The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 14 July 2012

“Opportunities for Ayrshire companies to do business in Oman and the Middle East”

All Ayrshire business people are cordially invited to attend the next meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, which will take place at 12.30pm on Wednesday 25 July at the Berkeley Hotel, 1 Barns Street, Ayr KA7 1XB.

There is no charge for attending this event, and in addition a free buffet luncheon and refreshments will be provided.

[Pictured: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior director Norman Geddes (left) and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle managing director and Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald (right).]

Our principal guest will be Peter McNair, who is the managing director of a company in Oman called New Image, which has offices in Muscat and Sohar.

Peter will be giving a detailed and informative presentation entitled “Opportunities for Ayrshire companies to do business in Oman and the Middle East”.

In addition, as usual, this meeting will provide another valuable opportunity to network with other top Ayrshire business people.

The directors of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle would like to thank our friends at JB Management (Scotland) Ltd for arranging and sponsoring this meeting, and to congratulate them on opening up a new market for themselves in Oman - an achievement that has gained them considerable well-deserved media coverage this week.

If you would like to attend this event, please e-mail the name and business details of yourself, and of any guests you may care to bring with you, to Murdoch MacDonald at

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle
Telephone: 07833 667322

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Ayr solicitor Lauren Fowler welcomes Supreme Court judgement concerning co-habitees

Leading Ayrshire family lawyer Lauren Fowler has welcomed a judgment of the Supreme Court which clarifies the law regarding financial settlement between former co-habitees on the ending of their relationship for reasons other than one or both of their deaths.

The Supreme Court judgement in the case of Gow v. Grant establishes the right of the courts to rectify any financial loss or disadvantage suffered by one party in a live-in relationship that breaks down.

[Pictured: Lauren Fowler, partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors. Lauren welcomed the Supreme Court judgement saying: “I welcome this judgement, which brings long-awaited and much needed clarity to the legal position of former co-habitees.” Further comment below.]

The appellant in the case of Gow v. Grant, Mrs Gow, was seeking to overturn the decision of the Inner House from March 2011.  The case concerned section 28 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 which provides for cohabitants to seek orders for financial provision following the end of a relationship. The Inner House set out a restrictive approach to the interpretation of section 28.  This had the effect, potentially, of making it more difficult for a former cohabitant to pursue a claim.  It was particularly difficult for an applicant claiming to have suffered an economic disadvantage in the interest of the other party.

The arguments for the appellant were that section 28 of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 should be given a less restrictive interpretation. It was not just a statutory form of unjustified enrichment, and where an award depended on showing an economic disadvantage being in the “interests” of the other party that did not mean it had to occur solely in the interests of that party. There was no requirement for there to have been an intention to benefit the other party and equally there was no requirement to establish an actual financial benefit to that party.

It was sufficient in this case that Mrs Gow had given up her home in the interests of her relationship with Mr Grant.  She was entitled to fair compensation for the economic disadvantage she had suffered.  The extent of the award was a matter for the exercise of the sheriff’s discretion.

The Supreme Court have overturned the decision of the Inner House and reinstated the award made in favour of Mrs Gow, by the sheriff at first instance.

Lauren Fowler, a partner in Ayr-based Frazer Coogans Solicitors, commented: “I welcome this judgement, which brings long-awaited and much needed clarity to the legal position of former co-habitees.

“Scottish law does not equate cohabitation with marriage. Rather it gives a limited form of remedy for economic imbalance arising out of the breakdown of a relationship between cohabiting partners. Until now its impact has been narrowly interpreted by the Scottish courts, but this judgement in the case of Gow v Grant should result in more equitable outcomes being achieved more easily in future in this type of domestic dispute.”

Lauren Fowler

Lauren Fowler joined the firm of Frazer Coogans Solicitors in 1998 and is a highly respected family solicitor and Court practitioner in Ayrshire. She holds an Accreditation from the Law Society of Scotland as an accredited specialist in both Family Law and Child Law. Having been in practice since 1988 she deals with all aspects of Court work including family law, civil and criminal court.

Her particular expertise is in Family and Child law dealing with Divorce, Separation and the resolution of family issues. She has been appointed a Safeguarder by the Local Authority in relation to Child Law Matters.

Frazer Coogans Solicitors

Frazer Coogans was originally established in Ayr in 1985. In 1995, the current Senior Director, Norman Geddes, took over the firm. From humble beginnings, Norman Geddes led Frazer Coogans into rapid expansion to be one of the leading and most respected law firms in Ayrshire.

In 2003, Frazer Coogans successfully attained “Investors in People” standard and has since retained this standard. The firm is very proactive in encouraging secretarial staff to advance their roles within the firm and develop within their specialist area. Frazer Coogans now has trained paralegals supporting the solicitors in every department. Experienced and well trained staff are the cornerstone of any business. By encouraging staff to gain their full potential, the firm aims to maximise the talent of the staff, and as a result Frazer Coogans aims to provide a first-class legal service to all clients on all levels.

Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road

Contact: Norman Geddes, Senior Partner
Tel: 01292 280499
Fax: 01292 611645

Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Ayrshire training provider JB Management wins new business in the Middle East

Top Ayrshire-based training provider JB Management (Scotland) Ltd has expanded into the Middle East and hired two new members of staff.

The firm, which is located at 12 Wellington Square in Ayr town centre and which provides learning and professional development courses including modern apprenticeships for Skills Development Scotland, has made its first move into Oman.

[Pictured: JB Management directors Maureen Ure (Company Secretary), Bill Ure (Managing) and Angela Evans (Finance).]

JB Management finance director Angela Evans said: “Our market information suggests that there are many in the Far and Middle East who would be keen to follow the Scottish model in education and training.

