MARK Logan, the Scottish Government’s recently appointed Chief Entrepreneur, visited the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Kilmarnock this week to meet some of Ayrshire’s top businesses and tour the world class co-working and technologically driven spaces across the HALO campus.
Mr Logan, the former Chief Operating Officer at one of Scotland’s first unicorn companies, Skyscanner, will ensure entrepreneurship is embedded in the economy and is a key commitment in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation in his new role.
During his tour of the award-winning building, Mr Logan was shown the HALO’s #RockMe Trading Floor, which is home to some of Ayrshire’s most exciting businesses, and some of the shared working spaces where tenants can meet, work and network while on site at the HALO. The #RockMe Trading Floor will also be home to a Green Growth Accelerator Unit at the HEIC, backed by a green investment fund, designed to attract not only Scottish businesses but companies from outside Scotland, with the intention of creating investment opportunities both for The HALO and its partners and tenants.
With phase I of the HALO well underway with the Enterprise and Innovation Centre playing a pivotal role in the growth of Ayrshire’s entrepreneurial community, plans for Phase II can now progress. Phase II of the HALO, a blueprint for the move towards greener housing in the UK, will bring 210 world class smart homes of the future to Kilmarnock. Fuelled by 100 per cent renewable energy and digital healthcare monitoring systems, the smart homes will be built at the HALO using sustainable construction materials and techniques.
The HALO provides a blueprint for a future net-zero society covering energy production, use and storage, new energy products and services and transport. ScottishPower will also utilise the HEIC to deliver staff training and host events and will support growing businesses on The HALO trading floor, establishing The HALO at the forefront of the digital Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The HEIC is a state-of-the-art building home to a Barclays Eagle Lab which is supporting start-up and scale-up businesses from across Ayrshire who are building and growing specialised digital and cyber businesses.
Alongside this, The Scotland 5G Centre recently expanded their S5GConnect hubs to Kilmarnock with the HALO being the perfect location for this. HALO Kilmarnock will be the lead partner and the hub will be hosted in The HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre at The HALO Digital & Cyber Innovation Park.
Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of HALO Urban Regeneration Company, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome a true Scottish business titan to the HALO with the visit of Mark Logan. Mark has been tasked with embedding entrepreneurship in the Scottish economy and at the HALO, we’re playing our part in supporting this with many of our tenants driving key sectors across the country.”
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Mr Logan to meet some of our tenants and partners as we plan the next phase of the HALO as we continue to help drive economic and sustainable growth across Ayrshire, Scotland and beyond.”
Scotland’s first Chief Entrepreneur, Mark Logan, added: “It’s fantastic to visit the HALO and hear from Marie and the team on the wonderful work that has taken place putting entrepreneurship and digital advancement at the forefront of the agenda in Scotland and beyond.”
“I’d like to wish Marie and all of the businesses at the HALO the best of luck and I look forward to hearing about their progress and visiting again soon!”
With a vision for a dynamic commercial, educational, cultural, leisure and lifestyle quarter where people can ‘Live, Work, Learn and Play’, The HALO sets the standard for low carbon sites across the UK, providing a sustainable community approach to a mixed-use development.
In addition to Diageo gifting the land and investing support funding of £2m, the HALO Kilmarnock has received funding of £3.5 million from the Scottish Government, £3.5 million from the UK Government and £2 million from East Ayrshire Council as part of the £251 million Ayrshire Growth Deal – a 10-year investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and local authorities.
The award-winning HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre was named ‘Best Regeneration Project’ at this year’s prestigious Scottish Property Awards and recognised as Scotland’s ‘Best Corporate Workplace’ at the 2022 British Council for Offices Regional Awards.