The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Paligap launch Royal Troon Golf Club website

IN January, Royal Troon Golf Club commissioned Ayr-based creative marketing agency Paligap to design and develop a new website that would help increase visitor bookings and provide information about the club and its history.

Paligap managing director Stephen Cosh (pictured above) said: “Although we at Paligap have a long heritage in designing and developing golf websites, we were over the moon to land one of the world’s finest and most respected clubs, and set about our task with passion.

“The end result is a very comprehensive site that encompasses the club’s entire history, past open champions, booking facilities and general information for visitors. It is a site we are very proud of.”

The intuitive navigation makes it easy for new or past web visitors to get to the information they need and make a tee booking request.

An integrated Content Management System in the site allows non-technical club staff to add, edit or delete text throughout the site as and when required without the need for third party support.

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.”

Apex House
1 Carrick Road
Ayr KA7 2RA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Stephen Cosh, Managing Director
Tel: 01292 263777
Fax: 01292 285334



Royal Troon Golf Club

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John Scott MSP demands more help for small businesses

FURTHER evidence of the effects of the recession was revealed this week with figures from the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers showing that the number of new business start-ups in South Ayrshire fell by nearly a quarter over the last year.

Reacting to the news, John Scott MSP for Ayr (pictured above) is calling for greater support for local small and medium sized companies.

He said: “The figures from the Committee of Scottish Clearing Bankers, which gather together the number of new business start-ups that have opened accounts with any of the four Scottish clearing banks, show that, during 2008, just 436 new businesses were started across South Ayrshire. That compares with 569 over the previous year and 536 during 2006.

“This underlines the urgent need for action from the government to support small and medium-sized businesses, which provide thousands of jobs for local people in South Ayrshire. Three specific steps I believe they should be taking would be to cut small firms’ payroll taxes, to help companies with the costs of hiring new staff by giving tax breaks for new jobs, and to allow struggling firms to defer their VAT bills for up to six months.

“These would be practical steps that would help shore up existing small and medium sized companies, help protect local jobs and encourage the start-up of new businesses locally.”


John Scott MSP for Ayr


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Ayrshire lawyer welcomes Scottish Parliament’s new asbestos law

A LEADING Ayrshire lawyer has welcomed the passing of a new law by the Scottish Parliament which will mean that people negligently exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with pleural plaques will continue to be able to raise an action for damages.

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Scottish Government’s Damages (Asbestos-related conditions) (Scotland) Bill, ensuring that a contrary House of Lords judgement will not have effect in Scotland.

Norman Geddes (pictured above) is senior partner at the Accident and Injury Claims Centre and Frazer Coogans Solicitors in Ayr.

In October 2007, he expressed his disappointment at the House of Lords judgement blocking compensation for pleural plaques, an asbestos-related lung condition that accounts for as many as 75 per cent of all asbestos claims in the UK.

He said at the time: “It is disappointing that the House of Lords has ruled that people with pleural plaques shouldn’t be awarded compensation. The condition of pleural plaques, which causes thickening of the lung membranes, clearly indicates the presence of asbestos fibres in the lungs, and can lead to clinical depression caused by anxiety over that asbestos, which may in turn cause life-threatening illnesses to develop later.

“However, it is important to stress that, in spite of this ruling, people with mesothelioma, a malignant tumour in lung tissue caused by exposure to asbestos, are still entitled to receive compensation.”

“This judgement can only cause further anxiety for people who are already living with the knowledge that their lungs have been irreparably scarred by asbestos, but who have not yet developed an even more serious condition. The Scottish Government must enact legislation urgently to remedy this most unjust situation.”

For over two decades, it had been accepted that pleural plaques constitute an injury for which damages are recoverable in civil law. However, a series of cases were contested by insurers, and on 17 October 2007 the House of Lords ruled that pleural plaques do not merit compensation in tort law (the English equivalent of Scots delict). While restricted to England and Wales and not binding in Scotland, the judgement would be considered as highly persuasive by the Scottish courts.

In November 2007 the Scottish Government announced that it intended to ensure that the judgement did not have effect in Scotland. In June 2008, after a period of consultation, the Scottish Government introduced the Damages (Asbestos-related conditions) (Scotland) Bill, to ensure that - despite the House of Lords judgement - pleural plaques and other asymptomatic asbestos-related conditions remain actionable.

The Bill was scrutinised by the Justice Committee and, in November 2008, was endorsed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. At that time the Scottish Government agreed to review the financial implications of the Bill and, after further consultation and analysis, in February 2009 revised financial estimates were presented to the Justice Committee.

Commenting on the passing of the new Bill, Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing said: “Many Scots in the past contributed to our nation's wealth, working in industries such as ship building and construction. Some were not properly protected against exposure to the potentially lethal substance of asbestos.

“We have a moral duty to ensure that those who suffer the effects of asbestos due to our industrial past should be able to claim for damages.

“The Parliament has today agreed that the House of Lords judgement which denied compensation for pleural plaques in England should not have effect in Scotland. I welcome that decision.”

Norman Geddes concluded: “The Scottish Parliament is to be commended for this unprecedented initiative. The fact that party politics were set aside to permit a unanimous endorsement of this change in the law is notable and refreshing. Scots Law can now continue to provide the protection to our citizens for which it is renowned.”

