£Multi-million regeneration of heritage revitalizes Scotland’s “worst” town

An Ayrshire town blighted by factory closures, high unemployment and the nightmare of being featured in the highly controversial reality TV series The Scheme is fighting back with a multi-million 21st-century regeneration.

Several years ago Kilmarnock, famed for its links to Robert Burns and Johnnie Walker whisky, was dealt another body blow after it was named as Scotland’s least desirable place to live in a book that names and shames the “crappiest towns” in the UK.

A cash injection of £12.4 million was plunged into the former Opera House, destroyed by fire over 20 years ago, and is one of 23 historic buildings in the town which have been fully restored.

Councillor Jim Buchanan said: “Regeneration is not just about a few old buildings – it’s about people, confidence, building skills, and encouraging entrepreneurship.

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