The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 13 July 2007

George Wimpey West Scotland reveals Apprentice of the Year

George Wimpey West Scotland Ltd is delighted to announce that Tom Gibson, aged 20 of Kilmarnock has been awarded Apprentice of the Year 2007 in their region.

Picture shows: Tom Gibson (centre) from Kilmarnock picking up George Wimpey West Scotland’s Apprentice of the Year Award 2007. Runner-up Peter Barr is on the left, and in third place on the right is Kenneth McClintock from Ayrshire.

Currently based across several of the George Wimpey developments in Ayrshire, third-year bricklayer apprentice Tom, has won this accolade in recognition of his commitment, dedication, attendance and workmanship to both the company’s Apprenticeship Programme and his college work.

As well as recognition within the company, and his well-deserved certificate, Tom also scoops £250.

Runner-up in second place was second-year bricklayer Peter Barr from Neilson in Glasgow who wins £150, and third place was picked up by first-year joiner Kenneth McClintock from Kilmarnock who wins £100.

Tom was delighted to pick up The Apprentice of the Year 2007 award. He said: “This is a really great personal achievement for me and I’m delighted to have my work recognised in this way by within such a well-respected company as George Wimpey. Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship, ultimately I’d love to continue to progress with George Wimpey to be as successful as I can be – and my overall goal is to become a site manager.”

The company is rightfully proud of its Apprenticeship Programme as Hugh Beattie, production manager for George Wimpey West Scotland explains: “We’re now in our ninth year of the Apprentice Programme, and we’re delighted to be supporting the construction industry at grass-root level to produce well-trained apprentices to create a good flow of talent into each of the trades of our business.

“We now have apprentices at various stages of training and development within our Apprenticeship Programme, and they’re very important to our business, as well as the building trade in general. They are the future skill base that we’ll most definitely need, and it gives us great satisfaction to see Tom recognised for his continuous hard work and commitment to the job in this year’s awards.”

Promoting and supporting apprentice schemes like George Wimpey’s will hopefully encourage more apprentices into the trade as Mark McConville, managing director of Drumbrow Contracts Ltd and main sponsor of this year’s awards adds: “We’re delighted to support such a positive initiative where apprentices are given strong training and experience to get them started in the building industry. George Wimpey is a valued business partner and anything we can do together to encourage apprentices into the trade must be seen as a good move.”

Adding his congratulations, Jim Hamilton, apprentice administrator for George Wimpey West Scotland Ltd said: “Tom has given the Apprentice Programme his full commitment this year, and is an excellent role model for the other young apprentices out on sites across the region.”

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Prestwick Airport is a fine example for Italian visitors

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has been selected as a great example of a successful regional airport by a group of Italians looking to develop one of their own.

And a delegation from Italy visited Prestwick to learn more about the issues, challenges and methods involved in the development of a regional airport.

Picture shows: Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell with Franco Antoci, President of the Province of Ragusa.

Franco Antoci, President of the Province of Ragusa in South East Sicily, arrived with a small party which included some Italian journalists.

They were welcomed by Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell who gave the group a presentation on how the airport operates.

There was a particular focus on how Infratil Airports Europe, owners of Glasgow Prestwick, establish and maintain relationships with low cost airlines.

Mr Antoci was representing Comiso Airport, located 100km from Catania and due to open in January 2008.

He explained: “The reason we have chosen to visit Prestwick is because there are a lot of similarities between the two airports, and also as Prestwick has been a great success in recent years.

“Like Prestwick, Comiso Airport does not lie within the boundary of a major city, it was once used as a military base and is located in an area where the economy is growing.

“We have been very impressed by what we have seen so far and hopefully we can use what we have learned to good effect.”

Picture shows: Howard Wilkinson from Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce giving the Italians the lowdown on tourism in Ayrshire.

Following Mark Rodwell’s presentation, the group listened to Howard Wilkinson from the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce talk about the airport’s impact on tourism in Ayrshire, along with some more general tourism material.

After lunch the Italians were given a guided tour of the terminal facilities at Glasgow Prestwick.

Mark Rodwell commented: “It was a pleasure to welcome Mr Antoci and his group to Glasgow Prestwick, and pass on our experience in running a regional airport. I hope they have picked up some useful tips, and that Comiso Airport is a great success.”
T2 brings Silicon Valley software to Scotland

AN Ayrshire-based IT firm has formed a strategic relationship with a Silicon Valley software development company, and with funding from UK Steel Enterprise (UKSE) now in place it has also set its sights on expansion.

