The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 17 July 2009


Elite Ayrshire Business Circle sets up
sister organisation in Cambridge


THE Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is a networking organisation that has proved so successful since it was formed in 2007, that it has now set up a sister organisation in Cambridge, England.


Directors Norman Geddes and Murdoch MacDonald (pictured above) flew down south last week for the second meeting of the Elite Cambridge Business Circle, which, like the first, was well attended by a good number of leading business people from the city.

The main feature of the meeting was a presentation by the international accountancy firm BDO Stoy Hayward about the UK and world economic situation, and the opportunities for businesses as the world recovers from the current recession.

Norman Geddes then gave an illustrated talk about the successes of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle during the last two years, in order to show existing and potential members of the new Circle what could also be achieved in Cambridge.

Finally Murdoch MacDonald closed the meeting with an explanation of the groundbreaking and cutting edge digital PR service that Circle members receive, which dramatically increases their visibility on the Internet, and boosts the search engine ranking of their company’s website.

Speaking about the new Circle in Cambridge, Murdoch said: “It was always our intention that as soon as the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle was up and running successfully, we would replicate the business model somewhere else.

“We chose Cambridge partly because I retain contacts there from my University days, but mainly because two of our founder members in Ayrshire are also well established in Cambridge.

“Willie Mackie, managing partner of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre, has given us stalwart support since we first set up in Ayrshire, and the Bank branch in Cambridge has been kind enough to host the first two meetings down there.

“And Elite Ayrshire Business Circle founder members building contractors William Skinner & Son have a Southern Division in Cambridge in addition to their long established headquarters in Ayr.

“But perhaps the factor that confirmed our choice of Cambridge was when it was named as one of the most recession-proof cities in the UK, with dramatic plans for growth over the next twenty years.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes commented: “It was gratifying to see how well our Business Circle concept, born in Ayrshire. has been received in the very different environment of Cambridge.

“It is an exciting city where business commonly works closely with the University, which is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year. Both the discovery of DNA and the first computer originated in Cambridge.

“We hope that the new Circle will be as successful as the first, and that it will provide a gateway for our members in Ayrshire to do business in England.”

The next meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is a business breakfast networking meeting at 8am on Wednesday 29 July at Loudon Hall, Boat Vennel in Ayr. As well as providing an excellent opportunity for networking with other top Ayrshire business people, this meeting will feature a presentation by ARPL Architects Ltd, in which this leading firm will describe some of the recent architectural projects they have been engaged on.

Members and guests all welcome, but to facilitate catering arrangements, please telephone Murdoch MacDonald on 01292 281498 to notify your intention to attend. You can also use this number for membership enquiries about the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

* * * Norman Geddes is senior partner at Ayr-based Frazer Coogans Solicitors, and Murdoch MacDonald is proprietor of the Ayrshire PR consultancy Fame Publicity Services.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009


ARPL Architects Ltd announces
new name and relaunches website


A LEADING firm of architects in Ayrshire has announced a change of name.

ARPL Architects Ltd (formerly ARP Lorimer & Associates) has also launched its new website www.arpl.co.uk together with a new logo and corporate identity.

The rebranding of ARPL Architects Ltd has been carried out by Ayr-based creative agency Paligap.


[Pictured left to right, ARPL Architects Ltd directors Patrick Lorimer, Rebecca Cadie, Gordon Fleming, and Robert Gilliland. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION]

ARPL Architects Ltd director Pat Lorimer commented: “The four directors of ARPL Architects are pleased to be celebrating our fresh new image after 35 years, and are looking forward to a successful time ahead with some of the exciting projects we are currently working on. Our new website demonstrates the conservation and sustainability fields we have established, and the diversity of buildings we are now working with.”

ARPL Architects Ltd

The directors of ARPL Architects Ltd are Patrick Lorimer, Robert Gilliland, Gordon Fleming, and Rebecca Cadie with John Ramsay, Stewart Glendinning and Kenneth Handley as associates.

The ARPL philosophy is to produce buildings to the highest design standards in close consultation with its clients. Designs are innovative and sympathetic to both the immediate and the broader environment in which they are constructed, with an emphasis on sustainability. Each project embraces the unique nature of the client’s needs and the site.

Over the 36 years since Patrick Lorimer established the original practice, ARPL’s status in the profession has grown steadily in line with its position as a medium-sized practice with a reputation for well executed projects. From its base in Ayr the practice carries out projects over a wide geographical area from the Orkneys and the Western Isles to Ireland.

The firm’s project experience covers the fields of housing, churches, schools, commercial projects, private houses, community and arts buildings. Particular expertise has been developed in contemporary sustainable design, specialist conservation works and design for historically sensitive environments.

ARPL’s work has received wide recognition through numerous design and environmental awards presented over the years for its new build and conservation works. Regular success in design competitions adds to the practice portfolio.

ARPL are currently working on new and refurbishment housing for Lochside, Ayr, several church and castle conservation and restoration projects and new community facilities in the South West of Scotland. Appointments for church commissions involve a range of denominations and projects from conservation and repair to extensions and new build. The firm is also involved in country houses and estates and the design of new houses for private owners.

The practice typically handles projects with construction values ranging from £100k through to £15m.

ARPL directors have managed to keep their business stable during the current difficult times and have a busy current workload, of which they will be sharing the highlights with the Ayrshire Elite Business Circle at a breakfast meeting on Wednesday 29 July at Loudoun Hall in Ayr.

