The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 29 February 2008

South Ayrshire Council appoints
David Anderson as new chief executive

By: Our Local Government Correspondent

David Anderson (pictured below) has been recruited as the new chief executive of South Ayrshire Council.

Councillor Hugh Hunter, the leader of the Council said: “I am delighted that David Anderson, currently a corporate director with East Dunbartonshire Council, has agreed to become our new chief executive.

“David has extensive experience of working within local government in a variety of posts. He clearly has a deep knowledge of the complex and challenging services that our Council delivers. I am sure that David will be a great asset to the Council, and help us to evolve and grow in future years.”

In his previous post as a corporate director with East Dunbartonshire Council, David carried significant levels of policy and budgetary responsibility across complex and challenging service areas.

Speaking about his appointment, David said: “I am looking forward to working with and for the people of South Ayrshire in the role of chief executive, and relish the challenges that I will face.

“I passionately believe in the high quality of services that local authorities such as South Ayrshire Council deliver, and intend to secure improvements within the Council through service review, integration and driving forward effective and efficient working practices. I will be aiming to develop a positive culture within the Council where members and employees are supported, where success is celebrated, and employees aspire to ever higher levels of public service.

"Crucial to the future success of the Council is developing and importantly sustaining very strong and productive working relationships with senior colleagues within the Council and partners such as the Police, the Health Service, educational establishments, the Government, and the local and national voluntary sector.”

Ayrshire Scotland Business News -
where Ayrshire business news breaks first!

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Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Derek Richardson joins MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers

THE Directors of MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers are delighted to announce that Derek Richardson (pictured below) has joined the company as an Account Executive with effect from Monday 25 February 2008. Derek brings with him a wealth of experience, and is a well respected figure within the broking community.


MacKay’s are in fact welcoming Derek back to Ayr, where he was based a number of years ago. Derek retains a strong connection with the area, and he is looking forward to getting back into the local community to meet old and new faces.

Derek is particularly experienced in the construction industry, and MacKay’s are delighted to have secured his services.

MacKay Corporate Insurance Brokers
38 Miller Road
Ayr KA7 2AY

Contact: David MacKay
Tel: 01292 611028
Fax: 01292 611179

Web links:

OpenPress I-Newswire PR-GB FreePress

Latest news from Fame Publicity Services: CLICK HERE

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Ayr Racecourse adopts Irish theme for its March jumps meeting

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR Racecourse holds its two-day March meeting on Friday 7 March and Saturday 8 March with seven races on each day.

[Picture shows Dalwan, ridden by Kevin Tobin winning the Racing Post “Hands And Heels” Jump Series Handicap Hurdle at Ayr on 21 February.]

La Barrique Fine Wines sponsor the Friday card with the feature race the J20 Handicap Chase, a Class 3 event over three miles one furlong at 3.00pm. This should attract a decent entry with a first prize of almost £6000.

The Sunnycliff Wines Handicap Hurdle over two miles five and a half furlongs at 4.45pm is run for the James Barclay Challenge Trophy and a member of the Barclay family who have long standing connections with Ayr Racecourse will be on hand to present the trophy.

First race, The Bacardi Rum Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle is off at 2.00pm with the final race, The Maclachlans Hunters Chase over two miles five furlongs at 5.20pm.

On Saturday its Allied Irish (GB) Raceday with the main race The Allied Irish (GB) Corporate Banking Handicap Chase over two miles at 3.55pm. This race carries £10,000 in prize money and is likely to be a competitive affair.

Another good contest will be The Allied Irish Bank (GB) Wealth Management Handicap Hurdle for the Ayrshire Yeomanry Cup. This two mile four furlong Class three contest over two miles four furlongs should see some decent hurdlers battle for the £4500 first prize.

Throughout the course on the day the bars will be Irish themed with bar staff wearing some form of Irish costume. Corporate Hospitality areas will also be Irish themed as will public food areas and restaurants.

An Irish band will be playing during the day, and there will be music from Irish bands - Saw Doctors, Pogues etc played on the PA before racing.

During the afternoon leading Irish trainers and jockeys will be interviewed about their prospercts at Cheltenham which is held the following week. And there will be a live band playing for three hours after the last race which is at 5.35pm.

Advance bookings can be made online at or by calling 0870-8505666. Bars and restaurants open at 12 noon on Friday and at 12.15 on Saturday.

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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Western House Hotel named as Wedding Hotel of the Year

By: Murdoch MacDonald

AN Ayr hotel has scooped a hotel industry Oscar for the second year in a row - less than three years after opening!

Western House Hotel at Ayr Racecourse has been voted Scottish Wedding Hotel Of The Year 2008 at the prestigious Scottish Hotels Of The Year Awards held at Prestonfield House Hotel, Edinburgh on Sunday evening.

[Picture shows: Western House Hotel Conferencing and Banqueting Manager Jane McRoberts, left, and Wedding Co-ordinator Jean Kerr with the Wedding Hotel of the Year Award. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The four-star hotel was chosen by a panel of more than 20 judges including representatives from leading Scottish magazines, VisitScotland and the Scottish Press. More than 500 Scottish hotel industry professionals attended the event.

