment opportunities and will help to make Ayrshire and Scotland an informed, prepared and safe place for business, and promote inclusive growth."

Heather Dunk, Principal and Chief Executive of Ayrshire College, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the HALO initiative. This will provide opportunities for our students and staff from a range of industry sectors to support economic development in Ayrshire. We look forward to developing ideas for the digital hub and using HALO to stimulate enterprise and innovation opportunities for our students.

“By developing the talents of our students, we will be supporting the digital skills workforce pipeline and preparing students for jobs in the digital skills and cyber security industries as well as a range of other key sectors.

“Our partnership with HALO will build on our existing strengths and support our ambitions for social inclusion, economic growth and innovation.”

About The HALO Kilmarnock

The HALO is an imaginative, innovative and inspirational regeneration initiative to revitalise the centre of Kilmarnock and support the growth and resilience of the Ayrshire economy.

It will create a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter of the town, including a unique Enterprise and Innovation Centre - all fuelled by renewable energy.

This multi-faceted regeneration of a 23-acre site, formerly the home of Johnnie Walker, the world’s leading Scotch whisky, will generate over £53million in GDP for Kilmarnock and £65million for Scotland. The development will stimulate over 1800 jobs.

The HALO has evolved through significant community and key partner consultation and engagement. A multi-disciplinary project team has developed proposals that address a range of design, technical, commercial and economic factors aligned to the overall objectives of delivering sustainable, long-term economic and social benefits for the town of Kilmarnock and the wider Ayrshire community.

The Halo Kilmarnock Limited (THKL) is a development company formed by Macklin Enterprise Partnerships, The Klin Group and Ross Developments & Renewables to bring together a highly experienced property development team with the skills, resources and capacity to deliver a unique project that will add real value to the Scottish economy.

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