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An investment of £45.303m in the merger of Kilmarnock Academy, James Hamilton Academy, New Farm Primary and Early Childhood Centre, Silverwood Primary and 2-18 provision for Gaelic education, resulted in the development of a new state-of-the-art learning environment for children and young people as well as flexible facilities for the community. 

Latest news

  • Mrs Wright and Mr Rose are hosting a campus opening evening on Wednesday 16 May 2018 6pm - 8pm. All welcome to attend. 
  • The campus is fully operational. The next phase involves the demolition of the former James Hamilton Academy and New Farm Primary buildings to allow the sports pitches to be developed and available for use in April 2019.


Find out about the consultation exercise.

Project timeline

Start date: January 2016

Finish date: March 2018

Download reports


Download plans of the building:

Project update

  • Mrs Wright and Mrs Rose welcomed children and school pupils to the new campus on Wednesday 18 April 2018.
  • Opening arrangements for the William McIlvanney Campus.
  • The building was handed over to East Ayrshire Council on 30 March 2018 by Kier Construction.
  • Monthly meetings are taking place to plan the move of resources into the new school.
  • Work is being completed by our graphics team to finalise the uniform, badge and motto designs submitted by the young people.
  • A topping out ceremony took place on Friday 13 October 2017. Uniform competition winners from both primary and secondary sectors were presented with prizes donated by Kier.
  • The first group of pupils visited their new school on 31 March 2017 - 1 year to the day until they move in!
  • Small groups of staff have had the opportunity to visit the site for an accompanied tour of the building.
  • Following a pupil competition, the uniform for the James Hamilton Primary is being progressed by East Ayrshire Council Graphics Department.
  • The Kilmarnock Academy uniform is also being developed.
  • On 6 February 2017,  80 pupils from Kilmarnock Academy, James Hamilton Academy, New Farm Primary and Silverwood Primary attended an  Art event to design artwork for the new campus which will incorporate heritage from the merging schools.
  • On 12 October 2016,  John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister for Scotland and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills unveiled the foundation stone at the campus. Pupils from the schools involved in the merger took part in a  time capsule burying ceremony which included chosen items from each school.
  • Aerial view photo of site progress.
  • Meetings are taking place with Head Teachers and senior officers to consider operational issues resulting from merger midway through session.
  • Kier Construction will be working with staff from the schools to arrange a programme of events for the pupils from the schools involved in the merger. These will include a wide variety of activities, for example, site safety talks to pupils at assemblies, design competitions, construction activities and attendance at school careers days. An open doors event was held on the site on 14 June 2016.
  • 24 February 2016 - Project has now reached financial close and contracts have been signed. This signals the official start of the construction of the new learning campus and works will commence in the next few weeks. The Campus will be provided by East Ayrshire Council through the Scottish Government’s Scotland’s Schools for the future programme, managed by the Scottish Future’s Trust. The project will be delivered by Hub South West, with construction work being undertaken by Kier Construction. Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive, Hub South West Scotland added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with East Ayrshire Council on this significant and innovative new facility. We have appointed Kier Construction to undertake this work – they have demonstrated a high level of commitment to delivering quality facilities whilst providing opportunities for the benefit of the local economy. “The William McIlvanney Campus project will generate substantial employment, growth and investment at a local level, whilst creating the infrastructure to support the ongoing education of the young people of Kilmarnock and the surrounding area.”
  • The new campus has officially been named William McIlvanney Campus, after extensive community consultation, undertaken across a wide range of groups, including pupils, parents, staff and representatives from the local business and voluntary sectors. Proposals from these groups were collated into a report and presented to Cabinet on 27th January 2016 where the final decision was made. The campus will incorporate the new secondary school named Kilmarnock Academy along with James Hamilton Primary and Early Childhood Centre and the Gaelic Provision, Sgoil na Coille Nuaidh (New Woods School or New Beginnings).
  • The report on the naming of the campus, secondary school, primary school and Gaelic provision will be discussed at Cabinet on Wednesday 27 January 2016.
  • The consultation period for proposing new names for the campus, secondary school, primary school and Gaelic provision has now closed. The report will be presented to Cabinet on 27 January 2016.
  • The road widening of Sutherland Drive is on schedule for completion before Christmas 2015.
  • Work has commenced on the widening of Sutherland Drive to allow construction traffic to access the site of the new build.
  • A consultation into the naming of the new Campus, Secondary School, Primary School and Early Childhood Centre and Gaelic provision is currently underway. Groups to be consulted include the school community, the local community, the small business sector and the voluntary sector.  Proposals, accompanied by a reason for the choice, should be sent to by Friday 18 December 2015. All proposals will be collated into a report and Cabinet will make the final decision on a new name early 2016.

Information for parents

Primary 7 transition arrangements for Bellfield Primary and Hillhead Primary will not change for session 2016-2017 because of the delay to the project.

Contact Information

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Investing in East Ayrshire Schools
Opera House
8 John Finnie Street
East Ayrshire
Telephone: 01563 576702
Twitter: @eacnewschools