East Ayrshire

Work starts on new East Ayrshire supported living development

The ground has been officially broken at Cessnock Road in Hurlford, where East Ayrshire Council’s strategic partner CCG (Scotland) Ltd is building a new assisted living development.

The development, which will be similar to the award winning Lilyhill Gardens development in the centre of Kilmarnock, is designed to support people with learning disabilities to live independently and safely in their own homes with the support of an on-site care provider and assistive technologies.

The homes will be bright, energy efficient and will have specially designed features including wet rooms and rise and fall kitchen units in wheelchair accessible ground floor flats. All of the flats will be served from an internal street, which will face onto a residents’ private garden.

Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of the council, attended the ground breaking with Councillor Elena Whitham, cabinet member for housing and communities, and local members Councillors Fiona Campbell, Barry Douglas and Jon Herd.

He said: “This development, which has been informed thanks to collaborative working with the Health and Social Care Partnership, forms part of the ambitious East Ayrshire Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2018 -23 that allows for the development of 888 affordable homes to be delivered across East Ayrshire by the council and its Registered Social Landlord partners.

“At Cessnock Road, 13 assisted living homes will be built, with an on-site Care Provider’s staff base, all located adjacent to the existing community centre. This will ensure that residents can live independently and safely in their local community, with support from health and care services, in a positive environment that promotes social interaction.

“The community will also see benefits from the build with our strategic partner, CCG (Scotland) Ltd, taking on six local young people as apprentices to learn skills and earn qualifications. There will also be new attractive landscaping associated with the build and the residents will be able to make good use of the community centre with pathways in place to link the two facilities.”

The council has entered into a strategic partnership with CCG (Scotland) Ltd through the Scottish Procurement Alliance. CCG will deliver almost 400 new homes on behalf of the council by 2023.

The new affordable homes will be built using CCG’s off-site manufacture process that reduces the construction phase works on site and ensures a more efficient delivery timescale for new homes across East Ayrshire, all in support of the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes being realised by 2021.

Councillor Elena Whitham said: “By adopting this collaborative approach we have been able to standardise house types, layouts and specifications to allow for more efficient use of resources in the procurement, delivery and longer term maintenance of new homes.

“Also by using the Scottish Procurement Alliance to procure our new build programme, the council will receive a rebate that will be invested in community benefits projects including apprenticeships. We will work closely with CCG and our partners within the community to ensure that, as plans are taken forward, the community remains at the heart of everything we do.”

In addition to Hurlford, sites have been identified throughout East Ayrshire for a range of new homes to be delivered within Newmilns, Kilmarnock, Stewarton, Patna, New Cumnock, Mauchline, Cumnock, Kilmaurs and Drongan, with the first build having been recently completed by CCG in Dalrymple.

CCG director, Calum Murray, said: “The strategic partnership that CCG and East Ayrshire have entered is a huge step forward for the delivery of affordable housing not just for East Ayrshire but for Scotland by setting a benchmark for efficiency in order to deliver homes much faster than by traditional processes. Also, by utilising CCG’s expertise in off-site manufacturing, all of the homes will be constructed at pace and delivered to the highest quality standard to ensure enhanced levels of environmental performance.

“We look forward to continuing our work with the Council at Cessnock Road and beyond, all in support of the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 affordable homes being realised by 2021.”

Newly revamped enterprise centre unveiled in Kilmarnock

Kilmarnock town centre is now home to a host of new and expanding businesses thanks to the opening of the innovative Ingram Enterprise Centre.

Sitting on a prominent site at the top of John Finnie Street in the heart of Kilmarnock’s historic business quarter, it’s the latest of over 20 heritage buildings in the area to undergo extensive restoration, bringing new life and business to the town.

The Ingram Enterprise Centre is named after its architect Robert S Ingram, who designed the iconic building. Robert, his brother William, and his father James before him, were responsible for the design of many prominent buildings in Kilmarnock and other Ayrshire towns, including the old Kilmarnock Academy, The Opera House – now restored to provide modern offices for East Ayrshire Council, The Dick Institute, Burns Monument and Cumnock Town Hall.

