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Ingram Enterprise Centre unveiled

Kilmarnock Town Centre is now home to a host of new and expanding businesses thanks to the opening of the innovative Ingram Enterprise Centre.

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.”

Colin McNally, Managing Director, CJM Project Financial Management Ltd, who was one of the first to move in said: “We are accountants, business advisers and financial management accountants. We were looking for an East Ayrshire office that was central to our client base, fully serviced, modern, and delivered the professional office environment for both ourselves and our clients. We chose the Ingram Enterprise Centre because it met all those criteria. IT works really well, our clients have found the location accessible, the rooms are the right size, and there are options to change office as the business grows. It’s great working in an environment with other like-minded businesses and the collaborative nature of the building is still developing its potential. As I run courses on behalf of Business Gateway the training suite works really well for us. It’s spacious and has really good communication media. We’re sure this will prove a truly worthwhile and enterprising centre in the coming months and years.”

CCG Scotland Ltd were contracted to deliver the restoration. 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.”

The Ingram Enterprise Centre is the latest in a series of 25 buildings in Kilmarnock’s historic quarter to undergo a comprehensive programme of restoration and refurbishment funded jointly by the Council’s £5m Kilmarnock Town Centre Fund, the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Kilmarnock Townscape Heritage Initiative .

Eight further suites are still available for rent. For details about the Ingram Enterprise Centre, and business support mechanisms on offer contact: 01563 503237

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