The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 20 August 2010

Siberian students on course at University of West of Scotland

A GROUP of students from the Siberian State Transport University (SSTU) recently got a unique insight into Scotland’s transport industry as part of a two-week course they undertook at the University of the West of Scotland’s Management Centre in Ayr.

The 11 business students were joined by three of their tutors during their time at UWS and benefited from the University’s business expertise, undertaking a two-week (11-23 July 2010) course covering finance, economics and English as a foreign language. The final year students are all sponsored by Russian Railways for whom they will work as managers after graduating.

As part of the course, UWS organised a day of industry visits on 20 July to the Glasgow offices of the Atkins Group plc and Transport Scotland, to give the group practical, real-world experience of the transport industry in Scotland.

Atkins is the UK's largest engineering and design consultancy and the world's 11th largest design firm. The group was welcomed to the company’s Glasgow offices by Atkins Director, John Foley, and UWS Executive MBA alumnus, Kim Irvine, who gave an overview of Atkins and its activities.

The group then undertook a site visit (pictured above) to the nearby £445 million M74 Completion project in Glasgow, for which Atkins, in a joint venture with Jacobs Engineering Group Inc, was awarded the design and construction services. Interlink M74 Joint Venture and ScotRail representatives gave a detailed walking tour of part of the five-mile project which will complete a vital part of Scotland’s motorway network, and forms part of a major infrastructure investment in Scotland’s transport network.

The group also visited Transport Scotland’s Glasgow offices on the day. This visit, which was co-ordinated by Alasdair Macleod, Business Manager for Rail Delivery at Transport Scotland, saw presentations on Rail Delivery by Jason Pearce; Strategy & Investment by Laurence Kenney and Major Transport Infrastructure Projects by Dominic Murphy. The strategic presentations were followed by question and answer sessions.

The previous week George Fiddes, Team Leader of Transportation and Traffic at South Ayrshire Council, visited the University’s Management Centre in Ayr and gave the group an overview of the South Ayrshire Local Transport Strategy as well as an insight into rail operations in the west coast of Scotland.

Eithne McGilvray of University of the West of Scotland’s Business School said: “The University has strong industry links and a successful track record of delivering business courses for a variety of organisations. We are delighted to work with SSTU and are very grateful to Atkins Group, Transport Scotland and South Ayrshire Council for the industry perspective they provided. The Siberian students and their tutors found these visits very informative and they were a highlight of their study trip to Scotland.”

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Thursday, 19 August 2010

South Ayrshire Council appoints new Executive Director

South Ayrshire Council has appointed a new Executive Director to its Corporate Management Team with responsibility for planning, tourism, roads, waste management, property and assets, environmental health, trading standards and customer service.

Lesley Bloomer (pictured above) will take over as Executive Director of Development & Environment when Graham Peterkin retires in the autumn.

Lesley is currently a Performance Adviser working through SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) Enterprises to help Scottish Councils improve their performance and has worked with around 12 of the 32 local authorities in the country.

She is also currently Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

She previously held the role of Director of Performance Audit for Education, Enterprise and Justice with the public sector watchdog Audit Scotland, where she led teams to deliver a series of influential performance reviews. She also sat on the Board of the Care Commission and played a key role in establishing the overall strategic direction of the organisation.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is a challenging time for local government and it’s vital we have the right people in place as we move forward. I am delighted Lesley is joining South Ayrshire Council and look forward to working with her and the rest of the Corporate Management team to make a positive difference for the people and communities of South Ayrshire.”

David Anderson, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Lesley brings considerable experience from both public and private sectors and her impressive record in performance management speaks for itself.

“I’m sure she will make a strong contribution to the Council as we continue on our improvement journey and will play a key role in the Corporate Management Team as we work to establish South Ayrshire as the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community in Scotland.”

Lesley said: “I am delighted to be joining South Ayrshire Council and I look forward to working with my new colleagues in Development and Environment, as well as across the Council and our many partners.

“South Ayrshire is where I grew up and it's great to be able to contribute to its future prosperity and quality of life.”



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Ayr Racecourse Ladies Night a great success

By: Iain Ferguson

MORE than 6600 people enjoyed one of the most memorable ever Champagne GH Mumm Ladies Nights at Ayr Racecourse recently.

Brilliant sunshine greeted the racegoers, and as a result the Champagne Lawns and Gardens were a sea of fashion with ladies dressed in their finery enjoying the racing and the superb atmosphere.

The huge crowd enjoyed a brilliant evening’s racing with seven races, and after the action on the course ended the fun inside started with top quality entertainment in both the Ayrshire Suite and the Princess Royal Suite.

Top tribute band Take That 2 played for around two hours and reeled off a string of hits including ‘Rule The World’, ‘Shine’, ‘Greatest Day’, ‘Everything Changes’ and ‘Love Ain’t Here Anymore’. The Ayrshire Suite crowd loved the performance, and the foursome even came back for an encore.

Disc jockeys Colin McArdle and Tom Jones also kept the dance floor in the Princess Royal Suite full, and the fun went on for about three hours after the last race.

It was also a night to remember for 10 lucky ladies who won a bronze coin – and a place in the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Ladies Day Final on Friday September 17 when the star prize is a fabulous Vauxhall Astra courtesy of Kerr & Smith/Iveco Trucks.

