The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Prestwick named best airport as WizzAir opens route to Poznan

GLASGOW PRESTWICK AIRPORT’S relationship with Wizz Air continues to go from strength to strength.

As Wizz launched their latest new route from the airport, the inaugural flight to Poznan coincided with the news that Glasgow Prestwick was named the airline’s Best Overall Airport for the month of December.

This follows on from a second place finish in November and is based on performance criteria such as aircraft turnaround time and baggage processing.

[Picture shows left to right: Nichola McLean, Barbara McMaster, Louise Hayes, Charmaine Taggart, Maureen Bayley and Ella Greenwood from Prestwick Handling celebrate in front of a Wizz aircraft.]

Poznan is the fifth largest city in Poland and the fourth destination in that country to be served by Wizz flights from Glasgow Prestwick, along with Warsaw, Gdansk and Katowice.

Wizz operates at more than 40 airports around Europe and recently handled its 10 millionth passenger.

[Picture shows the Malgorzatekiert family, who were returning home from a holiday in Scotland on the inaugural flight, at check-in with Glasgow Prestwick’s Nichola McLean. Mr Malgorzatekiert works in Glasgow and this route will help him return to visit his family more often as he lives a short distance from Poznan Airport.]

The Best Overall Airport accolade clearly shows not only the ability, but also the dedication and teamwork of the Prestwick Handling department, which is made up of Passenger Handling, Aircraft Dispatch, Ground Services, Motor Transport and Passenger Services.

Two Glasgow Prestwick staff members, Scott Plain and Barbara McMaster, received free flights from Wizz as a reward for the effort put in across all the departments.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell said: “Wizz have shown they are serious about growing their customer base and route network at Glasgow Prestwick in the two years they have been here.

“The new route to Poznan is yet another indication of this commitment. Poland is a very strong market for us at the present time and we are keen to capitalise by offering new services.”

He added: “To finish second and then first in the Wizz league table in consecutive months is a fantastic achievement and demonstrates even further the strong working relationship between the two companies.”

Jules Matteoni, manager of Prestwick Handling, was delighted that his team helped the airport to seal top spot in December’s league table.

He said: “This shows our commitment to ensuring that airlines and their passengers have a brilliant experience here, with a focus on ensuring that delays are minimised and that passengers’ journeys are totally stress-free.

“Successful low cost airlines like Wizz have very high standards when it comes to on-time performance and I’m proud of my team for demonstrating how well we look after our airline customers here.”

In addition to handling aircraft for Wizz, Glasgow Prestwick has recently adopted a trial whereby Wizz passengers will be able to check-in four hours before departure, which it is hoped will lead to less queuing and congestion in the terminal during peak periods.

Passengers travelling on the new route to Poznan are entitled to free rail travel to and from anywhere in Scotland for the first six months of its operation, and half price rail travel thereafter.

Passengers simply present their official flight confirmation at the airport information desk or any staffed railway station to take advantage of the offer.

Wizz Air anticipates that it will carry approximately 300, 000 passengers on its Poznan routes in 2008.

Wizz Air currently operates a young fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft on more than 90 routes. The airline offers flights to and from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia and Romania. Wizz Air carried over 3 million passengers in 2006.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is located 32 miles south of Glasgow City Centre and celebrated its 70th birthday in 2005.

The airport currently handles approximately 2.5 million passengers per year and offers more than 30 scheduled services to European destinations, as well as charter flights to popular holiday spots. Glasgow Prestwick has excellent road and rail links to the rest of Scotland.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Winners of the Ayrshire Business Awards
sponsored by Clydesdale Bank

By Murdoch MacDonald

THE WINNERS of the Ayrshire Business Awards 2007/2008 hosted by Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire and sponsored by Clydesdale Bank have been announced at a gala ceremony at The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock.


There was fierce competition in the eight categories. Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire operations director Evelyn McCann said the high attendance demonstrated the strong level of commitment from the public and private sectors to ensuring Ayrshire had a vibrant and dynamic economy.

Evelyn McCann (pictured above) congratulated all the finalists and told the audience: “These business awards are a tremendous opportunity to recognise and showcase Ayrshire’s top performers.

“In addition to overall performance, we focus on some of those characteristics that are likely to bring about business success – entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity, accessing international markets, utilising technology, and investing in skills and learning.

“I’ve been struck over the past few years that businesses in Ayrshire are often modest about their successes. There’s no reason to be. There are fabulous stories to tell.”

Willie Mackie, managing partner of Clydesdale Bank’s Ayr Financial Solutions Centre (pictured above) said “We are proud to have been involved with this prestigious event and extend our congratulations to all the winners. The competition was as fierce as ever and the diverse range of sectors demonstrates the strength and depth of the business community in Ayrshire.’’