The building provides a new concept in office space for start-up and expanding businesses, thanks to a joint funding package led by East Ayrshire Council.

Conceived and run by East Ayrshire Council’s economic development team, it offers serviced accommodation, meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and training facilities with a reception facility during core office hours. An all-inclusive rental cost including heating, lighting and superfast broadband allows businesses to budget for occupancy costs in the early stages of their business growth. Business Gateway’s office on the ground floor also offers onsite support.

At the official opening of the building, which is already home to 10 businesses, including Coast Entertainment, Giglets, and Rowallan Specialist Survey, Sir Tom Hunter unveiled a commemorative plaque saying: “Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of the Ayrshire economy and this facility will provide a much needed boost to them in enabling their growth and development. It is critical for the support mechanism, from our own West Coast Accelerator, for this new facility to join up the dots and collaborate to maximise support for entrepreneurs in Ayrshire.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, agreed: “Some years ago we recognised that town centre regeneration was vital to the future of our area. We’re very fortunate in East Ayrshire to have so many magnificent Victorian buildings, but some of these were in dire need of expert restoration. At the same time, we have a wealth of forward thinking, talented individuals, with great business ideas. By bringing those two elements together with this project, helping protect our built heritage and support the birth and growth of new businesses we’re helping create a very positive future for our local economy and beyond.”

CCG Scotland Ltd was contracted to deliver the restoration.

Chairman and CEO Alastair Wylie said: “CCG was delighted to be part of the delivery of The Ingram Enterprise Centre – we are in no doubt that the new facilities on offer will bring many positives to the local economy and the wider region of East Ayrshire.

“The process of conversion is always a challenging process but our site team performed very well as the office space has been finished to an exceptional standard. We wish all of new businesses well and hope they make the most of this great facility.”

Breaking new ground at £68m East Ayrshire school development

Work on one of Scotland’s most talked about capital investment projects – the Barony Campus – officially got underway in East Ayrshire this week as pupils gathered on site for the ground breaking ceremony.

The £68m Barony Campus will incorporate The Robert Burns Academy, Lochnorris Primary School, Cherry Trees Early Childhood Centre and Hillside School, providing state-of-the-art facilities for children, young people and the local community.

Works commenced on Monday 30 April as contractors Morrison Construction started to prepare the Broomfield site for the construction of this exciting campus development. Works are scheduled for completion by summer 2020.

Pupils representing all five schools involved in the merger – Cumnock Academy and Supported Learning Centre; Auchinleck Academy; Barshare Primary School, Supported Learning Centre and Early Childhood Centre; Greenmill Primary School and Early Childhood Centre; Hillside ASN School, were joined by invited guests including Leader Douglas Reid, Councillors Fiona Campbell and Tom Cook and Jeane Freeman MSP, as they observed the scale of the early works taking place.

The Barony Campus will be one of the most exciting learning campus ever built in Scotland and when competed it will be the most significant building of its type in the country. Set out as a series of four interconnected buildings it will provide accommodation for Early Years, Primary and Secondary learning communities including young people with additional support needs.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “After a considerable period of discussion, deliberation and consultation, it really is a pleasure to see this project coming out of the ground.

“It’s one thing to see the drawings on paper, but it’s only when you are on site that you really appreciate the scale of this project and the impact it will have on the lives of our young people and communities.

“East Ayrshire is leading the way with this Campus. This project has been brought to life thanks to the input from pupils, parents, teachers and the wider local communities. The design will provide a nurturing 21st century learning and teaching environment to enable every child and young person to reach their full potential, and members of the community in Cumnock, Auchinleck and the surrounding villages will also be able to take advantage of the facilities on offer.

“Provision for pupils requiring additional support will be second to none; the new Campus will feature six fully equipped classrooms, dining facilities, a hydrotherapy pool, a state of the art sensory room and additional therapy spaces.

