The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 5 October 2007

Digital CCTV security provider Visimetrics
joins Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

AYR-based leading digital CCTV surveillance systems designer and provider Visimetrics (UK) Ltd is the latest new member to join The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Visimetrics (UK) Ltd specialises in the development, manufacture, distribution and marketing of high-performance digital systems for CCTV and video surveillance. As a major strategic player in the global security market, Visimetrics has gained a significant reputation for providing leading edge security solutions backed by a world class quality and service culture.

[Photograph shows: Visimetrics managing director Barry Rooney (left) pictured recently at the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur having just completed a partnership agreement with a Malaysian company allowing Visimetrics to sell its technology and equipment into the Malaysian market, including the military.]

Recently Visimetrics digital video recorders have formed part of the £15m refurbishment of the 55000 sq ft Casino at The Empire in London. The Empire is the third London Clubs site to use Visimetrics products, having previously been deployed at the Rendezvous Casino in London and the UK’s flagship northern casino, Manchester 235. A similar system is also being installed at the soon to be opened London Clubs casinos in Nottingham and Glasgow.

Visimetrics managing director Barry Rooney said: “We are very proud of our achievements in the casino sector. It is one of the most demanding applications for video and audio surveillance, and our growth in it is testament of our leading edge technology. We now enjoy upwards of fifty casino operations worldwide using our technology, and expect that to double in the next twelve months.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes commented: “It is a delight to welcome to our expanding Business Circle an outstandingly successful Ayrshire company like Visimetrics. Visimetrics will complement well the notable businesses who have already joined, and we look forward to working together to promote the interests of all members.”


The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is a newly formed 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.

Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse and the Western House Hotel, and member company activities include building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web 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.

For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail

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Thursday, 4 October 2007

Outgoing Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire Board Member
Celebrates Success of Trainee

A BOARD member of Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire has marked his retirement from the position with a presentation to a young Modern Apprentice who has demonstrated great success.

Councillor David O’Neill has served the maximum term on the local enterprise company’s board, dedicating eight years of unpaid service. On leaving the position in May 2007, he made the decision to decline any traditional farewell gift and suggested that a hard-working and successful Ayrshire trainee should be recognised instead.

[Picture shows left to right: Councillor David O'Neill, leader of North Ayrshire Council, and car mechanic apprentice Craig Johnstone.]

A young car mechanic apprentice, Craig Johnstone, was identified by Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire as a deserving candidate having shown remarkable progress in his short working life. Councillor O’Neill met with the apprentice earlier this week and presented him with a set of tools that will help him in his future career.

In February 2007, Craig started on the Get Ready for Work programme, a Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire training initiative that is aimed at young people who require additional support to enter work, education or training. He completed the programme successfully and quickly progressed to participating in a Modern Apprenticeship in Vehicle Maintenance & Repair, securing employment with Wm Clark Garage in Kilbirnie. His training is delivered through Ayrshire based training organisation, LAGTA.

Councillor O’Neill said: “As a board member you deal with high level strategic issues, so it is particularly nice in this instance to be able to see an individual like Craig taking advantage of the schemes on offer. These tools will enhance Craig’s chances of success at this important time in his career.”

[Picture shows left to right: Councillor David O'Neill, leader of North Ayrshire Council, car mechanic apprentice Craig Johnstone and Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire contracts manager Shirley Boyle.]

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire contracts manager Shirley Boyle said: “I would like to thank Councillor O’Neill for his commitment, drive and ambition as a member of our board. His generous and considerate decision to recognise the success of a trainee in the local community is typical of his approach to life.

“Modern Apprenticeships play a vital role by offering people the chance to work in a real job, earning a decent wage, while learning a skill and gaining a recognised qualification. Craig has shown outstanding progress in advancing from the Get Ready for Work programme to Modern Apprenticeship level and is a great example of a motivated and productive trainee. I wish him every success with his apprenticeship and his career ahead.”

Craig Johnstone (17) from Kilbirnie said: “I am delighted to receive this award, and aim to use these tools for many years to come. I want to thank everyone who has helped me get this far with my training.”

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire manages four training programmes: Get Ready for Work, Skillseekers, Modern Apprenticeships and Training for Work.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Partnership working is key to Ayrshire's success

Increased partnership working is critical to achieving a stronger, more
sustainable economy in Ayrshire.

This is the view of Evelyn McCann, operations director, Scottish
Enterprise (SE) Ayrshire who was speaking at the organisation's Annual
Public Meeting in Kilmarnock today (2 October 2007). At the meeting, the
agency launched its Annual Review 2006/2007 and shared its achievements
with an audience of businesses and partner organisations.

[Picture shows left to right: Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire operations director Evelyn McCann, SEA chairman Simon Foster and Charlie Johnston, director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California.]

Evelyn took the opportunity to publicly acknowledge the importance of
close partnership working with many organisations, both public and
private, to grow Ayrshire's economy. She also recognised the drive,
creativity and ambition of the area's businesses and workforce. She

"What we have achieved in the last year has only been possible with the
support, commitment and resources of our local partners and our
colleagues across Scottish Enterprise.

"Following the Scottish Government's announcement about the future of
the enterprise networks, these partnerships will play an increasingly
important role as we further develop the future of our organisation. We
will continue to deliver our services in Ayrshire to remain close to our
customers and deliver effective local services."

Evelyn highlighted the work of the Ayrshire Redundancy Response
partnership as an excellent example of partnership working. It has
supported a significant number of workers who have been affected by
recent large scale redundancies in the region.

