The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 21 September 2007

Easton Property and Fouters Restaurant join Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Dundonald-based Easton Property Ltd and the ever-popular Fouters Restaurant in Ayr are the latest new members of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes (pictured above*) commented: “"It is a delight to welcome to our expanding Business Circle two outstanding and successful Ayrshire businesses. They complement well the notable businesses who have already joined, and we look forward to working together to promote the interests of all members."

Founded by managing director Ken Easton in 1994, Easton Property Ltd is a commercial property investment company with a portfolio of 110 shop premises - predominantly in the West of Scotland - valued at £26.6 million.

The company also has a home improvement division which has established itself as one of the west coast’s leading kitchen and bathroom design and installation companies,

Fouters is a bustling basement restaurant situated in the heart of Ayr town centre and located in an old bank vault dating from the 18th century. Retaining many original features such as the original bank counter and document box, Fouters has been lovingly transformed into a truly atmospheric and cosy cellar restaurant offering a sophisticated, intimate and friendly dining experience.

Head chef George Ramage offers a very reasonably priced menu focusing on a modern Scottish approach to food using fresh, seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Visit


The first meeting of The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle will take place at 8.30am on Wednesday 26 September at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre, Alloway Street, Ayr.

Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre senior partner Willie Mackie (pictured above) said: “We at the Clydesdale Bank have been delighted with the profile we have achieved via our membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

“At launch we believed this was an important step in promoting businesses in Ayrshire. Our experience has confirmed this is a great vehicle for sharing success.”

To find out more about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, telephone 01292 281498, e-mail or log on to our online business news magazine - CLICK HERE.

* Norman Geddes is senior partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors in Ayr.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Spirit AeroSystems employees show true ‘Team Spirit’

Spirit AeroSystems employees’ displayed a true sense of ‘Team Spirit’ during their recent walk along the ‘Source to Sea’ route.

Around 60 employees participated in Scotland’s only ‘Source to Sea walk’, which spans 44 miles beginning at the source of the river in Glenbuck and ending at the sea in Ayr.

The walk was divided into seven manageable sections to allow Spirit employees to complete the walk in one afternoon. However, two very enthusiastic employees – Ian Blinkhorn and Billy Logie – completed the majority of the walk in one day beginning at 6am and finishing around 7.30pm.

The climax of the walk was the race of the final section from Auchincruive to Ayr. Each team entered a member to race their way to the finish line. Congratulations to ‘The Too Sore to Sea Team’ whose runner Stewart Bailey completed the final 9k in 32.4 minutes.

Spirit AeroSystems employees later celebrated their success in the Waterside Bar, Ayr, where a raffle was held to raise funds for the employee nominated charities of the year – CLIC Sargent and Hansel Foundation.

To date more than £1100 has been raised through sponsorship and donations. Many thanks to the following organisations for their kind donations: Park Hotel, Kilmarnock; Gailes Restaurant, Irvine; BAE Systems; The Waterside; Western House Hotel, Ayr; Galleon, Kilmarnock; Time to Relax, Kilmarnock; North Gailes, Irvine; Ramada Hotel, Ayr; Stewart Travel; Adesso, Irvine;, Troon; Mulholland Studios, Paisley; Station Hotel, Ayr; Emcor; and Hansel Foundation.

‘Team Spirit’ is a Spirit AeroSystems initiative which incorporates employee and business activity in six key areas - education, environment, local community, internal community, sponsorship & donations and charity. Team Spirit provides value to the business by raising awareness of the company and its values. It also provides value to employees by giving them the opportunity to learn new skills while giving something back to the communities where they live and work.

Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems (Europe) Ltd is based at sites in Prestwick, Ayrshire and Samlesbury, Lancashire. The Prestwick site is home to around 750 employees and is one of the larger employers in the local area. An additional 80 staff are based at Samlesbury. The business provides customers in the commercial aerospace market with airframe structures.

Spirit Europe is part of Spirit AeroSystems Inc. based in Wichita, Kansas.

Spirit AeroSystems is the world’s largest independent supplier of large component parts and assemblies for commercial aircraft.

