The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Top Scottish creative marketing agency Paligap
makes new staff appointments


TOP Scottish creative marketing agency Paligap based in Ayr has announced the appointment of two new members of staff.

Nick Lambert has been appointed as sales manager, and Colin Millar joins the studio team as its new graphic designer.


[Picture shows Colin Millar (left) and Nick Lambert.]

A graduate of Caledonian Business School, Nick has held project management roles with IBM and Sanmina - SCI, prior to accepting the brand manager’s position at global paddle manufacturer Lendal. Nick is currently studying for a Masters in Marketing at Strathclyde Business School.

As a member of Paligap’s sales team, Nick’s role will involve developing new business opportunities, managing selected key accounts and developing sales strategies aimed at achieving the agency’s ambitious growth targets.

“I’m in the fortunate position of being a previous Paligap client. I’m sure that having been on both sides of the fence will stand me in good stead,” commented Nick. “It’s also very exciting to be joining such a forward-thinking and dynamic team.”

Nick’s energy and enthusiasm, allied to his sound business sense and excellent ‘people’ skills, are sure to make him a success in his role.
In his spare time, Nick enjoys cycling and kayaking.

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, after a short spell studying engineering in Aberdeen Colin decided to abandon ship 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 to the motherland to establish his professional career as a graphic designer. The timing was perfect for Colin and for Paligap, who are delighted to welcome Colin as part of their ever increasing team. He brings with him a fresh, cosmopolitan approach to the studio and already many of the agency’s clients have expressed their delight with the work he has produced on their behalf.

Founded in 1999, Paligap has become one of Scotland’s premier full service marketing and creative agencies.

Paligap handle all elements of the communications mix covering branding, press, radio, TV and outdoor advertising, public relations and direct marketing, internet and print.

Paligap managing director Stephen Cosh said: “Our sole reason for existence is to boost our client’s business.

“Our proven track record has ensured that the agency has built up an impressive client list, which includes numerous organisations of all sizes and from every sector.”

www.paligap.com

Friday, 23 November 2007

Frognal House in Ayrshire appoints
Hubert Laforge as general manager


Hubert Laforge, former manager of the award-winning Strathearn restaurant at Gleneagles Hotel, has been appointed general manager of Frognal House, the latest addition to the portfolio of Costley & Costley Hoteliers.


[Picture shows: Hubert Laforge.]

A member of the prestigious Academy of Culinary Arts, Hubert assumes overall responsibility for the development of Frognal, the magnificent 20th century mansion house close to Troon on the Ayrshire coast which recently opened its doors following a lavish £2 million restoration.

Of his appointment, Hubert Laforge said: “I’m delighted with this rare opportunity to work in such an intimate, exquisite operation where we will aim to deliver a Michelin-quality food and beverage operation.

“Whereas I was responsible for around 100 catering staff at Gleneagles, I will be overseeing some 12-15 staff at Frognal – so Frognal represents a radically different operation and it will be challenging – but I relish challenges. I’m very excited by Frognal, and looking forward to welcoming our many guests.”

A well-known figure in the Scottish catering sector over the last 30 years, prior to Gleneagles Hubert Laforge worked at Turnberry Hotel in various food and beverage capacities for some 25 years.

Having embarked on a career in the catering sector by attending catering college at Tours in the Loire Valley, France, he graduated to the renowned catering school Lycée Hôtelier Savoie Léman at Thonon-Les-Bains and has spent his career working in four and five star hotels ever since.

“One of my career highlights was overseeing the food and beverage operation at Gleneagles for the G8 summit a few years ago, during which it was a pleasure to meet with the then French President Jacques Chirac and other world leaders,” he said.

Surrounded by immaculate gardens and grounds amidst a glorious natural setting, dinner at Frognal comprises a six-course menu prepared by executive chef Andrew Costley, youngest son of proprietor and master chef Bill Costley, who at Lochgreen House has led his team to receive the prestigious AA 3-Rosettes Award for several years running.

Welcoming Hubert Laforge to Frognal, Bill Costley said: “Hubert brings unrivalled experience and exceptional managerial qualities to Frognal that will assist our aim to exceed the high expectations of our discerning guests. His appointment is a key aspect of our offering at Frognal and helps bring to fruition our stated objective to create an extra special location for an exclusive corporate event or private celebration.”

