The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 2 November 2007

Full service creative marketing agency
Paligap wins more new business

LEADING Ayrshire full service creative marketing agency Paligap has announced that it has been selected and appointed to handle the advertising and marketing account of the West of Scotland Loan Fund (WSLF).

[Picture shows Paligap managing director Stephen Cosh.]

Set up in 1996 having secured initial funds from the European Regional Development Fund, WSLF is a unique consortium of local authorities working together to stimulate the creation and growth of businesses within the west of Scotland, the aim being that this will lead to a strengthened economy both in terms of jobs and wealth.

The Fund assists businesses that have sound development proposals but who may have difficulty in raising the necessary funding from the usual commercial sources.

WSLF has established itself as one of Scotland’s main gap funding providers.

Over the last eleven years, the Fund has been providing loan finance to over 1,000 small and medium sized businesses spread across 12 different local authorities within south-west Scotland.

Paligap managing director Stephen Cosh said: “Having worked on a number of ad hoc projects with WSLF fund manager Andrew Dickson and his team, we have now completed a strategic long-term advertising and marketing plan for the Fund to assist them reach new clients and businesses throughout the 12 local authorities they work within.”

New appointment

Having just returned to Scotland after spending two years living and working in Austria, Colin Millar is the latest recruit to join the Paligap studio team as its new graphic designer.

Educated in Perthshire, Colin spent a short spell studying engineering in Aberdeen before deciding to abandon ship in order to pursue his real passion - graphic design.

He studied multimedia and graphic design for four years in Glasgow before spreading his wings by travelling throughout Europe - France, Germany, Spain and Austria.

At the ripe old age of 25, Colin decided to head back home to establish his professional career as a graphic designer. The timing was perfect for Colin and for Paligap.

Stephen Cosh commented: “We are delighted to welcome Colin as part of the ever increasing team at Paligap. He brings with him a fresh, cosmopolitan approach to the studio, and already many of our clients have expressed delight with the work he has produced on their behalf.”

More information about PALIGAP: CLICK HERE


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Thursday, 1 November 2007

Glasgow Prestwick Airport starts
Ryanair routes to Belfast and Budapest

AYRSHIRE'S Glasgow Prestwick Airport added two more capital cities to its route network this week as the inaugural flights to Belfast and Budapest lifted off.

Ryanair’s new daily service to Belfast started on Tuesday (October 30) and connects Glasgow Prestwick with George Best Belfast City Airport, which is only two miles from the city centre.

[Early birds: left to right, Sam and Tom Wyatt, both from Essex; Nancy Gallagher from Coatbridge; Michael Cavanagh and Elaine Thomson from Ayr; Roni Fitzpatrick from Kilwinning.]

The Northern Irish capital has prospered in recent years, a strong economy helping it to become one of Europe’s most popular short break and conference destinations. In 2006 the city welcomed nearly seven million visitors.

Arnold Dragsnes was among the passengers travelling on the inaugural flight. The 61-year-old, from Dumfries, visits Belfast often to see his son and grandson and was travelling with his daughter Suzanne, 28, from Cumbernauld.

[Picture shows: Arnold Dragsnes (left) and his daughter Suzanne (right) at check-in with Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Pamela Vicencio (centre)].

Arnold said: “I was glad when I heard Ryanair were starting flights from Prestwick. The fact it’s so much more handy plus the cost of the flights mean I will be able to get to Belfast a lot more often.”

The passengers travelling on the first scheduled flight out of Scotland to Budapest arrived to check in early this morning (Thursday November 1).

[Eary birds: Arthur Murphy and Sheila Pollock from Dumfries.]

The early signs are that Ryanair’s three times a week service to Hungary’s cultural capital will be a great success.

Made up of ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ which occupy opposite sides of the River Danube, the city welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year and is the third most popular destination in the world for a weekend break.

Kev Mcenaney and Rory Kerr, both 25 from Hamilton, were among the first passengers to check in. They were visiting Kev’s brother, who is currently working in Budapest.

[Picture shows: left to right, Rory Kerr, Kev Mcenaney and Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Anne Jakubowski.]

Kev said: “I’ve been over to Budapest before but had to fly from Manchester which was an absolute nightmare. This is much easier and cheaper.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell said: “The introduction of these new flights to popular destinations shows there is clearly a market for increased services from Prestwick.