Visit the Spirit AeroSystems Europe web page: CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Fame Publicity gets business stories
speedy top search engine ranking

TOP public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services says it can get clients’ business news stories onto the top page of leading search engines in double quick time - often in a couple of hours.

Murdoch MacDonald set up Fame Publicity in 2003 having spent 30 years in the public relations profession, and he has been dubbed by one leading newspaper as the grandfather of the PR industry in Scotland.

Murdoch claims that the days of companies having to wait for their latest news to appear in newspapers or trade magazines are over. “In our 24-hour news culture, businesses want instant results, and this is what Fame Publicity can give them.

“In Scotland, outside Edinburgh and Glasgow, even successful businesses can find it difficult to get the press publicity that their achievements deserve and need - if success is to breed success, then that success requires to be reported and broadcast as widely and as quickly as possible.

“That is why here at Fame Publicity we have begun to turn the emphasis of our activities away from the traditional media and towards the Internet. We still issue and distribute conventional press releases on behalf of our clients, but the bulk of our effort goes into getting them instant exposure online.”

This doesn’t mean posting the business news story on the company’s own website, which is unlikely to have any significant effect. What Fame Publicity does is to use well tried and tested techniques to get the story on the top page of Google and other major search engines, where it cannot fail to be seen by the company’s potential customers.

And speed is of the essence. Fame Publicity aims to achieve the desired results within 24 hours, often in a couple of hours.

Not surprisingly, Murdoch MacDonald is unwilling to divulge exactly what these techniques are. There is no magic formula, he says. The armoury of techniques has been gradually and painstakingly assembled over a number of years, and will continue to develop in parallel with the sophistication of search engines and the Internet itself.

The cost is not excessive, even compared with conventional PR aimed at the traditional media. Fame is currently offering its Internet-oriented service plus distribution to the traditional media for £295 (US$595), less than other PR companies charge for putting out press releases just to press, TV and radio.

Murdoch MacDonald has been in the public relations industry and a freelance journalist and broadcaster for more than thirty years, working for clients including Royal Bank of Scotland, Standard Life, Scottish Amicable, Scottish Provident, John Menzies, Kwik-Fit, Highland Regional Council, Barratt Homes and Scottish & Universal Newspapers, part of the Trinity Mirror Group.

A graduate of Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, Murdoch is no newcomer either to the allied professions of freelance journalism and broadcasting.

At the start of his career, for 18 months he produced, edited and presented a family finance radio programme called £s, Pence and Sense for Radio Forth, the independent local radio station serving Edinburgh and East Central Scotland, and also made contributions of a similar nature to BBC Radio Scotland.

Subsequently he was the roving reporter in a six-part series of a television financial advice programme called Moneywise, produced and networked throughout the UK by Scottish Television.

For several years, he also wrote his own regular monthly by-lined full-page article for Business Scotland magazine, at that time the best-known and most prestigious business periodical in Scotland. He took over the feature page previously written by Magnus Magnusson, who went on to present Mastermind on BBC Television.

Fame Publicity Services

Monday, 17 September 2007

Scotland’s motor racing heritage parades
at Culzean Autoclassica this weekend

THE launch of the new classic car event the Culzean Autoclassica at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire this weekend, 22-23 September, will feature a nostalgic return to 55 years ago, when the old wartime airfield at Turnberry played host to the prestigious National Trophy and Formula Libra races.

In 1952 Turnberry became just one of two venues ever to host races with Grand Prix team cars entered. Numerous top named drivers were among the entry lists, including Stirling Moss, Ken Wharton and Reg Parnell driving such cars as two legendary BRM V16s and the Famous Thinwall Special Ferrari driven by Mike Hawthorn.

Also present was another great name in motor racing the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse team, mostly consisting of Scottish drivers brought together by former Grand Prix driver David Murray who primarily raced “C” Type & “D” Type Jaguar sports cars out of Merchiston Mews in Edinburgh.

They famously won the Le Mans 24hrs race two years running in 1956-57 with the Jaguar “D” Types. Among the drivers who raced for Ecurie Ecosse were Jimmy Stewart, Ivor Bueb and Ron Flockhart.