Led by Jobcentre Plus, it includes representatives from Scottish
Enterprise Ayrshire, the three local authorities, Careers Scotland,
Business Gateway and others, and ensures that redundant workers are
given access to alternative training and employment opportunities. An
example is that more than 83 per cent of individuals who lost their jobs
as the result of the Simclar closure have successfully moved into work
or training with the support of the partnership.

At the Annual Public Meeting, Evelyn was joined by Scottish Enterprise
Ayrshire's chairman, Simon Foster and guest speaker Charlie Johnston,
Director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California.

[Picture shows left to right: Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire operations director Evelyn McCann, Charlie Johnston, Director of Airbus A350 with Goodrich Aerostructures in California, and SEA chairman Simon Foster.]

Charlie, born and bred in Ayrshire, took the opportunity to tell the
audience about the challenges and opportunities in today's global
economy, and as a Globalscot, he explained how his role can offer
support to local companies.

Evelyn also acknowledged the strengths of Ayrshire's aerospace sector
and highlighted the investment plans of GE Caledonian and Goodrich. And
she demonstrated how Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is supporting the
growing tourism industry by maximising the opportunities around Burns,
golf and sailing.

Highlights of the last year included:

* Business Gateway assisted 625 businesses to start up, with 259
starts by women and 98 starts from residents in disadvantaged areas

* SE Ayrshire provided bespoke assistance to 214 businesses with
significant growth potential

* 2263 individuals participated in Scottish Enterprise's
vocational training programmes (Get Ready for Work, Skillseekers, Modern
Apprenticeships and Training for Work), with 1,590 moving into work or
further training opportunities

* 30 businesses were helped to internationalise their activities
and increase their global presence

* Continued progress with the regeneration of Ayr and Kilmarnock
town centres and the Irvine Bay area

Evelyn continued: "Today's Annual Public Meeting demonstrates that, with
the support of many partners, Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire is making a
positive difference. As we move forward, there's no doubt that Ayrshire
will have a significant role to play in the future development of
Scotland's economy. I'm confident that by working together we will
ensure that Ayrshire reaps the benefits it deserves."


Sunday, 30 September 2007

“Elvis is in the Building” - as
"The King" returns to Prestwick Airport

The King of Rock n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, returned to Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire, Scotland last week – 47 years after the first and only time he set foot in the UK.

Stewart Stevenson MSP, Minister for Transport, Infrastructure & Climate Change, also visited and spoke to assembled guests and media as the airport celebrates two years of work on new retail units and infrastructure improvements.

[Picture shows Elvis being met on arrival by Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell - or is it David Brent from "The Office?]

The Minister unveiled a plaque in the terminal building which celebrates Elvis’s last visit on 3 March 1960, when he had finished national service with the US Army and his aircraft made a brief refuelling stop as he flew home from Germany.

[Picture shows Elvis and Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell at the plaque commemorating Elvis's visit to Prestwick Airport in 1960.]

Today’s Elvis, played by Gordon Hendricks, arrived on board a private jet and was welcomed by fans, airport staff, members of the media and Kilmarnock man Ian Ghee, who met the real Elvis and took photographs of him when he arrived in 1960.

[Picture shows Elvis meeting Kilmarnock man Ian Ghee.]

Ian, now 73, was working with the 67th US Air Rescue Squadron in the grounds of the airport on that now famous evening. He said: “I remember my boss telling me we had a VIP arriving, and at first he wouldn’t tell me who it was.

“My brother was a massive Elvis fan and I managed to get him in by giving him the spare camera and saying he was my assistant. Some of us followed him around as he was given a tour with the base commander for about three quarters of an hour.

“We managed to get some shots of him on the steps of the plane and while there were plenty of press people there, I was the only photographer.”

Infratil Airports Europe, the owner of Glasgow Prestwick, has introduced a number of exciting new retail brands including Starbucks, Yates’s bar and restaurant, and the quintessential Scottish retailer Peckham’s.

A new, contemporary Elvis tribute bar situated in the departure lounge has been designed exclusively for the airport and is part of a major upgrade by Select Service Partners of its food and beverage outlets.

The departures lounge also boasts a new Tax and Duty Free store operated by internationally renowned retailer Nuance, which offers all the top brands at great prices.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell said: “We’re delighted that Elvis and the Minister took time out of their schedules to be here today to help us mark all the changes that have taken place over the last two years or so.

“After the terminal building was refurbished and rebranded in 2005, our next task was to improve the retails units here at Glasgow Prestwick.

“Infratil wants to offer our customers the best choice possible by bringing in recognizable, good quality local and international brands in order to cater for different tastes.

“There has also been a big focus on improving our car parking facilities, while many other new developments of a subtle nature have taken place, designed to improve the passenger experience.

“We are very proud of the fact that we have managed to implement new security requirements while improving, rather than reducing, passenger service standards.

“Aside from the terminal changes, the last two years or so have also seen a number of new passenger routes introduced. These include Marseille, Warsaw, Gdansk, Riga, Grenoble and Derry. Coming soon we have Belfast, Budapest, Kaunas, Cork and Poznan.”

The Minister, Stewart Stevenson, added: “I am delighted to be at Glasgow Prestwick Airport today to mark the opening of the redeveloped terminal. This project further strengthens the airport’s position as a gateway for Scotland.

“The added space and facilities will be of real benefit to the growing number of passengers who use this airport. I wish the airport all the very best for the coming years and the Scottish Government looks forward to working with the airport in future.”

Gordon Hendricks recently appeared on the BBC’s ‘The World’s Greatest Elvis’ and a special celebrity version of ‘The Weakest Link’. He rose to prominence as the winner of ITV’s ‘Stars in their Eyes’ in 2005.