Business Growth through People Development Award
Category Sponsor: GlaxoSmithKline
Winner - The National Autistic Society Daldorch House School and Continuing Education Centre
Pictured below: Susan Forrest receives the award from Christine Cochrane of sponsor GlaxoSmithKline.

* * *
Potential Business Growth by Most Entrepreneurial Young Company Award
Category Sponsor: The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock
Winner - AvantiCell Science Ltd
Pictured below: Colin Wilde receives the award from Gareth Paschke of sponsor The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock.

* * *
Best Performing Business Award (25 employees or under)
Category Sponsor: Cunninghame Housing Association
Winner - Consolidated Carriers Ltd
Pictured below: Callum Bastock receives the award from Frank Sweeney of sponsor Cunninghame Housing Association.

* * *
Business Growth through Sustainable Development Award
Category Sponsor: Kilmarnock College
Winner - Gas Call Services Ltd
Pictured below: Les Gorst receives the award from Gordon Jenkins of sponsor Kilmarnock College.

* * *
Business Growth through Marketing & Sales Award
Category Sponsor: West Sound and West FM
Winner - Neogen Europe Ltd
Pictured below: Steve Chambers receives the award from Brenda Ritchie of sponsor West Sound and West FM.

* * *
Business Growth through International Activity Award
Category Sponsor: DIAGEO
Winner - Alchemedia Interactive Ltd
Pictured below: Nathan Elliot-Ling receives the award from Gail Anderson of sponsor Diageo.

* * *
Best Performing Business Award (26 – 250 employees)
Category Sponsor: Clydesdale Bank
Winner - Neogen Europe Ltd
Pictured below: Stephen Holmes receives the award from David Kennedy of sponsor Clydesdale Bank.

* * *
Business Growth through Innovation and Creativity Award
Category Sponsor: Alba Smart Thinking and ICASS
Winner - William Tracey Ltd
Pictured below: Graeme McDonald receives the award from Graeme Currie of sponsor Alba Smart Thinking and ICASS.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Costley and Costley open Souter Johnnie’s Inn
in Kirkoswald Ayrshire

From Our Own Correspondent

Costley & Costley Hoteliers has this month opened the £1 million Souter Johnnie’s Inn at Kirkoswald, near Turnberry in Ayrshire.


Set to play a central role in the regeneration of the village by placing Kirkoswald at the very heart of Burns Country, Souter Johnnie’s Inn is located alongside Robert Burns’ former schoolhouse and adjacent to the old graveyard where the world famous drouthy cronies Tam o’ Shanter and Souter Johnnie are buried.

The thatched roofed Souter Johnnie’s Inn, which has capacity for 160 diners, is part of an expansive development comprising a number of small retail units, including a food hall, flower shop and coffee house which neighbour a specialist whisky shop developed in conjunction with whisky stockist Dewar Rattray.

Costley & Costley chief executive Bill Costley (pictured above) said: “With a strong emphasis on the quality of our food offering, customer service and traditional design, Souter Johnnie’s is ideally located to allow for a brief lunch or refreshment before or after a round of golf, or a sightseeing trip to Burns Country and the wonderful attractions on the west coast of Scotland.

“We’ve enjoyed tremendous support for this development from Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire and South Ayrshire Council, both of which acknowledge the significant contribution that Souter Johnnie’s will make to the regeneration of Kirkoswald.”

The neighbouring whisky shop, meanwhile, incorporates a whisky lounge where diners from Souter Johnnie’s are welcome to taste a malt or fine wine, or to simply relax before or after their meal.

Tim Morrison of Dewar Rattray said: “This specialist whisky retail outlet is an entirely new venture for us, and is something that I’ve always wanted to do. And as it will offer tastings of various whiskies of distinction and incorporate a small museum of artefacts telling the story of whisky and wine production, our hope is that it will quickly establish itself as a destination venue.”

As with all Costley & Costley hotels and inns, Souter Johnnie’s Inn is located within minutes of some of the world’s premier championship golf courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry.

For further information please visit

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Ayrshire to host international heritage
motoring event the Culzean Autoclassica

By: Murdoch MacDonald

AFTER a successful launch last September, Ayrshire is to be the venue for a major annual international heritage motoring event starting this year.


Organised by Autospirit in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, the first Culzean Autoclassica will take place on Bank Holiday weekend 23-24 August 2008 at Culzean Castle & Country Park.

One of Scotland’s five-star international tourist attractions, the grandeur of the castle and spectacular scenery makes it an inspired choice of venue.