Ayr Racecourse Sales & Marketing Manager Lindsey Smith was happy with the success of the evening and said: “We were blessed with great weather, and that makes all the difference. I have to praise the ladies for the standard of outfits – it gave our judges a very hard task indeed.

“This year’s attendance of just more than 6600 was virtually the same as last year, which was a record crowd for the fixture. All in all it was a highly successful evening.”

For more information call Iain Ferguson on 01292-294972 or 07795-565691.

Ayr Racecourse
2-6 Whitletts Road
Ayr Ayrshire
Scotland KA8 0JE

Tel: 01292 264179
Fax: 01292 610140

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Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Barony Universal Products’ new HQ means 100 jobs for Irvine

MORE than 100 new jobs are to be created as part of a £14million investment to establish Scotland as the European centre of excellence for aerosol manufacturing.

[Pictured: Stewart Shaw, managing director of Barony Universal Products.]

Barony Universal Products, the leading supplier of private label personal care products to some of Europe’s largest retailers, is to expand its operations from a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Scotland.

The company, which is already one of the UK’s major supplier of aerosols providing a wide range of own label products to Europe’s leading retailers as well as producing products for top brands such as Revlon, Ted Baker and FCUK, is to invest more than £14million in a new production, storage and distribution depot.

The company, which turns over around £22million a year, already employs 106 people at its current premises in Auchenleck, East Ayrshire, but the move to the new 18 acre site just 20 miles away in Irvine will allow them to double the workforce, invest more in research and development and provide a cost-effective comprehensive service for a growing list of international clients.

“The acquisition of the new site will give us a perfect base for Barony Universal to expand in what is a highly competitive global market,” said Stewart Shaw, Managing Director.

Last year the company filled more than 56 million aerosols making it a leading supplier of private label personal care products to some of Europe’s largest retailers.

Three years ago Questbridge, which is also a shareholder in the largest producer of Aerosols in Russia and provides prestigious products for Schwartzkopf and L’Oreal as well as a number of very successful local brands, became a major shareholder in Barony Universal Products in a move which will help open up a variety of new markets across Europe for the Ayrshire company.

Barony, with the aid of investment from Russian shareholders Questbridge, the HSBC bank and a £1.98million grant from Scottish Enterprise’s Regional Selective Assistance, aims to make the new site a launch pad for further growth into UK and European markets.

“We have plans for more production lines, new higher quality GMP facilities and an improved research & development laboratory with high quality equipment to deliver tailor-made formulations for customers, which are central to the long-term strategy of the company,” added Mr Shaw, who started the company just 15 years ago.

[Pictured: Barony Universal Products operations manager Martin Heath and managing director Stewart Shaw.]

The new premises will enable Barony to create a modern, efficient production plant incorporating a high-tech process area and fully equipped laboratories, new production lines with capacity to fill over 180 million aerosols and raw material and finished goods warehousing on a site which has enough room for further expansion.

Plans for the new premises include a purpose built manufacturing hall equipped with the latest handling, weighing, testing and closing machinery and new aerosol filling lines operating at variable speeds and volumes for maximum flexibility. There will also be one aerosol gel filling line and the building has ample space for additional manufacturing area to allow the creation of new product types to complement Barony’s existing range of health and beauty aerosol toiletries.

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Monday, 16 August 2010

Executives gain degrees at University of the West of Scotland

Eighteen top executives have graduated from University of the West of Scotland, having successfully completed its Executive MBA programme.

The graduates, all managers working full-time, studied on a part-time open-learning basis over two years to achieve this prestigious management qualification.

The Executive MBA features flexible delivery which allows busy managers working full-time to develop themselves and their organisations, without needing to take time off work. The executive graduates attended all day face-to-face workshops approximately one Saturday per month and in between workshops participated via the programme’s internet-based virtual learning environment. The Executive MBA’s real-world emphasis allows participants to apply the learning in their workplace and helps them to boost their performance.

Lesley Fuller, Funding, Marketing and Communications Manager with Kibble, one of Scotland’s largest social enterprises supporting disadvantaged young people, was awarded Executive MBA with Distinction.

She said: “I was particularly attracted to the flexibility of the UWS Executive MBA which meant that I did not need to take time off work. It was good to meet up with fellow managers once a month and I could participate online at the time and place that suited me. Overall, I found the programme challenging but very enjoyable and I am delighted to have achieved the Executive MBA qualification.”

Dilip Mishra, a project manager with CSC (Computer Science Corporation) the world’s largest independent IT company with 90,000 employees worldwide, was also awarded Executive MBA with Distinction this June. Employed by CSC, Mishra is currently based at client BAe Systems, working as a project manager.

Dilip said: “Undertaking the Executive MBA was a very rewarding experience. The prestigious business qualification and the convenient delivery attracted me to the programme. I was keen to build upon my strong IT expertise with wider business skills and knowledge, particularly in the areas of finance, strategy and change management. I found staff at UWS very supportive and thanks to the programme I made good contacts with other managers from a wide range of sectors.”

John Turner, Head of University of the West of Scotland’s Business School, said: “Lesley and Dilip, as with all our graduates, deserve high praise for their achievement. Studying while working full-time is demanding and their hard work and commitment have been demonstrated in their excellent performance.”

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