Recent celebrations include the official opening of the Catrine Community Fish Hatchery by Cathy Jamieson MSP with East Ayrshire Provost Stephanie Young.


[Pictured: Cathy Jamieson MSP officially opened the Catrine Community Fish Hatchery on 26 June 2009, accompanied by Provost Stephanie Young and Muriel Kiernan and Richard Stenlake of the Catrine Community Trust.]

The Catrine fish hatchery situated close to the river Ayr, is a project which seeks to help re-vitalise a depressed town in Ayrshire. The Catrine Community Trust has set out to develop a range of projects which help reverse this trend. The fish hatchery is the first of these to be realised with the aim of sustaining fish stocks in the river. The building sits below an existing reservoir and makes use of the water control system to supply a range of tanks.

The building brief asked for a sustainable design approach and is constructed from natural materials. The walls are clay block with lime render. The roof is slate covered with a timber structure and natural fibre insulation boards. This use of natural materials ensures a healthy clean environment for the fish and for the Trust members working in the building.

www.arpl.co.uk

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Tuesday, 14 July 2009


Freedom of South Ayrshire bestowed
on HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick


SERVICES personnel from HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick have been awarded the Freedom of South Ayrshire at County Buildings in Ayr.

This is the first time the honour has been since 1975, when the last living former Provosts of the Royal Burgh of Ayr were honoured.


[Pictured: South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan presents the Freedom of South Ayrshire to Lieutenant Commander Bryan Nicholas of HMS Gannet. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Accepting the Freedom on behalf of HMS Gannet, Lieutenant Commander Bryan Nicholas, said: “We feel great pride in being awarded the Freedom of South Ayrshire.

“Not only are we based in Prestwick, but we try hard to get involved with the wider local community when we can and enjoy hosting local school groups, youth organisation and charities on site.

“We very much feel part of the Ayrshire community, and to achieve this official recognition is a great honour for us all.”

Speaking on behalf of RAF Prestwick, Wing Commander Richard Connelly, Station Commander of Royal Air Force Prestwick, said: “The award of the Freedom of South Ayrshire is an enormous honour to all Royal Air Force Personnel past and present.

“For over 70 years, personnel at Royal Air Force Prestwick have been proud of the contribution we make to the community in which we serve.

“We are incredibly grateful to South Ayrshire Council for the award of the Freedom as it represents recognition and appreciation of the job we do.”

Both Commanding Officers then signed South Ayrshire Council's Freedom Roll, the first time that the Council, as a unitary authority, had bestowed the honour.

The Freedom Roll was signed by South Ayrshire Council’s chief executive David Anderson, who said: “We have a long and proud association with our services and this honour comes exactly 50 years since the Royal Highland Fusiliers were awarded the Freedom of Ayr.

“I’m delighted that we can recognise the men and women of HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick in a similar way and they now join an elite group that includes the philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, the wartime Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, and the US President Dwight D Eisenhower.”

Following the ceremony, the occasion was marked by a parade through Ayr Town Centre. HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick were joined by B Company of the 6th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland and the parade of almost 200 services personnel was well received by hundreds of local residents, visitors and well wishers who lined the streets to applaud and cheer.


Provost Winifred Sloan took the forces’ salute at Wallace Tower on Ayr High Street, which was marked by a combined forces flypast.

The parade finished with a reception at Ayr Town Hall where Provost Sloan said: “A freedom ceremony is rarely awarded. None has taken place since 1975.

“The honour is only bestowed on very special people and organisations, and I am delighted that we are honouring HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick today.

“The Freedom is a way of recognising what is contributed to communities. The day jobs of HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick are challenging and they offer services which are much needed and appreciated.

“Despite the rigours of their day to day work, time is still found to contribute through valuable voluntary, youth and charitable work.

“Below the South Ayrshire Coat of Arms can be read the words Ne’er Forget the People.

“HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick epitomise that saying.

“Their contribution to the people throughout South Ayrshire has been outstanding and that is what we are celebrating today.”

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South Ayrshire Council supports the Diageo workforce

South Ayrshire Council has committed to supporting the efforts of the Diageo workforce and the local community in East Ayrshire in presenting a case to retain the presence of the Johnnie Walker brand in Kilmarnock.

An emergency motion was brought before the Council by Councilor Hugh Hunter the Leader of the Council and was unanimously approved.


Councillor Hunter (pictured above) said: “South Ayrshire Council has every confidence in the ability of the Johnnie Walker workforce to demonstrate its worth as an efficient, hardworking and effective team through the presentation to Diageo of a robust and sustainable alternative business case. We will be supporting the efforts of our colleagues in East Ayrshire Council in their fight to preserve the jobs of this valuable and skilled workforce.”

Councillor Nan McFarlane, who seconded the emergency motion, said: “It is important that the Johnnie Walker brand is retained in Kilmarnock. Generations of people in East Ayrshire have worked at the Johnnie Walker premises. South Ayrshire Council will actively support the continuing efforts of Ministers, East Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and the wider community in their commitment to build a case for the retention of the Johnnie Walker plant in Kilmarnock.”

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There are currently 543 Ayrshire business stories permanently archived on this site. To locate those of most interest to you, please use the site search facility in the top left hand corner of this page. Type your search term in the white box, then click “SEARCH BLOG”.

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