A FORMER derelict opera house in Kilmarnock is to become the centre piece of a staged £21 million regeneration project.
The Encore project is being spearheaded by Kilmarnock-based property developers, the Klin Group, and includes, as funding partners, the Bank of Scotland, Historic Scotland and The Heritage Lottery Fund.
Phase Two of The Encore regeneration project, set within the Victorian quarter of Kilmarnock town centre, will commence today, Monday July 4.
This will consist of a 26,500 square feet office, with up to 200 office workers being located there.
Three years ago – Phase One – the Klin Group renovated a former railway engineering yard to create the Barclay House Heritage Centre: a small museum celebrating Andrew Barclay & Son Railway Engineers (and including one of their locomotives) plus 62 serviced apartments and commercial centre.
Today, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, Alex Neil MSP, will be lending his support to the project that is expected to generate over 100 construction and professional jobs.
Said Marie Macklin at Klin Group: “We started this quest ten years ago. The future looks great – Klin Group are passionate about this project and the start of something that will be the stimulus for the regeneration of Kilmarnock.”
Cllr Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, added: “This is great news for Kilmarnock town centre.
“The development, including construction jobs and the relocation of a substantial workforce to the Kilmarnock town centre, will increase the business of existing retailers and create demand for new retail opportunities. The local economy will be boosted and supported, both in the short and in the long term by this development.
“East Ayrshire Council is proud to be working in partnership with the Klin Group, who have an impeccable track record in their commitment to the regeneration of Kilmarnock.”
Bank of Scotland senior manager for commercial, Derek MacGarvie, said: “We are pleased to support The Klin Group in this latest phase of a pivotal regeneration project, which will give Kilmarnock a much needed boost in creating new construction jobs and relocating hundreds of public sector workers to the town centre.
“Bank of Scotland’s backing of this project underlines our commitment to supporting sustainable, ambitious ventures that make a real and lasting impact on the communities they serve.”
Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Investment, Alex Neil, said: “This project provides a timely boost for Kilmarnock and the wider Ayrshire economy.
“Much needed jobs will be created as the regeneration of Kilmarnock’s town centre takes shape.
“The Klin Group, East Ayrshire Council and the other private and public sector partners are to be congratulated for working so hard to breath new life into the town.”
Notes to editor:
Alex Neil MSP will be arriving at the Kilmarnock Opera House at 12:00 noon on July 4 2011. He will be available for pictures and interview.
The Opera House is located at John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock (rear entrance in Strand Street).
Media release on behalf of the Klin Group issued by Gordon Ritchie, Dialogue Marketing, Ground Floor, 64 Waterloo Street, Glasgow G2 7DA. 0141 274 4074 or 07973 101534.
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