A planned special photo-shoot at the old Turnberry race circuit this weekend will hopefully recapture the memories of many who attended the races in the 50s.

To celebrate this local racing heritage, the Culzean Autoclassica launch hopes to feature on display a F1 Race car (Jordan Honda EJ12 - pictured below, and also underneath the first paragraph of this article) and a Le Mans 24hrs Race car (Rafanelli - Riley & Scott Mark 111 - pictured above) in addition to many prestigious Sports and GT classics, historic saloons and tourers. All will be on display around the castle forecourts and the Visitor Centre at Culzean.

Members of the public are invited to attend the launch at Culzean Castle on Sunday 23 September from 10am to 5pm and sample a preview of some of the attractions that are being planned for the first Culzean Autoclassica proper in 2008. As with the main event, the launch will attempt to capture both the Turnberry heritage and the castle’s unique ambience and magnificent location by adopting a traditional theme. Participants and members of the public are invited to enter into the Autoclassica spirit by arriving in period costume reflecting their particular era of transport or the fifties and sixties. Prizes will be awarded for the best turned out.

Coupled with all the usual Culzean Castle and Country Park attractions available, the Culzean Autoclassica promises to be a great day out for all the family.

For more information on admission to the launch event, please visit the Culzean Autoclassica website

or the National Trust Culzean Castle website at

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Ayrshire team completes acquisition of Leggat Plant Ltd

ONE of the oldest names in Scotland’s construction industry has been the subject of a takeover by one of the industry’s emerging plant hire companies which is managed by two Ayrshire men.

Picture shows: Bridgend Hire Ltd directors Douglas Hill from Kilmarnock and Keith Miller from Troon.

Leggat (Plant) Ltd which is headquartered in Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, has been acquired by the management team behind one of Scotland’s newest plant hire companies, Bridgend Hire Ltd for a seven-figure sum.

Bridgend has acquired the entire share capital of Leggat after four months of negotiations, and the new company will be run and managed by Bridgend’s operations director Keith Miller from Troon and director Douglas Hill from Kilmarnock.

Leggat was first established 60 years ago by the Leggat family, and the business went on to become one of the leading plant, haulage and crane hire specialists in Scotland. The company’s 47 staff will transfer across to Bridgend, which was launched in 2003, and Duncan Leggat will remain with the company on a consultancy basis.

Bridgend Hire will relocate to Leggat Plant’s premises in Barrhead, where the combined businesses will employ over 70 staff and will have a projected turnover of £5 million. Although the majority of Bridgend’s business is drawn from the residential property sector, the addition of the new plant, haulage and crane divisions will enable it to target the industrial and commercial property sectors on a larger scale.

Bridgend and Leggat already have a solid reputation within the construction industry, and clients include Wimpey Homes, Cruden Estates, CALA Homes, the Newton Group, Persimmon Homes and British Airports Authority (BAA).

Bridgend Hire Ltd operations director Keith Miller (left above) said: “As with any business, it’s important that you remain competitive and this acquisition will undoubtedly strengthen our position in the market. Bridgend has always focused on jobs within the West of Scotland, but we will now be looking to expand into the rest of the country and the UK as a whole.

“The Leggat name is well known and highly regarded in the Scottish construction industry, and the company’s experience will prove invaluable as we seek to position ourselves as a major player within the plant hire Industry in Scotland.”

Bridgend Hire Ltd director Douglas Hill (left above) added: “This is a significant step for Bridgend. We are still a relatively young company, but have been enjoying year-on-year growth, and the acquisition of Leggat will allow us to add another facet to our already successful plant hire business.

“The plant hire industry in Scotland is booming, and client demand was one of the main reasons behind the acquisition. In terms of staffing, we will be looking to grow the workforce over the course of the next 12 months, and we will also be investing in new machinery and plant equipment.”

Prior to joining Bridgend earlier this year, Douglas Hill spent eight years with the Barr Group, while Keith Miller has worked in the plant hire industry for over 20 years. The pair first met while working for A Plant in 1993, and Keith went on to launch Bridgend in 2003.