“In this digital age, it’s vital that our pupils have access to the very latest technology and facilities to enhance their learning. Among the many outstanding features within the new Campus will be wi-fi technology which will enable learners to work flexibly across the campus in different learning environments; interactive teaching aids and Scotland’s first interactive and immersive room – a high-tech audio visual space where learners can be part of a virtual environment.”

Eddie Robertson, Morrison Construction’s managing director for Central Scotland, said: “We are excited to begin works on this state-of-the-art project, which is a major investment for Cumnock, Auchinleck and the surrounding areas.

‘‘We look forward to continuing our working partnership with East Ayrshire Council and delivering this wonderful education facility for pupils, staff and the community.

‘‘Throughout construction we will continue to engage with all stakeholders while creating education and employment opportunities to ensure the project has a positive local impact that endures once the development is delivered.”

The new Campus offers an unprecedented level of sports provision, including 2 full sized, flood-lit synthetic pitches of world class rugby standard, a 400m 4 lane running track with 6 lane sprint, 2 full sized grass pitches, a 7 aside floodlit synthetic pitch and an outdoor basketball court, together with 13 indoor courts in various configurations.

Community recreation space will include a community café, meeting rooms, theatre space, enterprise kitchen for catering, recording studio, music practice rooms and project space for textiles/crafts and pottery.

The two rugby pitches will be the first elements of the project to be completed. These will give both the community and the school early access to greatly enhanced facilities to those previously located on the grounds at Broomfield. These are scheduled for completion early 2019. These, and many of the other facilities planned as part of this development, will be available for community use, as well as local sports club bookings.

Tunnelling under railway underway as Scottish Water progresses £120m water supply investment

Scottish Water has tunnelled under a railway line near Kilmarnock as a project to install a major new water main and improve services to more than 200,000 people progresses.

Caledonia Water Alliance (CWA), Scottish Water’s alliance partner, used a state-of-the-art Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to install a 132-metre-long 1500mm diameter concrete tunnel beneath the Kilmarnock to Dumfries railway line near Whinpark Farm just off the B7082.

The work, which started on April 30 was completed without causing any disruption to rail services and ahead of schedule.

A total of 53 concrete rings, each 2.5 metres long and weighing 4.9 tonnes, were installed to form the tunnel to house the last section or “missing link” of a 13-mile-long stretch of water main from the Amlaird Water Treatment Works in the Fenwick/Waterside areas to Highlees district service reservoir near Dundonald in East Ayrshire.

Before the tunnelling started, two shafts were sunk on either side of the railway. Due to the difference in height elevation between the two sides, the depth of the shafts were sunk to 16 metres on one side and 3.5 metres on the other side.

The excavation of the shafts during preparatory work for the tunnel displaced some 2500 tonnes of earth during their construction. During the tunnel drive, a further 1260 tonnes of earth was displaced, meaning the total amount of earth moved was more than 3700 tonnes.

The tunnel was installed using a 9-metre-long hydraulically-operated tunnel boring machine (TBM), which comprised three 3-metre-long shields or cans, working at a speed of between four metres and nine metres per day, excavating the earth before installing the concrete rings.

Between four to eight engineers worked on the tunnelling at any one time. Apart from excavating the earth and installing the tunnel and water main, their work included monitoring the tunnel from ground level for subsidence using laser technology.

Sean Lavin, senior construction manager, said: “We are continuing to make good progress with the project and this latest piece of work to install the tunnel was a very important part of that.

“We are delighted to have completed the work under the railway, which involved a lot of careful planning and close liaison with Network Rail and Scottish Water Special Services, who deal with land, environmental and planning issues.

“We carried out detailed site investigation work, including the drilling of vertical boreholes to analyse the geology before the tunnelling started, and some intricate work using hi-tech equipment to construct the tunnel and install this stretch of the new water main.”

The tunnel was installed as Scottish Water progresses with the second phase of a £120 million investment in the drinking water network which will benefit more than 200,000 people and businesses in much of Ayrshire and parts of East Renfrewshire.

This section of water main follows a route from the east of Fenwick, skirting the east of Kilmarnock and running west across farmland to Highlees.