Now in their 5th year, the Scottish Hotel of the Year awards is the largest event of the year and is hailed as the ‘Oscars’ of the Scottish hotel industry. The event was hosted by BBC presenter Sally Magnusson and attended by guest of honour Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP. The evening featured a surprise performance from Pop Idol winner Michelle McManus.

Designed to encourage, recognise and reward excellence in hotels and staff in Scotland, the Scottish Hotels of the Year awards are administered by Scottish hotel review website (HRS).

Nominations are made by consumers, industry and HRS reviewers. Final award winners are selected by a proportional combination of online public votes, an Awards Panel made up of well-known industry experts and critics, and finally, a four-strong panel of Award Judges, including renowned food writer Wendy Barrie. The 2008 awards attracted votes from over 20,000 people worldwide.

William Gorol (pictured above), General Manager of Ayr Racecourse, owners of the Western House Hotel, was naturally proud of the award, and said: “The success is down to having a great team from our wedding co-ordinator through to the hotel management and chefs, restaurant staff and bar staff.

“I was fortunate enough to be here when Western House Hotel opened, and was given the task of hand picking my staff and I can’t be happier with what we have achieved in so short a period of time.”

Chairman of the Scottish Hotel of the Year awards Gary McLean remarked: “We are delighted to award Western House Hotel with a Wedding Hotel of the Year – Large for their consistent excellence and innovation in the dynamic and demanding weddings market. We are especially delighted to have awarded Western House Hotel’s Jean Kerr with a Special Commendation – Wedding Coordinator for her dedication to excellence.”

In 2007 Western House held more than 150 weddings, and that figure looks certain to be topped this year. Last October Western House also won a coveted VisitScotland Thistle Award for Customer Care – Service Accommodation.

The 49-bedroom destination was formerly the meeting place and offices of the Western Meeting Club, owners of Ayr Racecourse until 2003. It opened as a hotel on 3 June 2005.

Visit the Western House Hotel website: CLICK HERE

And the Ayr Racecourse website: CLICK HERE

Ayrshire Scotland Business News....
- where Ayrshire business news breaks first!

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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Glasgow Prestwick Airport personnel manage to get lean

EIGHT Glasgow Prestwick Airport employees have graduated from the Lean Management Programme, run by Accelerate, a company who specialises in streamlining companies and organisations to make them more ‘lean’. In the run up to busy Easter and summer holidays, the programme will help make processes more efficient for the operational and supervisory employees at the Airport.

[Picture shows Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s lean mean recruitment team (left to right, front to back) Susan Lynn, Gordon Hainey, Kenny Carter, Angela Hood, Elaine Anderson, Andy Barclay, Katie Kilgour and Alan McGeachie.]

Lean Management is a term familiar to some 90% of manufacturing businesses throughout the UK, and most will have undertaken some type of intervention, set to improve productivity thus improving profitability

The airport’s participation in the course, which lasted for six months, was driven by chief executive Mark Rodwell (pictured above) and it aims to improve the efficiency of current recruitment processes within the airport.

In 2007, there was a 15% staff turnover and it was taking in some cases up to 45 weeks to complete the recruitment process, partly due to security measures and checks put in place and applying to Disclosure Scotland, for vetting and barring of candidates.

Since the Lean Management programme has been completed, the team is now working on the completion of the website, which will feature a Careers section. This feature will allow candidates to view different career paths available at the Airport, apply for jobs, as well as help to speed up the recruitment process by applying earlier to Disclosure Scotland, prior to attending any interviews.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport human resources manager Sonia Rafferty said: “We decided it was a good idea to get involved in the Lean Management programme as we were reviewing our recruitment process and feel that taking part will help us not only to recruit the best person for the job, but also that the recruitment process will take considerably less time than it does at the moment.

“The new part of the website, which is due to launch in July, will allow us to speed up the process of applications and become a more efficient function within the airport.”

By introducing lean practices and procedures in 2009, Glasgow Prestwick Airport will save nearly £30,000 through a reduction in paper waste, overtime, sickness and agency fees and switching to a CD Rom handbook, and has already cut down its carbon footprint as a result of reduced paperwork.

Sonia Rafferty added: “The new process has enabled us to cut down the time taken to complete the administration by approximately 29 weeks in the worst case scenario, to get an employee started, and also cuts down on paperwork.”

Scottish Enterprise Glasgow’s operations director, Stuart Patrick concluded: “Last year, the 23 companies who took part in our Lean programme, reported productivity gains worth more than £2.5 million. It is one of our most successful products, providing targeted, minimal intervention for maximum business return.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport was Scotland’s fastest-growing airport from 2000–2005 and offers low cost scheduled flights to more than 30 European destinations. In 2007 the airport handled 2.4 million passengers.

P&R Accelerate Ltd has a very experienced Lean Management team who have been delivering Scotland’s largest Lean Improvement programme since 2003. The highly acclaimed “Lean Management Thinking” Programme has delivered over £25m in productivity improvements throughout Scotland involving almost 300 companies. P&R Accelerate has also been involved in leading successful Lean Management Programmes across the North of England, Yorkshire, West Midlands and Wales

For further information about the Lean Management programme, please visit
For further information about Prestwick Airport, please visit