Morrison Construction appointed main contractor for HALO hub in Kilmarnock
Morris Construction has been appointed as the main contractor for the first phase of the HALO Urban Regeneration Company’s new enterprise and innovation hub in Kilmarnock.
After a comprehensive procurement process, Morrison Construction was awarded the multi-million pound contract and will start work at the HALO site by the end of this month.
The HALO’s 45,635 sq. ft Enterprise and Innovation Hub with associated infrastructure works is expected to be completed by January 2021 with approximately 700 construction workers on site throughout construction.
The HALO in Kilmarnock is a £63 million brownfield urban regeneration project on a 23-acre site, formerly the home of Scotch whisky Johnnie Walker. The HALO will provide a sustainable community approach to a low carbon mixed-use development providing jobs, economic growth, skills development, access to employment opportunities, clean energy and housing.
The HALO’s Enterprise and Innovation Hub will include:
- A state-of-the-art building designed to maximise collaboration between entrepreneurs experimenting, creating and growing highly specialised digital and cyber businesses.
- Cutting-edge technology supported through a combination of dedicated sector-based suites that simulate the new working environment in areas such as health and social care.
- Facilities for virtual and augmented reality-based scenario training.
- “Living labs” to enable the innovation and evaluation of digital technology and skills that are emerging across society.
- A knowledge-sharing environment where established businesses and business angels can support emerging entrepreneurs.
- A unique learning environment providing opportunities through accredited courses with a facility to show-case developing products and processes enabling people of all ages to expand their knowledge and practical skills for living and working in a digital world.
- An entrepreneurial ecosystem intended to encourage the development of new digital and cyber security products and services. Responding in particular to the needs of the energy, health and space/aerospace sectors.
- Office and workspace for established companies looking to drive innovation through their organisations.
Drew Macklin, project director at the HALO Urban Regeneration Company, said: “Today marks a huge milestone for the HALO as we announce Morrison Construction as the main construction contractor to deliver the Enterprise and Innovation Hub in Kilmarnock and start preparations for them to begin construction on site by the end of September.
“The Enterprise and Innovation Hub will form part of the HALO’s dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter where people can live, work, learn and play.
“With a strong track record of delivering major projects on time and within budget I look forward to Morrison Construction starting work on our exciting project.”
Eddie Robertson, managing director at Morrison Construction, said: ‘‘We are delighted to be appointed the main contractor to build the Enterprise and Innovation Hub, a development that will revitalise the town centre and support the wider Ayrshire economy.
‘‘We look forward to working with our new client, The HALO Urban Regeneration Company, to successfully deliver this project that will drive growth in Kilmarnock and the surrounding areas.
‘‘Our experienced project team will soon establish site and begin works. During construction, we will engage with all stakeholders and provide education and employment opportunities as part of our progressive social value programme.’’
The HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC) will be BREEAM Outstanding – a world class sustainability assessment method for master planning projects – to offer a high-spec flexible workplace environment for start-up and growing businesses.
Last year, the HALO announced Scottish Power as its headline sponsor and this partnership will create a digital training and learning facility at the forefront of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The HALO subsequently also partnered with Barclays to develop the entrepreneurship and employability skills of young people and adults across Scotland through the bank’s LifeSkills programme.