Another 13 mile-long stretch of  water main, from near Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire to the Fenwick/Waterside area in East Ayrshire, and a pumping station at Darnley, has already been constructed as part of the overall project.

Scottish Water announced in December 2015 that it will improve the water supply network by installing more than 30 miles of new water mains to connect the system in Ayrshire with the Greater Glasgow area’s network.

The new and expanded network will enable Scottish Water to provide customers with greater security of supply and to respond more effectively to operational issues such as burst water mains and minimise disruption to customers.

The construction of the new strategic water main, which is expected to be completed in 2020, will connect the Bradan water supply network to the network served by the Milngavie and Balmore water treatment works, north of Glasgow.

When complete, the investment will enable Scottish Water to transfer water from Glasgow to Ayrshire, and vice-versa, if required.

This will create a larger, more robust and connected supply zone which will benefit customers in areas such as Ayr, Prestwick, Kilmarnock, Troon, Irvine, Fenwick, Galston, Stewarton, Hurlford, Maybole, Eaglesham and Newton Mearns.

ScottishPower to light up HALO regeneration project

ScottishPower and The HALO Scotland have today announced a groundbreaking partnership that will see the energy giant established as the headline partner of the Kilmarnock urban regeneration initiative.

The announcement heralds the launch of a £5 million, five-year programme by ScottishPower and The HALO project. The energy company will be a leader in The HALO’s Innovation and Enterprise Centre and its Digital and Cyber Zone where The HALO and ScottishPower will create a cyber and digital training and learning facility at the forefront of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.

To top this all off, ScottishPower’s long term support for The HALO will shine like a beacon via The HALO Light located on the roof of the state of the art building.

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower and Marie Macklin C.B.E., founding director of The HALO joined by students from Ayrshire College at Scottish Power’s Glasgow HQ

The partnership is set to:

  • Explore energy innovations for a lower carbon society whilst inspiring a digitally skilled generation
  • Harness ScottishPower’s business and technical expertise to support start-up and scale-up businesses located at The HALO
  • Create economic growth by driving a new digital and cyber skilled workforce, upskilling ScottishPower’s existing workforce and others through The HALO’s innovative partnership with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, Ayrshire College and Scottish universities, which will see the creation of accredited courses
  • Support The HALO’s employability initiatives through specialist technical input into student learning and practical skills development to enhance the job prospects of local young people
  • Working alongside The HALO, establish and develop ScottishPower’s learning partnerships with both Ayrshire College, University of the West of Scotland and beyond
  • See ScottishPower partner with The HALO to establish a Children’s Innovation Centre and Nursery of the Future in collaboration with Ayrshire College

The HALO Kilmarnock is an imaginative, innovative and inspirational regeneration initiative located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. It is being shaped as a multi-faceted brown-field regeneration that will create a unique urban park with a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter.

A proposed low carbon, renewable deep geothermal district heating network could address fuel costs on the site and have the capability of being extended to service other areas of the community. The development will also include a light manufacturing facility and private rental accommodation for key workers.

Ayrshire College will feature strongly in the partnership

The development is one of four HALO projects planned for the UK that are being seen as catalysts for urban regeneration. The next HALO project is proposed for Belfast, with Wales and the North West of England to follow. It is envisaged that The HALO Scotland will connect through road and rail infrastructure directly to the Northern Powerhouse, creating economic benefits across the wider area.

Keith Anderson, CEO of ScottishPower, said: “Across all of our business areas, ScottishPower is working to deliver a low carbon and sustainable future. We are a leader in smart and renewable energy and a perfect fit to help The HALO achieve their objectives.  We are excited to explore the opportunities within this innovative project. There will be a focus on young people, digital skills and energy innovations that we hope will help us move towards a decarbonised transport, heat and energy sector.”

