The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 31 March 2012

South Ayrshire Council appoints new Head of Human Resources

South Ayrshire Council has appointed Kate O’Hagan as its new Head of Human Resources (HR) and Organisational Development, following the departure of Angela Wilson, who has taken up a post as Executive Director at West Dunbartonshire Council.

Kate (pictured above) joins the Council from the Improvement Service where she was Head of Organisational Development for the last four years, helping shape the national agenda around all areas of organisational development including change management, service redesign and workforce planning across the public sector.

She also brings a wealth of operational HR experience from a number of roles including eight years as Human Resources Manager at North Lanarkshire Council.

In her new role, Kate will have responsibility for the strategic development and delivery of human resources, organisational development, payroll services and the organisational change agenda within the Council as well as the strategic development and implementation of customer services.

South Ayrshire Council chief executive David Anderson said: “We all know this is a challenging time for Councils across the country, and it’s vital we have the right people in place to take South Ayrshire where it needs to go. Kate will be a terrific addition to our Corporate Management Team, and will play a key role in helping shape our future.

“We’re all looking forward to working with her to continue the Council’s transformation journey over the coming months and years.”

Kate said she was looking forward to starting work at the Council. She added: “I’m delighted to be joining such a forward-thinking and dynamic local authority – South Ayrshire’s strategic approach to improvement is something that is recognised nationally, and something I was very keen to be part of.

“The Council has made significant progress in recent years, and I’m determined to play my part in continuing that progress and delivering for the people of South Ayrshire.”

Kate is married with a grown-up family. She will take up her post at the end of April.

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Glasgow Prestwick Airport goes Greek to celebrate new summer destinations

MODERN Glasgow Prestwick Airport was transformed into Ancient Greece to celebrate the start of the airport's biggest-ever summer flights programme recently.

Togas replaced trousers as Greek “god” Paul Rintoul, from Saltcoats, and “goddess” Amy Lucas, from Darvel, both airport employees and pictured above, celebrated the start of Ryanair’s low-cost flights to Corfu and Crete, two of four new routes from the airport this summer.

Both are “firsts” for Prestwick. Crete, Europe’s most southerly island, is bathed in clear sunlight much of the year. It really has everything - long sandy beaches, watersports, quaint mountain villages and great nightlife. In April and May temperatures will be in the low twenties, just perfect for a relaxing pre-summer break. And in April you can get there for just £15.99 one-way including tax – amazing value!

Another new Prestwick route is to Corfu, the best known of all the Greek islands. If the summer heat and crowds put you off, then go for the quieter periods such as April and May. The days are warm and the evenings cool, and you’re guaranteed spectacular holidays with quiet, deserted beaches.

The third new route is to Barcelona which offers the best of both worlds - a stunning city and gateway to the fantastic Costa Brava. And Barcelona is a city with a beach – four to be precise – so it really does provide the perfect mix for a cultural city and beach holiday.

And the fourth new summer route is to Bydgoszcz in Poland. Pronounced “Bidgost”, it’s a charming old town on the banks of the Brda and the Vistula rivers. Museums are housed in beautiful architecture and scattered throughout the city but, above all else, Bydgoszcz is music, thanks to its many music festivals.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief commercial officer Graeme Sweenie said: “For gods, goddesses and even mere mortals, Glasgow Prestwick is your perfect gateway to the sun this summer. Quieter, more convenient, with less hassle and fewer queues than Glasgow’s other airport, easy-going Glasgow Prestwick has twenty-seven budget routes to nine countries, with the majority concentrating on popular, traditional Mediterranean hotspots that Scots love.”


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

ARPL Architects unveil their vision for iconic pink buildings in Ayr

Leading Ayrshire-based architectural practice ARPL Architects Ltd have proudly unveiled their vision for the iconic pink buildings that stand at the corner of New Bridge Street in Ayr.

ARPL Architects Ltd director Gordon Fleming commented: “We are delighted to have been appointed to plan this project to restore two of the most prominent buildings in Ayr to their former glory.”

Approval of planning permission by South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel has given the green light for the first phase of a multi-million pound project to transform the historic gateway to Ayr town centre.

The £2.5 million Ayr Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) – funded by the Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) – will transform the ‘pink buildings’ on New Bridge Street through a sympathetic conservation and repair programme that will ensure the special historical and architectural character of these buildings is properly maintained.

The works for 1-5 New Bridge Street will be carried out using traditional methods and materials and in line with best conservation practice. They include:

* the removal of the existing paint finish;
* extensive stone repairs and repointing;
* complete re-roofing and new flashings;
* repair of all sash windows;
* re-instatement of historic shop fronts and entrance doors;
* new painted metal balustrade and balconies;
* replacement skylight and stonework;
* new cast iron downpipes and gutters;
* new panelled double doors to the shop opening; and
* new painted metal gates at the entrance to the passageway.

ARPL Architects Ltd director Gordon Fleming added: “The famous pink buildings contain some fine Georgian interiors which now urgently need specialist repair and conservation works carried out.

“Externally also many of the original architectural features have been lost during many years of neglect.

“Happily, funding has now been made available for the implementation of a comprehensive conservation scheme covering the two buildings, including replacing the balconies, upgrading the shop on the ground floor, and restoring the famous frontage to its original state.

