Main contractor appointed for Ayrshire College’s Willie Mackie Skills Hub

Main contractor appointed for Ayrshire College’s Willie Mackie Skills Hub

Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd has been announced as the main contractor for the construction of the Willie Mackie Skills Hub, with work beginning today (26 July) on the Ayrshire College building in Kilwinning.

Named after former Ayrshire College Chair Willie Mackie, the Hub will deliver a curriculum in Engineering, Construction and SMART Technologies for employers, primary schools, secondary schools and college students when it opens in August 2023.

Willie Mackie stepped down from his Ayrshire College role earlier this year after completing the maximum possible tenure of a regional college Chair. Appointed in 2013, Willie played an important role in the creation of Ayrshire College, as Ayr College, Kilmarnock College and the North Ayrshire campuses of James Watt College merged.

Willie attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the Dalry Road site alongside interim Ayrshire College Chair Fiona McQueen CBE, Ayrshire College Principal Carol Turnbull, and Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd’s Managing Director David Smith and Commercial Director Euan Clark.

The new purpose-built facility – designed by Hunter Thomson Architects - will provide first-class training for people in Ayrshire, in subjects identified as being key to the economic regeneration of North Ayrshire.

The project has received financial contributions from Ayrshire College, North Ayrshire Council, the Magnox Socio Economic Panel, the Scottish Funding Council and the Ayrshire College Foundation.

Carol Turnbull, Principal at Ayrshire College, said: “I am really pleased to see that construction work is starting on the site and that the contract has been awarded to a local Ayrshire company. The Willie Mackie Skills Hub will provide opportunities for our students to learn skills in inspiring new learning spaces where they will be able to connect with employers and partners to develop their learning through work placements and apprenticeships. These new training facilities will prepare current and future generations for the employment opportunities generated by the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Euan Clark, Commercial Director at Ashleigh (Scotland) Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the recent contract award for this fantastic new facility at the Ayrshire College’s Kilwinning Campus. We value our relationship with the College and its staff and have enjoyed working with their team in the past on an array of initiatives.

“This will be our first building project with the College and we look forward to working with the team on the successful delivery of the Willie Mackie Skills Hub. We are extremely pleased to see Willie’s efforts and commitment to the College being recognised, it is truly deserved.”

Rufus Logan, Scottish Funding Council Assistant Director Capital & Climate Change, said: “The Scottish Funding Council is delighted to be supporting this exciting project which will create state-of-the-art, fit for purpose learning and teaching facilities which will not only improve the student experience but will also respond to the region’s future skills needs. The collaborative nature of this project, with funding coming from both the private and public sector, is exactly the way in which we should be working and we commend all the partners for coming together to make this project a reality.”

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