Marie Macklin C.B.E., founding director of The HALO, said: “In making this commitment ScottishPower is supporting an urban regeneration project that is going to change the lives of young people, not just in Ayrshire but across the whole of Scotland. With ScottishPower behind it, The HALO is going to rock the Scottish economy, generating economic growth, innovation, digital skills development, enterprise and innovation and I applaud their forward thinking. Together with ScottishPower, The HALO is going to light up Britain.”

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP, added: “This partnership is great news for the Ayrshire and Scottish economy. It is hugely inspiring to see the Halo development contributing to the regeneration of Kilmarnock and doing so in a way which supports innovation, digital skills and, through this partnership with ScottishPower, contributing to Scotland’s low carbon future.”

UK government minister Lord Duncan said: “Supported by a £3.5 million UK government investment through the Industrial Strategy, the HALO Kilmarnock is an important development that will create jobs, grow the economy and drive innovation. This partnership is a further example of its ambition and drive to innovate and attract new talent to the region.”

hub South West partnership with East Ayrshire Council and Kier Construction hands over £45m Kilmarnock Campus

hub South West, the construction and infrastructure-focused partnership which works with local authorities and private sector enterprises in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway, has handed over the £45 million William McIlvanney Campus in Kilmarnock to East Ayrshire Council.

The campus – named for the Scottish novelist, who was born in Kilmarnock and started out as a teacher – represents an amalgamation of Kilmarnock Academy and James Hamilton Academy into one campus, along with Silverwood Primary, New Farm Primary and the Early Childhood Centre.

The main contractor was leading property, residential and services group, Kier Construction, and the architect was NORR, the UK arm of the global NORR practice, with support from Edinburgh-based landscape architects Rankin Fraser.

Work on the project started in March 2016, and Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, unveiled the foundation stone in October 2016. £24.5 of funding, representing more than half of the total value of the project, was provided by the Scottish Government.

The campus will accommodate 1,465 secondary and 383 primary school pupils, as well as 80 morning and 80 afternoon early years’ pupils. A centre of excellence for Gaelic language development will be based at the campus.

First phase of HALO Kilmarnock submitted for detailed planning

The first phase of the HALO regeneration plan in Kilmarnock has now been submitted to East Ayrshire Council for detailed planning permission following the recent approval of planning permission in principle for the development masterplan.

Located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant, the HALO Kilmarnock is being shaped as a multifaceted brown-field regeneration that will create “an innovative, inspirational and imaginative urban park with a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter”.

Its low carbon, renewable deep geothermal district heating network will address fuel costs on the site and have the capability of being extended to service other areas of the community – a first for the UK.

The development will also include a light manufacturing facility and key worker private rental accommodation.

A cornerstone of the development will be the HALO Enterprise & Innovation Hub which is a 55,000sq.ft, three-storey building comprising vibrant interior spaces that will accommodate a number of enterprising and collaborative organisations and forms Phase I of the overall development.

The steel and concrete structure will be clad in profiled curtain walling and spandrel panels working in harmony to create a light, contemporary appearance consistent with the distinctive HALO brand. The project also features a Virtual Reality Café and ancillary retail and merchandising. A lower ground level plant room houses the equipment for the deep-well District Heating Network; the first time this technology has been used in a mixed-use project in the UK.

Construction of the building is expected to complete in Autumn 2019.

Keppie are architects for the project, with Dougal Baillie providing civil / structural engineering services and Ramboll providing M&E services. Landscape design is by TGP.

Marie Macklin, founder of the HALO, said: “With outline planning consent secured, I’m thrilled that we are maintaining the momentum on this important project with our submission for detailed planning consent for the HALO Enterprise & Innovation Hub, which will form the beating heart of this development. This is a major milestone for the project and for Keppie and the rest of the design team and it’s a delight to be working with them.

HALO regeneration plan in Kilmarnock receives planning permission in principle

A £65 million urban regeneration on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock’s reached a significant milestone last week when it received the green light from East Ayrshire Council.

The HALO project, which includes a provision of affordable housing, could create around 1,000 permanent new jobs.

