The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Ayrshire young entrepreneur Ross McKinnon
sets sights on Moffat Award

By: Jen Nash

AN AYRSHIRE corporate events specialist, a buffalo farmer, and a wildlife photographer have beaten off stiff competition from travel and tourism entrants from throughout Scotland to be shortlisted for the finals of the inaugural Moffat Awards.

[Pictured: Ross McKinnon, founder of Ayrshire-based Amazing Days Scotland, one of the businesses short-listed for this year’s inaugural Moffat Awards, with Jim Moffat, principal benefactor of the Moffat Awards.]

Ayrshire entrepreneur Ross McKinnon, founder of Amazing Days Scotland, Steve Mitchell who runs Puddledub Buffalo farm in Fife and Philip Price, an Argyll-based wildlife photographer and founder of Loch Visions, will all go through to the annual Moffat Award finals being held at The Lighthouse in Glasgow on 14 May 2008.

The search for Scotland’s outstanding young businesses who are demonstrating best practice, excellent customer service and positive economic and community impact in Scottish travel and tourism was unveiled in July last year by the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) thanks to a significant donation from The Moffat Charitable Trust.

The charity has pledged almost £300,000 to support the Moffat Awards, named after one of Scotland’s best known names in the travel and tourism industry, Mr Jim Moffat, co-founder of AT Mays. Founded in Saltcoats in Ayrshire in the 1950s as All Travel by Jim Moffat and his wife Margie, AT Mays grew to become the third largest travel group in the UK, eventually employing over 2,500 people.

The Scottish tourism industry is currently worth in excess of £4billion and employs in the region of 200,000 people. Last year PSYBT supported over 80 tourism businesses offering goods and services that enhance the community and overall visitor experience of Scotland.

PSYBT chief executive Mark Strudwick said: “Our finalists represent outstanding examples of aspiring entrepreneurs seeking to enhance the overall visitor experience of Scotland, and we are delighted that, thanks to the generosity of The Moffat Charitable Trust, their contribution and positive community impact in this important sector is being recognised.”

Speaking on behalf of The Moffat Charitable Trust, Mr Jamie Moffat said: “We have been greatly impressed by the quality of entrants for the first year of this award. We wish to encourage more young people who have a passion for business to play a leading role in enhancing tourism in Scotland, and we are delighted to be supporting them through this initiative.”

PSYBT was launched in January 1989 and is a national organisation with offices in 18 Regions across Scotland. To date 8060 (9551 proprietors) businesses have been assisted with £28.9m awarded - £25.7m in loans (89%) and £3.2m in grants (11%).

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