Barclay House Opening

The Klin Group of Kilmarnock are pleased to announce that First Minister Alex Salmond will open their Barclay House Heritage Centre on Wednesday, January 23.
The centre, in West Langlands Street, is located within a complex of new apartment homes and is part of a wider town centre regeneration scheme in Kilmarnock.

The building itself is the former offices of  locomotive makers Andrew Barclay. It is a grade B listed building and uniquely incorporates a full-size refurbished loco and a giant crane once used in Barclays’ workshops.
The Klin Group

Klin is a home-grown, family business which has delivered 200 new houses to the town, ranging in size from small serviced apartments to large family mansions. The company were responsible for welcoming Scotland’s first Wm Morrison supermarket to a site opposite the new heritage centre in Kilmarnock. Managing director is Marie Macklin, daughter of John Dick, the founder of the firm. Her husband Drew is a co-director.

The Heritage Centre

The heritage centre is the cornerstone of the Barclay House development which has been transformed from a traditional industrial office block to a complex of 100 apartments, a third of them for rent on a fully serviced and furnished basis. The conversion project was privately funded without grants or any form of public contribution. The bespoke apartments have a private residents lounge, with bar and coffee hub, plasma TV and internet facility, and benefit from a concierge service.

The Train

Drake 2086, her official title, is a loco which was built at Barclays in the early 1940s for the war effort. She is now retired and has pride of place in the residents lounge behind the glass-fronted Heritage Centre. Drake was refurbished in a yard down south before being transported overnight to Scotland and to her own resting spot on original rails at the entrance to the complex.

The Opening

The opening ceremony will be as different as the Heritage Centre is. Klin have commissioned local band The Tracks to compose a song on the theme of hope, belief and regeneration as an anthem to urban renewal in Scotland’s older towns. The song will be played live and will go out on national radio at 11am. It will also be used to promote next year’s Rabbie’s Homecoming celebrations, the 12-month festival of events which marks the 250th anniversary of Burns birthday.
The Future

Drake may be retired and the Barclay House project may be at an end, but it’s too early yet to close the book on the regeneration of  Kilmarnock. Another chapter is just beginning with the exciting Encore Project, a £65m hotel-based development which will incorporate shops, restaurants and tourism facilities in and around the old, derelict opera house buildings in John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock.

The Story So Far

Marie Macklin said: “The Heritage Centre and now the Encore Project are clear signals that decline in the town of Kilmarnock is being reversed.

“Local entrepreneurs now have the courage and faith to work with this new pro-active council in reviving a town which is inherently full of character and charm.

“The icing on the cake will be our Victorian Arcade within the Encore Project. This will be a cluster of independent shops which will sell the cream of Scottish produce, concentrating on food, fashion and art. This new style of retailing will also incorporate a School of Culinary excellence where chefs and waiting staff will train for serving up the best of food in the adjacent Opera Box restaurant. The centrepiece will be a Harrods style food court where friends can meet and eat from a wide range of cuisines.

“Kilmarnock does not wish to compete with the giant, faceless shopping complexes on the outskirts of Glasgow. On the contrary, this town is restoring the old but enjoyable art of real shopping where people engage with people and a day out round the shops is a pleasant experience.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “It is an honour to welcome First Minister Alex Salmond to Kilmarnock and to join with Marie Macklin and everyone from the Klin Group to celebrate the opening of this incredible project. Marie is an inspirational Chairwoman who has brought real change to Kilmarnock. She has and will continue to challenge the conventional to help breathe life back into our town centre.

“This is an exciting time for Kilmarnock. The foundations for the future of the town centre are now in place and over the next few years we will alter the face of the town. My administration has made the regeneration of our towns a priority and I am heartened that we are already starting to see change. Each step takes us towards a shared goal of prosperity for Kilmarnock, somewhere we can all be proud to live, work and enjoy.”

The Contacts

Marie Macklin: Chairwoman, Klin Group, West Langlands Street, Kilmarnock KA1 2PR 01563 530454 or 07714300146. Klin:;; Email:

Ken McCracken: Tracks manager 01563 525024 or 07971831052



News Release   The Scottish Government




The regeneration of Kilmarnock took another step forward today as the First Minister officially opened The Andrew Barclay Railway Heritage Centre.

The centre, known as Barclay House, includes homes, apartments and the recently restored Locomotive 2086 named 'Drake.' When opening the centre, the First Minister reflected on the Burns season and the pivotal role Kilmarnock has and continues to play Kilmarnock in Scottish history.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“I am delighted to be in Kilmarnock, two days before the birthday of our national bard, the home of Burns’ first work, Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect (Kilmarnock edition) in 1786.

“In 2009, on the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns, the year of Homecoming Scotland will celebrate the words of Robert Burns and all the other great contributions Scotland has given to the world.

“Kilmarnock is certainly not lacking in great contributions to our ancestral history and will have an important involvement in the events and celebrations around Homecoming Scotland. The town is not only renowned for its excellence in engineering or as a home to Burns. The town also excelled in textiles and weaving, carpet making, manufacturing and of course it was also home to Scotland’s first professional football team.

"Today, we are celebrating the opening of this ambitious development which pays tribute to the work of Andrew Barclay and the pivotal role the town played in driving Scotland’s economy during the industrial revolution.

“The restoration of this historic landmark pays tribute to these achievements and is clearly another regeneration success story for Kilmarnock. This project has created more jobs, more homes and more opportunities for the local community - boosting the economy and its sense of civic pride. I look forward to seeing the town embark on many more projects like this in the future.”