As with all Costley & Costley hotels and inns, Frognal House is located within minutes of some of the world’s premier championship golf courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry, as well as a first class yachting marina at Troon.

Other Costley & Costley establishments include: Lochgreen House; Darley House; Highgrove House; Brig o’Doon House; Alloway Inn; Cochrane Inn; Doonbrae House and Afton House. New properties scheduled to open next year include Costley’s Wine Bar and Gallery in Ayr and Souter Johnnie’s Inn and House of Burns in Kirkoswald.

Costley & Costley Hoteliers was established in 1987 when chef Bill Costley realised his ambition to buy a hotel of his own. Today, Costley & Costley Hoteliers has a turnover of £8.9 million and employs 500 staff, making it one of the largest employers in Ayrshire.

www.costleyhotels.co.uk

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Ayrshire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter
awarded degree by Paisley University


LEADING Scots entrepreneur and philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter was honoured by the University of Paisley at its recent graduation ceremony.


Sir Tom, who was born on 6 May 1961 in New Cumnock, Ayrshire, received an Honorary Doctorate from the University at its graduation ceremony at Troon Town Hall.

Sir Tom initially came to prominence through Sports Division, which he built from nothing into one of the UK’s premier sports retailers over an eighteen-year period, employing 7,500 people across over 250 stores. He sold the business in 1998 for £290 million.

In 2001 he founded West Coast Capital (West Coast), the private equity partnership, and subsequently has concluded in excess of £4 billion of West Coast-led deals.

Principally investing in retail, property and leisure, the private equity firm takes a proactive role in the identification, investment and management of its target deals, classically known as adventure capitalism. As a guiding principal, West Coast seeks to target investment in businesses with strong management teams capable of major and sustainable growth. Within the West Coast investment portfolio, Sir Tom oversees a number of retail and property boards providing strategic and corporate direction to the management teams.

Sir Tom is an ardent supporter of fellow entrepreneurs and passionate about making Scotland a more enterprising nation. He continues to devote considerable time, money and energy in his efforts to work with educational establishments and fellow entrepreneurs to further this cause, and is a past chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange.

Commenting on his Honorary Doctorate, Sir Tom said: “It’s a great honour to get this degree from the University of Paisley. It has a particular resonance for me, given that Paisley is where I opened my first Sports Division shop. It’s also important because I think the soon-to-be University of the West of Scotland is a place for real inclusion where vocational qualifications and academic achievement are held in high regard.”

With his wife, Marion, Sir Tom established The Hunter Foundation (THF) in 1998, a venture philanthropy targeting investment in education and enterprise across Scotland. Since inception it has invested, or committed to invest, in excess of £35million in national programmes aimed at engendering a more enterprising spirit within Scotland, particularly within its young people. In turn THF is investing in Africa to support the development of self-sustaining communities with education a key pillar of these investments.

Sir Tom is a director of the Princes Scottish Business Youth Trust (PSYBT), Schools Enterprise Scotland – where he led the £5million fundraising campaign to deliver enterprise education for all of Scotland’s primary school children. He is also a trustee of the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and chairman of the Make a Wish Foundation in Scotland.

A University of Paisley spokesperson said: “We are delighted to have presented Sir Tom Hunter with an Honorary Doctorate.

“During his career Sir Tom has made a hugely important contribution to the Scottish business sector, through his business ventures and support of entrepreneurism. Through the Hunter Foundation he plays a vital role in supporting education and encouraging of entrepreneurship at home and abroad. Engendering entrepreneurial endeavour is a key aim of the University, and our Business School has been actively involved in research and teaching in this field in recent years, which has brought major benefits for our students and graduates.”

West Coast Capital

University of Paisley

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Clydesdale Bank powers ahead

THE Clydesdale Bank has posted an excellent set of financial results for the year ending 30 September 2007.

Net profit is up 16.3% at £379 million.

The volume of business lending has increased by 25.7% to £12.4 billion.

Encouragingly at a time of nervousness for the banking sector and the economy in general, provision for doubtful debts reduced 7.0% in the year. The bank says the shift to secured lending, stable asset quality, improved arrears management and tighter lending criteria offset lending volume growth.