“All of us at ARPL Architects Ltd are proud to be working on this project, which utilises this firm’s recognised expertise in the conservation of historically important and sensitive old buildings."

Gordon Fleming BArch DipArch RIAS RIBA

Gordon Fleming trained at the MacIntosh School of Architecture, Glasgow University and worked in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London prior to joining ARPL Architects Ltd in 1998.

Gordon is accredited in sustainable design as part of the initial scheme developed by the RIAS. He leads the practice in the firm’s approach to design, particularly for new buildings, and success has been recognised through various design awards. He lectures, and is a part-time design tutor at Strathclyde University School of Architecture.

His interests have resulted in utilising some innovative technology, and as a practice ARPL ensure each site and building is considered carefully to produce appropriate solutions.

Gordon monitors the practice quality standards, programming and organisation of project design teams.

ARPL Architects Ltd

The directors of ARPL Architects Ltd are Patrick Lorimer, Rebecca Cadie, Gordon Fleming and Robert Gilliland, (pictured above). John Ramsay, Stewart Glendinning and Kenneth Handley are 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.


ARPL Architects Ltd
Architects and Quantity Surveyors
11 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Patrick Lorimer
Tel: 01292 289777
Fax: 01292 288896

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle - News

ARPL Architects Ltd is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Million pound boost for arts and culture will support Gaiety Theatre reopening

Arts and culture in South Ayrshire has received a million pound boost as South Ayrshire Council approved investment of £750,000 to support cultural developments in partnership with the University of West of Scotland and Ayr Gaiety Partnership.

The funding will be used to develop arts and cultural experiences in South Ayrshire – with a focus on Ayr Gaiety Theatre – which it is hoped will become a flagship community resource for arts and culture in South Ayrshire and a centre for excellence for education and training.

Council approval of the investment, which will be drawn down over the next five years from the Council’s surplus, will also generate grant funding of £221,000 from the Scottish Government to Ayr Gaiety Partnership (AGP) – meaning this decision marks almost £1 million additional investment in arts and culture in South Ayrshire.

The £221,000 government grant funding will be used by Ayr Gaiety Partnership to enable the main auditorium at the Gaiety Theatre to reopen in the autumn.

South Ayrshire Council chief executive David Anderson (pictured above) said: “This is yet another landmark moment for arts and culture in South Ayrshire, and the result of productive partnership working between the Council, AGP and the University of the West of Scotland. We also welcome the government grant funding that will support the reopening of the Gaiety – which is a key commitment for this Council and Ayr Gaiety Partnership – later in the year.

“We want the Gaiety to act as the hub for the development of arts and cultural opportunities not just for South Ayrshire, but throughout south-west Scotland, and this decision takes that another step closer to becoming a reality.

“This will help ensure the Gaiety can re-establish itself as a sustainable and quality venue that will bring significant cultural and economic benefits to the area and our residents.”

Ian Welsh, Chair of Ayr Gaiety Partnership, added: “This is a terrific step forward – not just for the Partnership, Council and university – but for everyone interested in ensuring the Gaiety reopens as soon as possible.

“The government funding will provide the final building block that will allow us to complete the outstanding works required within the auditorium. Combined with the opening of the new cafĂ©/bar in the summer, this will allow us to develop a programme for the main auditorium in the autumn to complement our developing arts and culture programme. I welcome the Scottish Government's commitment to work with us, and other national agencies, to meet the outstanding capital funding gap.

“The Gaiety sits at the heart of arts and cultural development within South Ayrshire, and thanks to this decision, that heart will be beating once again in the not too distant future.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport welcomes world’s heaviest aircraft - the Antonov 225

Glasgow Prestwick Airport recently hosted the world’s heaviest aircraft when the massive Antonov 225, the only one of its kind, flew in to collect freight made in Scotland and bound for the USA.

The monster aircraft caused heads to turn - and records to tumble!

The 124-tonne cargo was the heaviest ever loaded at Prestwick, it’s the heaviest load ever to be exported by air from Scotland and, at 550 tonnes, it was also the heaviest-ever flight to depart from Prestwick.

The aircraft was chartered by international freight forwarders F H Bertling to move two offshore marine winches along with supporting equipment manufactured in Aberdeenshire to Moses Lake Airport in Washington State, USA.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport freight development manager Allan McQuarrie said: “This is a great example of the importance of Glasgow Prestwick Airport to Scotland in general and its economy in particular. We are geared up to handle an aircraft of this size and have it loaded quickly and efficiently by an experienced team.”

The Antonov An-225 Mriya (or “Dream”) was designed to carry oversized payloads and first flew in December 1988. Its length is 275 ft, its wingspan is 290 ft and its height is 59 ft. It can cruise at 530 miles an hour and has a range of almost 10,000 miles.

In September 2001, it carried four battle tanks at a record load of almost 254 tonnes. It has since become the world’s workhorse, transporting objects once thought impossible to move by air such as locomotives and 150-tonne generators. It has become an asset to international relief organisations for its ability to quickly transport huge quantities of emergency supplies during disaster relief operations.

In July 2010, it carried the world’s longest piece of air cargo when it flew two 42-meter wind turbine blades from Tianjin in China to Denmark.