Plans for the development include:

  • A Resilience Capability Business Centre for digital and online resilience businesses in research, development and application, locating innovators in financial services, private investors, insurance and technology companies
  • An enterprise, engineering, manufacturing and textiles centre for small and medium sized businesses
  • 1,000 capacity education, conference and exhibition centre (benefiting local schools, colleges and universities)
  • A cultural hub for small creative businesses and social enterprises in crafts, film, art, music, media, literature, marketing and technology
  • A year-round leisure and water sports facility
  • 3,000m2 of commercial offices
  • Health & wellbeing premises, life-style shops and cafes
  • Landscaped public plaza
  • 175 affordable rented houses
  • An energy centre powering a district heating system
  • Public space including new road and footpath networks connecting to the Rail Station and town centre.

At a special meeting of East Ayrshire Council’s planning committee on Friday, councillors agreed to grant planning permission in principle for The HALO, allowing the developers, HALO Kilmarnock Limited to proceed to the submission of detailed plans for the development to East Ayrshire Council over the coming weeks.

Marie Macklin, The HALO’s founder, said: “This important community-led project has been eight years in the making and I am thrilled that we have reached this landmark today. We can now push forward with the development of The HALO, creating enterprise opportunities, not just for Kilmarnock, but for East Ayrshire and Scotland as a whole.”

UK government minister for Scotland sees ground broken at The HALO Kilmarnock

(from left) Marie Macklin, Lord Duncan and Brian Whittle MSP

(from left) Marie Macklin, Lord Duncan and Brian Whittle MSP

Lord Duncan, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Scotland Office, visited the site of The HALO Kilmarnock yesterday to witness work getting under way on the £65 million urban regeneration project.

The UK government has provided £3.5m of funding to support the development, and the creation of a new Enterprise & Innovation Centre, to be located within The HALO Kilmarnock, as part of its UK Industrial Strategy, the detail of which was unveiled last week.

The Enterprise & Innovation Centre will foster the next generation of entrepreneurs, with strong focus on innovation, digital skills, and cyber security. Funding has also been provided by the Scottish Government, Diageo plc and East Ayrshire Council, with the remainder being sourced from private sector investors.

The HALO Kilmarnock, located on the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant, is being shaped as a multi-faceted brown-field regeneration that will create an innovative, inspirational and imaginative urban park with a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter. Its low carbon, renewable deep geothermal district heating network will address fuel costs on the site and have the capability of being extended to service other areas of the community – a first for the UK. The development will also include a light manufacturing facility and key worker private rental accommodation.

HALO Urban Park

How the completed development will look

The development is one of four HALO projects planned for the UK and being seen as catalysts for urban regeneration. The next HALO project is proposed for Belfast, with Wales and the North West of England to follow. It is envisaged that The HALO Kilmarnock will connect through road and rail infrastructure directly to the Northern Powerhouse, creating economic benefits across the wider area.

Backers of the HALO Kilmarnock believe that development will generate £53.6m of GDP for the Kilmarnock economy every year and contribute £65.8m to the Scottish economy annually. It is also set to create 1,400+ direct jobs and support 630 jobs in construction.

Preparatory ground works, being carried out by Advance Construction Group, have now commenced on-site and the first phase of The HALO Kilmarnock is scheduled for completion in 2019.

Lord Duncan said: “Supported by a £3.5m UK government investment, The HALO Kilmarnock is an ambitious, important development that will create jobs, grow the economy and drive innovation. The project will attract international companies to locate in the town, benefiting from the excellent transport links and a local, well-trained workforce. The HALO Kilmarnock represents marks a fresh start for Kilmarnock and Ayrshire and I hope that the project is a catalyst for further regeneration in Scotland and beyond.”

Marie Macklin, Lord Duncan and Brian Whittle MSP are joined by construction students from Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock campus

Marie Macklin, Lord Duncan and Brian Whittle MSP are joined by construction students from Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock campus

Marie Macklin, founder and director of The HALO Kilmarnock, said: “The HALO will play an important role in the UK government’s UK Industrial Strategy, to which we contributed at its consultation stage. The economic benefits of this community led development will be felt not just in Kilmarnock and East Ayrshire, but across the whole of Scotland and driving down into the Northern Powerhouse, harnessing the power of the 4th Industrial Revolution – the digital revolution.

