Scottish Power has made a commitment to provide £5m worth of sponsorship over five years to an urban regeneration project run by entrepreneur Marie Macklin
The Halo Scotland urban regeneration project, which is currently under construction, will transform the site of the former Johnnie Walker bottling plant in Kilmarnock into a low-carbon development that will consist of key worker private rented homes as well as an enterprise and innovation hub for business start-ups, a renewable energy centre and commercial and leisure units.
Scottish Power has committed to working on projects at the site up to the value of £5m, including offering support to the start-up and scale-up businesses using the hub. The utility firm will also play an active role in a digital training facility being created at the site.
A spokesman for the business said it is in the process of identifying the projects it could support once the development is up and running so that it can “hit the ground running” when construction work completes next year.
Last year the Scottish Government announced that it was devoting £5.3m to the urban regeneration project, with £3.5m of that going into the development itself.
The remaining £1.8m of the investment has come from the Government’s Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme and will be spent on a geothermal heating system that will provide low cost, renewable energy to the homes on the site.
Macklin, who set up Halo to revitalise vacant industrial land in communities experiencing economic challenges, said the Scottish Power sponsorship would help support “an urban regeneration project that is going to change the lives of young people”.
Marie Macklin, 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.”