Early forecasts indicate that the first Culzean Autoclassica weekend will be one of the top heritage motoring events in the country, with clubs and owners of vehicles from throughout the UK and Ireland already applying to attend.

Aimed at all marques of transport with particular emphasis towards top or significant marques, the Autoclassica not only features the history of the automobile and motorcycle, but also its associated lifestyle and service-related industries.

It revisits the golden ages of motoring by bringing together on display some of the finest and exotic vehicles in the country that embrace almost a century of motorised transport.

All forms of vehicles will be on display around the castle and estate grounds throughout the weekend, and by inviting all participants and the visiting public to arrive in period dress reflecting the eras of the vehicles present, a surreal atmosphere will be created.

Activities and attractions will include heritage racing and special marque displays, international and street concours d’elegance, classic and auto memorabilia displays, club and single entry enclosures, manufacturers and dealers enclosures, trade village, classic vehicle auctions, fashion shows, hog roast barbecues and live music.

Action events will include a Soap Box Grand Prix, an inter-club driving challenge, and motoring nostalgia with historic racing car demonstration runs, all to be held within the estate grounds.

Other park facilities include a visitors’ centre, shops, restaurants, gardens, children’s play area, deer park and castle with spectacular views over the Firth of Clyde to Arran and Kintyre.

To encourage participation from both manufacturers and dealers, a selection of events will take place both before and after the weekend. These include the Culzean Autoclassica Golf Classic played round the Westin Turnberry Ailsa Championship course, possible historic and modern vehicle demonstration runs at the old Turnberry circuit and scenic drives around the Ayrshire countryside and coastline.

For further information about the 2008 Autoclassica and to check out video clips and the photo album from the September 2007 launch event please check out the website at or e-mail

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Ayrshire Scotland Business News -
where Ayrshire business news breaks first!
Construction specialist selects Kilmarnock
as home for new headquarters

By: Murdoch MacDonald

A LEADING construction company has relocated its headquarters to state-of-the-art premises in Rowallan Business Park in Kilmarnock.


A J Clark Group has established its new headquarters in the town with the construction of a 1600 square metre building to accommodate its future growth. The company is a specialist in the field of laser guided concrete flooring installation and was originally based in nearby Moscow.

The move has been supported by Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire which has worked closely with the company to facilitate the development. The relocation ensures that A J Clark retains 64 jobs in the Kilmarnock area and it supports the continued growth of an important Ayrshire company.

Rowallan Business Park is one of the west of Scotland's leading business parks, centrally located between Glasgow and Prestwick airports.

It has been designed to create a modern, campus style location, capable of supporting a variety of modern businesses. The business park's location at the northern edge of Kilmarnock town centre is an ideal choice for companies that are looking for an easily accessible, high quality business environment.

A J Clark director Allan Clark said: "Our new HQ at Rowallan benefits from a first class location with excellent access to the motorway network. It was important for the Group to consolidate all three divisions - Concrete Flooring, Construction, and our development company ATD under the one roof and in prestige accommodation. The design and build of the new HQ was by Kilmarnock and Ayrshire based companies, led by our in house team and built by A J Clark Construction."

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire has played an important role in A J Clark's headquarters development. It worked with the company to arrange the ground lease and contributed more than £50,000 towards the construction of an access road to service the A J Clark site and the surrounding development area.

Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire global connections manager Michael Wright said: "Rowallan Business Park has extensive transport links and provides a high quality environment for businesses. It is an excellent location for a company like A J Clark which has growth ambitions and requires a modern, premier business location.

"It is currently home to four major companies, employing around 950 people, and boasts organisations such as Food Partners, beCogent and Telecom Service Centres. The completion of A J Clark's headquarters will help us to attract more companies to Ayrshire and promote Kilmarnock as a great location to do business.

"Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire provides access to accommodation, advice and information to help businesses start-up, grow or locate in Ayrshire and A J Clark is an excellent example of a successful local company doing business across the UK."

For more information about Rowallan Business Park and other property developments visit the Scottish Enterprise property page

Rowallan Business Park has been developed with the support of European Regional Development Funding.

About Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is the main economic development agency for Scotland covering 93 percent of the population from Grampian to the Borders. The Scottish Enterprise Network consists of Scottish Enterprise and 12 Local Enterprise Companies. Working in partnership with the private and public sectors the Network aims to build more and better businesses, to develop the skills and knowledge of Scottish people, and to encourage innovation to make Scottish business internationally competitive.

For more information visit the Scottish Enterprise website

For more information about A J Clark visit the A J Clark Group website