BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT LEADERS JOIN IN UNVEILING NEW HALO OFFICE
L to R: Tim Kirk, country operations director for PRA Group UK; Steve Roberts, executive vice president, global operations officer for PRA Group; Kate Forbes, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy; Dr Marie Macklin CBE, founder and executive chair of The HALO Urban Regeneration Company; and Martin Sjolund, president of PRA Group Europe
Global financial services company, PRA Group, Inc., recently celebrated the grand opening of its new offices in Kilmarnock’s HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre (HEIC) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Local leaders spanning the business, government and third sectors heard from speakers including Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, Kate Forbes, who congratulated PRA Group on the official launch of its new premises.
Ms Forbes said: “It is great to have an international company like PRA Group, one of Kilmarnock’s largest employers, as the anchor tenant for the new HALO facility. We are committed to tackling climate change in Scotland and PRA Group’s move to this new net-zero facility will help us to reach these goals.
The new facility will also attract high-skilled digital and cyber jobs to the region and play a pivotal part in our economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Nasdaq-listed PRA Group is a global leader in providing nonperforming loan solutions. Founded in 1996 in Norfolk, Virginia, the business has grown to operate in 18 countries around the world.
PRA Group’s Executive Vice President, Global Operations Officer Steve Roberts said: “Ten years ago on this site, the Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky plant closed after over 190 years of operation and officials from Kilmarnock and across Scotland had the courage to set a plan for regeneration. Today we are here to recognize the achievement of that vision and the work of so many.”
He added: “Also ten years ago, PRA Group had a vision to grow to become a global leader in nonperforming loan solutions by doing the right things, for the right reasons, with a long-term focus.
Our expansion began right here in Kilmarnock, and we are proud that our UK operation based here in Kilmarnock remains our largest outside of the US, and that we can now give back to this community as one of the area’s largest employers.”
Over the past decade, PRA Group has nearly doubled its presence in the town. Through the company’s investment in HALO, Kilmarnock will also serve as a hub of digital innovation for the company.
HALO Kilmarnock is one of the most environmentally friendly developments in the UK. It sets the standard for low carbon energy sites by building a sustainable community powered by renewable energy.
Since its completion, it has been recognized during the annual British Council for Offices’ (BCO) Regional Awards as Scotland’s Best Corporate Workplace and by the Scottish Property Awards for Best Regeneration Project. The futuristic facility was also designed to optimise the workplace environment to promote the health and well-being of employees.
President of PRA Group Europe Martin Sjolund added: “We could not have found a better home for our UK operational hub, and we are immensely grateful for the supportive environment that Scotland offers as we prioritize our investments in innovation, sustainability and European growth.”
Among the business and community leaders who gathered to welcome PRA Group into the HALO were Councillor Douglas Reid, leader of East Ayrshire Council, and Willie Mackie, deputy chair of Scottish Enterprise. Brian Whittle, Scottish Conservative MSP for South Scotland, also attended the event