Newly revamped enterprise centre unveiled in Kilmarnock
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.”
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.”