Willie Mackie, managing partner at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr (pictured above) told Ayrshire Scotland Business News: “It is great to see the continued success of the Bank, with business lending volumes up by 26%. Revenue from our Integrated Financial Solutions Centres was up by 24% year on year.

“I am delighted to report that our business in Ayrshire continues to expand
across all fronts. On the back of this expansion we will be looking to
further strengthen our Corporate and Commercial team - I expect to be
confirming new appointments within the very near future.”

Monday, 19 November 2007

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle gets the power of branding

THE latest meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle took place in the Red Rum suite of the Princess Royal Events Centre at Ayr Racecourse.


[CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes introduced Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol, who described the corporate event facilities available both at the Racecourse and at the associated Western House Hotel.


[Picture shows Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol (left) and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

New member companies Allison Lightbody Waddell and Christie Financial Planning were introduced, as were guest companies Kestrel Press and Posterplus Media Group.


[CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The main event of the meeting was a presentation called “The Power of Branding” by Stephen Cosh and Graeme Niven of creative marketing agency Paligap.

Stephen and Graeme gave a powerful demonstration of how the same techniques that made the likes of Coca-Cola and Apple into worldwide brands can also be used by small and medium-sized companies to create their own distinctive identity in the marketplace in order to maximise their business.

A touch of culture was added to the meeting by the presence of Kilmaurs-based artist Graham Korn, who exhibited some of his latest pastel drawings. Graham’s wife Jill Simpson gave members a brief insight into his work, and what it was like to live with a creative artist.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association of some of the top companies in Ayrshire. Its purpose is to publicise is members, and to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of industry, commerce and business services available within the county boundaries of Ayrshire, south-west Scotland.

www.AyrshireBusinessNews.com

OpenPress PR-GB I-Newswire

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Costley & Costley Hoteliers open Frognal House
following £2M restoration


FOLLOWING a lavish £2 million restoration, Frognal House, a magnificent 20th century mansion house surrounded by 32 acres of gardens and mature woodland close to Troon on the Ayrshire coast, has opened its doors, presenting an exceptional location for an exclusive corporate event or private celebration.


Offering superb hospitality for the most discerning guests, Frognal House is the latest addition to the portfolio of Costley & Costley Hoteliers, and marks the company’s most ambitious and rewarding venture to date.

Surrounded by immaculate gardens and grounds amidst a glorious natural setting, dinner at Frognal comprises a six-course menu prepared by Executive Chef, Andrew Costley, youngest son of proprietor and Master Chef Bill Costley, who at Lochgreen House has led his team to receive the prestigious AA 3 Rosettes Award for several years running.

Bill Costley said: “Restoring Frognal House has been a real labour of love, though the process of transformation from a derelict children’s home into a beautiful country house hotel and restaurant has been an incredibly rewarding experience. Catering for the very top end of the market, Frognal assumes the position as the flagship establishment for our expanding portfolio of hotels and inns.”

Now home to an excellent original art and furniture collection, Frognal’s minstrel’s gallery and imposing marble fireplaces have been carefully restored or replaced by a team of local craftsmen. A beautiful crystal chandelier hanging down through the minstrel’s gallery dominates the entrance hall whilst traditional furnishings and fabrics reflect the character of the house in every way to create a tranquil, relaxing environment for guests.

As with all Costley & Costley hotels and inns, Frognal House is located within minutes of some of the world’s premier championship golf courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry, as well as a first class yachting marina at Troon.

Other Costley & Costley establishments include: Lochgreen House; Darley House; Highgrove House; Brig o’Doon House; Alloway Inn; Cochrane Inn; Doonbrae House and Afton House. New properties scheduled to open next year include Costley’s Wine Bar and Gallery in Ayr and Souter Johnnie’s Inn and House of Burns in Kirkoswald.

Costley & Costley Hoteliers was established in 1987 when chef Bill Costley realised his ambition to buy a hotel of his own. Today, Costley & Costley Hoteliers has a turnover of £8.9 million and employs 500 staff, making it one of the largest employers in Ayrshire.

www.costleyhotels.co.uk