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A long-established history and character
One of the keys to East Ayrshire’s hardworking, innovative workforce is the area’s heritage. The area has been an important trading centre for centuries, thanks to its central location and transport connections. Bonnet-making, tanning, weaving and shoe-making all took off in the 16th century, creating an industrial hub that traded internationally.
Today, a highly-skilled textile industry continues to produce knitwear and textiles for an international marketplace.
From the 19th century onwards, the new industries of mining, engineering and steam train manufacturing meant the area continued to grow. It was around this time that a local grocer, Johnnie Walker, created the most popular whisky brand in the world.
As well as industry, East Ayrshire is known for innovation – for example it was home to Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin. This spirit of innovation has driven much of the area’s business success.