Picture shows: Anne Clyde, area manager of UKSE with Bill Donaldson, managing director of T2 Solutions.

T2 Solutions Ltd, which is headquartered at Ayrshire Innovation Centre in Irvine, will help other specialist IT support companies throughout Scotland to access technology that was once the preserve of large multinationals, after it reached an agreement with American company Kaseya to resell its IT management software.

Kaseya’s web-based software was designed for IT administrators working within large blue-chip companies and IT support consultancies, but the high price of the software licence meant that it wasn’t an affordable solution for SMEs. The software itself not only allows companies to pre-empt any potential computer glitches, but it also enables them to fix 95 per cent of problems remotely, cutting down on the need to visit clients’ premises.

Having reached an agreement with Kaseya to deliver the software on a subscription basis, T2 Solutions Ltd will use the funding from UKSE to expand its staff numbers.

T2 Solutions Ltd managing director Bill Donaldson said: “There are currently over 20,000 IT support companies in the UK, and the majority of these are small businesses who simply can’t afford to invest in the specialist technology that would help them become more effective.

“Most of these companies are reactive and are only called out by clients when something has already broken down. Our solution will allow them to offer a pro-active management service by providing them with the necessary tools to regularly monitor a client’s IT network remotely and automate the majority of IT support tasks.

“This software is already being used in 25 countries throughout the world, and we now plan to roll it out to SMEs here in Scotland.”

Bill Donaldson launched T2 Solutions Ltd in 2001 after spending 25 years working in the IT industry. The company now employs six staff and works with over 50 clients drawn from both the public and private sectors.

UKSE area manager Anne Clyde said: “There are many IT support products on the market but few that meet the functionality of Kaseya’s and are suitably priced for the SME market.

“Bill has a sound team in place and has extensive knowledge of the IT support market. We believe the company has tremendous potential and will continue to work closely with T2 Solutions as it seeks to expand.”

UK Steel Enterprise, formerly British Steel (Industry) Ltd, was originally established in 1975 by the then British Steel Corporation and is a subsidiary of Corus Group, the company formed from the merger of British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens in 1999. Corus Group was recently acquired by Indian company Tata Steel.

Its objective is to help in the economic regeneration and development of those areas in the UK which have been affected by changes in the steel industry. UKSE directly helps small businesses – new and existing – to grow and create job opportunities. It also supports other organisations with similar aims.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Clydesdale Bank Ayr branch teaches
college students about business banking

Willie Mackie, Managing Partner of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr, played host recently to a group of 15 students from Ayr College who spent a day learning about business banking.

Presentations were given by Agricultural, Commercial, and Private Banking partners, who gave the students a unique insight into the workings of an Financial Solutions Centre team.

Following a buffet lunch in the boardroom the visit concluded with a tour of the flagship Clydesdale Bank branch situated below the Financial Solutions Centre in Alloway Street.

Jeanette McCulloch, Curriculum Manager, Business Management, Ayr College said: “I would like to thank Willie Mackie and his team for the excellent and very informative visit they organised for our students. This was very much appreciated and will significantly benefit the students’ understanding and awareness of local businesses in and around Ayrshire.”

Charity walk

And staff from Clydesdale Bank’s Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr have also taken part in a sponsored walk along the River Ayr Walk.

For most of the team the route was divided into stages covering around 4, 7 and 11 miles.

One of the highlights of the day was achieved by Drew Mackin, Senior Partner Agricultural Business who ran the full 40 miles in one day.

The team raised £785 on the day which was matched by the Bank. A donation of £1,570 was made to the British Heart Foundation.

The Clydesdale Bank Ayr branch is a member of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association of some of the top companies in Ayrshire.

Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of industry, commerce and business services available within the county boundaries of Ayrshire in southwest Scotland.

Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse and the Western House Hotel, and member company activities include estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, legal services, brand management, website design and public relations consultancy.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle runs its own online news magazine, which can be found at

As well as regularly updated illustrated articles about member companies, Ayrshire Business News also features rolling news, business and sports headlines, and its own online department store.

UKPRWire PRUK OpenPress PressMediaWire PR-GB PressBox