Accident & Injury Claims Centre
Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road
Ayr KA7 1UQ
Ayrshire, Scotland


Norman Geddes, Senior Partner
Tel: 07000 326243
Fax: 01292 272600


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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

South Ayrshire Council appoints new senior management team

SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL has appointed five new Heads of Service as part of a full scale review of its senior management team.

The move is a further step in the Council’s ongoing modernisation and improvement programme and follows the appointment of six new Heads of Service from within the Council’s existing staff team in December last year.

Councillor Hugh Hunter, Leader of South Ayrshire Council (pictured above) said: “We plan to be the most improved Council in Scotland and these appointments are part of the changes we are making to secure that position.

“We now have a highly skilled and ambitious senior management team who, along with our recently appointed Chief Executive and our three Executive Directors, will drive the delivery of improved services for the community of South Ayrshire.”

“As a Council we know we have a lot to do to bring about improvements for people who want to live, work and visit South Ayrshire.

“We have started on these changes over the last few months and today’s appointments will strengthen and support the capacity among our existing staff to continue with our modernisation programme.”

The five new Heads of Service appointments are:

Hugh Carswell, currently Acting Head of Children, Families and Criminal Justice and formerly Manager – Children and Families Services with South Ayrshire Council who is appointed as Head of Children’s Services.

David Alexander, currently Vice Principal Finance and Resources of Stevenson College who is appointed Head of Corporate Resources.

Mike Newall, currently Development Manager with Cala Homes who is appointed as Head of Planning and Enterprise.

Kenny Leinster, currently Senior Manager with Fife Council who is appointed as Head of Community Care and Housing.

Claire Monaghan who is currently Depute Director with Scottish Government and who is appointed as Head of Policy, Performance and Communication.

The new Heads of Service will take up their appointments during the next few weeks, and will join those who were appointed in January:

Head of Community Development: Roddy MacDonald
Head of Service and School Management: Brian McInroy
Head of Legal and Administration: Dan Russell
Head of Curriculum and Service Improvement: Margo Williamson
Head of HR and Organisational Development: Angela Wilson
Head of Customer and Community Services: Ian Woodburn

The post of Head of Property and Neighbourhood Services is the remaining post to be filled in the new senior management team and will be re-advertised.

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Monday, 9 March 2009

Land Engineering announces expansion plans

SCOTLAND’S market leader in the management and construction of city and town centre regeneration projects looks set to achieve significant growth this year with the launch of a new specialist stone division which will create fifty jobs.

[Pictured: Land Engineering management team left to right: John Ronald, Charles Barrett, Ian Wilkinson and Graeme Hadden. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Land Engineering, which employs 500 people at its head office in Fenwick, Ayrshire, and offices in Grangemouth and Edinburgh, has opened a fourth office in Livingston which will be the new headquarters of its recently launched division, Stone Engineering.

Stone Engineering will provide a specialist service within the natural stone industry and will extend Land Engineering’s well established portfolio of civil engineering, public realm, environmental regeneration and renewal schemes, grounds maintenance and soft landscaping services.

The newly launched division is expected to play a significant role in Land Engineering’s growth plans for the year ahead, with the firm predicting a turnover this year of £47million, an increase of 23 per cent on last year, with profits up by £800,000.00 to £2million. This represents an effective doubling of turnover and a five fold increase in profits since 2005.

As part of the growth strategy, Land Engineering constantly seeks to improve their management structure to add benefit to its operations. To facilitate this, they were pleased this year to welcome Janette Anderson, former chief executive of First Engineering to the board of directors.

Managing director John Ronald says the firm has a strong order book for the year ahead despite the economic downturn. “A large proportion of our secured work for the year ahead is providing an extensive range of design and construction solutions in relation to urban renewal and regeneration projects which can range from large scale civil engineering contracts to soft landscaping of play parks and recreational areas.

“With the introduction of Stone Engineering, we will be extending our range of services, and our expertise in natural stone by providing an unrivalled offering to our public and private sector clients in Scotland and the North of England.”

Charles Barrett, who is the commercial director at Land Engineering, will head up Stone Engineering and he is supported by former joint managing directors of Watson Stonecraft, Graeme Hadden and Ian Wilkinson. Together they will form the senior management team responsible for overseeing Stone Engineering’s services, which will include traditional masonry, cladding work and leading edge Rainscreen fa├žades for new build construction; repair and restoration services in stone masonry for historic buildings, internal flooring and surveying, procurement, stone selection, reporting and design.

Commenting, Charles Barrett said: “Stone Engineering will provide a quality of service second to none in the stone cladding and restoration market. We believe this is the right time for us to capitalise on our industry knowledge and expertise in this market with a dedicated and highly skilled management team and workforce. We see this as a tremendous growth opportunity for the future.”

Land Engineering was formed in 1980 in Bridgeton, Glasgow. It has grown from a staff of 40 and a turnover of £150,000 to employing over 500 people and a turnover of nearly £47million.

The company moved to Fenwick in 1990 and has since opened offices in Edinburgh, Grangemouth and more recently Livingston, headquarters of its new division, Stone Engineering.

Further information:

Land Engineering
Head Office
Gardrum House

Tel: 01560 600 811
Fax: 01560 600 818


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