Saturday, 25 February 2006
Duke of York sees global potential
for Ayrshire aerospace companies
HIS Royal Highness the Duke of York flew into Scotland yesterday for an official visit to some of Ayrshire’s key aerospace companies.
As the UK Special Representative for International Trade and Investment, the Duke met with Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire chief executive Evelyn McCann and key representatives from industry.
The visit to Ayrshire included tours of Goodrich and GE Caledonian, both of whom have well established global reputations.
The Duke of York said that penetrating international markets required clear strategies that built upon Scotland’s strengths in the high-tech arena: “It is clear that Scottish aerospace companies have individually identified a number of routes to strengthen their foothold in the international market. Not only must they trade on their strengths, but also I believe that it is essential that companies work together specifically to develop the critical mass to bring about the best benefit to the Scottish economy and the UK aerospace sector in general.”
Scottish Enterprise highlighted the potential for Scottish companies to rise to the challenge and compete at international level, by combining the efforts of individual companies and the public sector. While Ayrshire has a strong regional reputation in aerospace, Evelyn McCann underlined the need for closer working links across Scotland in order to develop better scale and become even more competitive at international level.
Scottish Enterprise’s aims to bring closer collaboration in the industry has been boosted by the creation of industry body SBAC (the Society of British Aerospace Companies) Scotland. The council, based in Ayrshire, is likely to act as a co-ordinator of best practice and will forge strong working links with industry, essential to the development of a successful Scotland-wide aerospace proposition.
Goodrich Corporation came to Prestwick in 1996 and now employs over 220 people, enjoying significant growth. They are the first tenant of the new Prestwick International Aerospace Park, investing £9m in the new building with an option to expand. Goodrich maintain and repair nacelles and thrust reversers for Europe, Africa and the Middle East from their base at Prestwick.
Goodrich managing director Steve Callan said: “I was very pleased to welcome His Royal Highness to the Goodrich facility and the new Prestwick International Aerospace Park. Goodrich’s growth has proven that Prestwick offers a strong available workforce that can provide a base for international competitiveness. The Duke of York shared our enthusiasm for the area, and it was a pleasure to host his visit to our premises, which also included meetings with other aerospace and related companies in the area.”
GE Caledonian managing director David Crews said: "It was a privilege to welcome His Royal Highness to GE Caledonian and share with him the achievements of the business. This success is reflective of the continued support, energy and innovation from our employees."
GE Caledonian is part of the GE (General Electric) Group, employing more than 900 highly skilled workers in Ayrshire. Established in 1980, the site celebrated 25 years in operation in 2005 and was awarded the 'Best Performing Business Award (over 250 employees)' in both the local and national Scottish Enterprise awards in 2005.
Ayrshire’s Fairfield House Hotel
restaurant up for top dining award
Having recently completed a major £750,000 refurbishment, the management and staff at Ayr’s Fairfield House Hotel were pleased to learn this week that the hotel’s Martin’s Bar & Grill has been nominated in the Informal Dining category of this year’s Scottish Hotels of the Year Awards.
Fairfield House Hotel general manager Stuart Maxwell told Ayrshire Scotland Business News: “I am delighted that our investment in the hotel has been recognised with our nomination for this award.
“It was always our intention to create an informal, relaxed atmosphere within Martin's Bar and Grill whilst maintaining the highest level of service standards.
“This nomination is recognition of the hard work Craig Adam, Food and Beverage Manager, and all of his team in Martin’s Bar & Grill have put in, both during and after the six month refurbishment programme. They have delivered exceptional service since the opening in September.”
ABOUT FAIRFIELD HOUSE HOTEL
A major refurbishment costing £750,000 has now been completed at the Fairfield House Hotel in Ayr, Scotland.
The ground floor of the building, including the reception area, bar, and restaurant has been renovated, creating a stylish but not ultra-modern look that blends in perfectly with the hotel’s striking exterior on the edge of the Low Green looking out over the Firth of Clyde.
General manager Stuart Maxwell said: “Perhaps in the past there may have been a tendency for the hotel to have been regarded as slightly stuffy - a place where people might go once a year for a special occasion.
“But if that was ever the case, things have certainly changed now, as we have succeeded in creating a relaxed, informal atmosphere with prices that are eminently affordable.
“The result is that our clientele come back on a much more frequent basis, whether it be for coffee, a quiet drink, lunch or an evening meal.”
The building itself dates from 1900, starting life as the private dwelling of a Glasgow tea merchant. When it first became a hotel it was known as the Marine Court.
It was bought by its present owner, former Ayr accountant George Martin, in 1990, the year after its name was changed to Fairfield House Hotel.
General manager Stuart Maxwell (32) was appointed in March 2005.
Stuart lives in Ayr with his wife Kate and son James (4).
Originally from Portpatrick, Stuart obtained a degree in hotel management before working for a variety of hotel chains throughout the UK including Hilton, Stakis and de Vere.
He now heads a staff of 50 at the Fairfield House Hotel. Assistant manager Craig Adam from Troon, whose family are also in the hotel business, worked on the cruise ship QE2 for 10 years, and head chef Will Hay used to run the kitchen in restaurants owned by Gary Rhodes.
With its Fairfield suite and boardroom, the 44-bedroom hotel also hosts conferences, seminars and weddings, and can cater for up to 150 delegates or guests.
The Fairfield Leisure Club has a well-equipped gymnasium and an indoor heated swimming pool complete with spa bath.
All guests are welcome to use these and the other facilities, which include a sauna and steamroom, providing the perfect way to relax and unwind.
For further information, visit www.fairfieldhotel.co.uk
Telephone 01292 267461.
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