“Ryanair have once again shown that they are serious about developing the Scottish market and giving passengers the best choice of destinations at the best prices.

“We are confident that the direct services to Belfast and Budapest will appeal to business and leisure travellers alike, resulting in plenty of people travelling in both directions.

“As of January 2008, we will cover a total of 32 European destinations through scheduled flights, all operated by low cost airlines.”

[Celebrating the new routes, Linda McKechnie, Theresa Havan, Sandra McIntyre and Donna Caven – all of whom work at Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow – are flanked by Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s Gemma Rooney and Alan Murray.]

Fares on Ryanair’s new routes, including Kaunas which launched on Sunday October 28, can be had for as little as £10, including taxes and charges. These fares are available now from

December sees the return of Ryanair’s winter service to Grenoble, which provides winter sports enthusiasts with access to some of Europe’s best ski resorts, and a new daily service to Cork.

Monday, 29 October 2007

Western House Hotel in Ayrshire Scotland
wins Scottish Thistle Award

THE Western House Hotel at Ayr Racecourse has been given one of the highest accolades in tourism – a coveted VisitScotland Thistle Award.

The four-star hotel, which opened in June 2005, landed the honour in the Serviced Accommodation category at the awards ceremony held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre last Friday.


[Picture shows left to right: VisitScotland chief executive Philip Riddle; Western House Hotel restaurant supervisor Alison Mair; receptionist Vicki Hamilton; Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol; VisitScotland director, visitor services and quality, Willie Macleod; Western House Hotel new business development manager Mary Simpson; Christmas co-ordinator Marion Patterson; manager Craig Dunlop; reception supervisor Alastair Stewart; front office manager Pam Davies; Minister for Enterprise, Energy & Tourism, Jim Mather MSP; and VisitScotland chairman Peter J Lederer CBE.]

Western House, which was also named Scottish Wedding Hotel of the Year in January, was in a short list of three including the Radisson SAS Hotel, Edinburgh.

In announcing the Ayr hotel as the winner, compere for the night television star Alistair McGowan read out the following comments from the judges:

“From the time the doorman greets you, a special kind of service meets you throughout the Western House Hotel.

“Highly professional staff are experts in judging their customers’ requirements, and operate a constant system of double checking that everything is in order in a subtle and unobtrusive manner.

“Corporate guests, Christmas parties and individual guests are all personally welcomed in a manner appropriate to them, and their needs addressed on an individual basis.

“2007’s target occupancy was exceeded in the first five months of the year, clearly showing that the investment in a personalised approach to customer care paid dividends.”

Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol said the Thistle Awards were the Oscars of the hotel industry, and added: ”I am so proud of the team who made this possible. Customer care is the backbone of the success of any business in the hospitality sector and to win a Thistle Award is testimony to the fact that the staff here are getting it right.

“Western House may only have been established as a hotel less than two and a half years ago, but we have staff who are amongst the most experienced and skilled in the business.

“I am fortunate in that I had the golden opportunity to hand pick the team that is the cornerstone of our success. I feel very privileged to be part of that team.”

The four-star, 49 bedroom destination was formerly the meeting place and offices of the Western Meeting Club, owners of Ayr Racecourse until 2003.

When the course was bought from the Club by Alan Macdonald, chairman of the Dawn Group and Richard Johnstone, managing director of Thorntoun Health Care, they decided to restore this near 100 year old mansion to its former glory, and after a £4.5 million makeover Western House Hotel was opened on 3 June 2005.

The elegant Cathedral Ballroom accommodates up to 160 guests for the wedding meal and 250 at the evening reception. And magical romantic gardens with stunning water features provide the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs.

The Scottish Thistle Awards

Created by VisitScotland in 1991, the Scottish Thistle Awards showcase business excellence and quality. As an important event on the tourism calendar, the media attention it generates helps VisitScotland and the sponsors raise the profile of the tourism industry.

VisitScotland's objectives for the Scottish Thistle Awards are:

* Reward excellence in Scotland’s tourism industry in all areas and at all levels

* Promote quality service and products which reflect all that is best in Scotland’s world reputed and foremost industry

* Encourage professionalism, innovation and creative thinking within the industry


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