“We welcome the UK government’s support for The HALO Kilmarnock which is a major infrastructure project in its own right and we hope that it will prove to be a catalyst for other infrastructure projects, such as the improved road and rail links that will connect it with the rest of the UK.”

Brian Whittle MSP for South Scotland Region added: “The HALO represents a fantastic opportunity for Kilmarnock and Ayrshire more widely to lead the way in the industries that are coming to define the 21st Century. I’m delighted that the UK government are leading the way in supporting the HALO. I’m honoured to have been able to help bring the HALO out of the starting blocks. It’s taken a huge amount of work by everyone involved to get to this point and I’m excited to see the project moving forward to the next stage.”

Keppie contributes to Kilmarnock primary school success

P15_271_N767Whatriggs Primary School and Early Education Centre in Kilmarnock has been successfully handed over by Morrison Construction in advance of the new 2017 Autumn term.

Collaborating throughout with East Ayrshire Council’s architecture department and education team, Keppie Design developed the exemplar design provided at tender stage, remodelling the elevations and rationalising the plan to provide added value.

An amalgamation of two local schools (Kirkstyle and Bellfield Primaries), the school now accommodates approximately 500 pupils, with a further 110 places available within the Early Education Centre which caters for 0-5 year olds.

Constructed on the site of the Bellfield Community Centre, Keppie employed Hirst Landscape Architects to complete the design of all external spaces, responding to the council’s desire for less structured and more flexible play areas for all ages.

Morrison Construction and East Ayrshire Council recently celebrated the success of Whatriggs Primary School when they received the GO Best Service Award for Contractors working with the Scottish Public Sector.

P15_271_N802Keppie said it was delighted to have been involved in the evolution and construction of the design, which highlights one of the success stories within this type of public sector procurement.

Allan Cunningham, operations director for Morrison Construction Scotland, said: “Whatriggs is the latest school in our series of successful partnerships with Keppie, and an excellent example of Client, Contractor and Architect working in true partnership to deliver excellent outcomes. East Ayrshire Council had not previously followed a Design and Build route; but were impressed with our innovative and collaborative approach; Lesley Buntain’s professionalism and personal commitment to the project was instrumental in engaging all the project stakeholders, particularly school staff, to produce what has proven to be an exemplary design.

“The design itself, and the collaborative processes behind it have been recognised with national awards, and have set a high benchmark. It shows that good school design need not come with a cost premium, the key to success is to engage designers who deeply understand the education sector, and can relate to all the users, teachers and pupils to optimise the outcomes.”

P15_271_N752John Thomson, SENIOR ARCHITECT for East Ayrshire Council (EAC Capital Programme), said: “Early meetings after appointment at Keppie’s offices in Glasgow were instrumental in co-ordinating the input from all disciplines, and this early dialogue allowed the design to be developed in line with the aspirations of all key stakeholders from the various EAC departments that had to be incorporated. From the very outset Keppie Design took ownership of their particular design responsibilities and, with subtle modifications drawn from their schools experience, enhanced the council’s initial proposals. From the pre-development process right through to operations on site and completion there was a collaborative, can-do positive attitude.

“Their duty of care, professionalism and considerable input, including attendance at various client/end user workshops throughout the process was instrumental in the ultimate success of the project which was delivered exactly on programme ahead of the new school term this August.”

Lesley Buntain, associate for Keppie Design, added: “This was a great project for Keppie right from the start. The collaborative working relationship that developed between East Ayrshire Council and Morrison Construction created an open atmosphere where decisions really were made as a team. East Ayrshire Council, although the originators of the exemplar, were always willing to consider changes where we felt improvements could be made or value added. We always welcome feedback from everyone involved in projects, particularly teachers and their pupils, and we are especially pleased that everyone associated with Whatriggs seems to be thrilled with their new school.”