“To this end, we have set up a subsidiary company – Quality Qualifications International (QQI) – to take our business into the overseas market.

“With backing from Scottish Development International, it is our ambition to equip trainers in these countries with the skills they need to emulate the practices we are currently implementing so successfully here in Scotland. There is a lot of construction work going on in Oman, and things are looking quite prosperous over there.

“We were approached by a company called New Image, and have signed a memorandum of understanding to deliver training with them.

“It will be a lot of health and safety courses for the construction sector. There is also a training school opening in the city of Sohar, in which we will be partners.”

JB Management has also secured major investment to allow it to expand and further hone skills and talent at home and abroad.

The company will use the significant cash injection to set its sights worldwide, recruit additional training professionals, and boost the number of young trainees who pass through its South Ayrshire training facility.

The funding will act as a catalyst that will enable JB to further nurture the skills of local people – particularly the young – to boost the Ayrshire and Scottish economy, and to gain a foothold on world markets.

[Pictured: the management team at JB Management Ltd. First row left to right: Maureen Ure – Company Secretary, Bill Ure – Managing Director, Angela Evans – Financial Director. Second row left to right: Anne Marie Shedden – Quality Manager, Jim McKay – Systems Quality Manager, Kellie Zdanowicz – Operations Manager, Evelyn Kozicki – Centre Manager.]

The bank backing demonstrates confidence in the growth potential of Wellington Square-based JB Management, which was established as a modest, but ambitious concern in 1994 by husband and wife team Bill and Maureen Ure.

In its 18-year history, the company has enjoyed a year-on-year growth in turnover and has increased its workforce to 25.

In the last 12 months, 500 trainees in the age categories 16-19 and 25 years+ have upgraded their skills and achieved qualifications that have secured them long-term employment.

The cornerstone of the company’s growth has been from the initial and growing contracts it secured and retained from Skills Development Scotland – an amalgamation of agencies such as Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Scottish University for Industry. Funding from Skills Development Scotland has been crucial in driving forward the Modern Apprenticeship Programme.

Over the years, JB has extended its portfolio of awarding body accreditations to incorporate the growing opportunities throughout Scotland, the wider UK – and now international markets.

The company’s area of expertise encompasses business administration, construction, health & safety, warehousing, management and supply chain management. The higher level qualifications can lead to membership of professional bodies, eg. Institute of Safety and Health (IOSH) and Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB).

JB Management finance director Angela Evans concluded: “Thanks to this pivotal support from our bankers, we are ideally positioned to increase and develop our commitment to our existing clientele. In addition, we aim now to reach out to new markets.”

JB Management’s expansion has been warmly welcomed by John Scott, MSP for Ayr (pictured above) who said:  “This is superb news, and a clear testament both to the vision and commitment of JB Management and to the quality of the training product that they have provided over the two decades of their operation.

“As a company of now global reach, I hope that this will be just the start of JB’s international expansion, and that their success in Oman will be mirrored by further overseas development in the years to come.”

Regional MSP Chic Brodie added: “JB Management is the kind of company of which South Ayrshire and Scotland can be proud.

“Well managed, increased turnover year after year, more staff and a dedication to exporting their unique skills are benchmarks that all companies might emulate.

“The company plays an important part in supporting the Government’s aims for training and job fulfilment for young people. The funding injection can only be good news for the company and its trainees.”

For further information contact:

Kellie Zdanowicz
Operations Manager
JB Management Ltd
12 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN

Tel:01292 886664

JB Management (Scotland) Ltd is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

CKD Galbraith expands Ayr team with appointment of Crawford Mackay

Leading Scottish property and rural management consultants CKD Galbraith today announced the expansion of its Ayr team with the appointment of Crawford MacKay.

Crawford (pictured above), a recent graduate of The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, where he studied for a Masters degree in Rural Estate Management, will undertake a broad spectrum of professional services including valuations, sales and compensation claims and securing funds for clients through the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.

At CKD Galbraith he will be working alongside Robert Taylor, a qualified auctioneer and chartered surveyor with more than 20 years experience in both the rural and commercial property sectors.

Robert Taylor of CKD Galbraith said: “We are very pleased that Crawford is joining our rural team in Ayr.  This appointment marks a significant move to advance the firm’s existing rural management services and will help us meet demand.

“CKD Galbraith strives to recruit the best graduates and the firm places great importance on professional development that involves a robust diet of training coupled with hands-on experience in the field.  Crawford is currently studying for his RICS Assessment of Professional Competence and he will add significant value to the team.”

Crawford said: “I am delighted to have the chance to progress my career at CKD Galbraith.  The opportunity to work for a consultancy offering a comprehensive range of property services was particularly appealing as it will allow me to gain experience within a wide range of areas.

“I look forward to working and learning from Robert and the rest of the firm’s established team.”

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy with 12 offices throughout Scotland. The firm’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, renewables, valuations and building surveying work.

CKD Galbraith’s in-house AMC (Agricultural Mortgage Corporation) agents assist in securing loans for a range of farming purposes with the specialist team offering a competitive service to assist clients with applications for IACS, SRDP, Rural Stewardship Schemes, SNH Natural Care Scheme and SSSI Agreements.


CKD Galbraith
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Training provider JB Management secures funding for Continuous Professional Development

Ayr-based training provider JB Management has secured funding from Skills Development Scotland for Management SVQs.

These work-based qualifications are ideal to develop new and existing management skills which can be undertaken online with JB Management’s new user-friendly e-portfolio. Listed below are the qualifications which fall under this funding opportunity.

Management Level 3 SVQ

The Level 3 qualification is aimed at supervisors and first line managers who have some responsibility for allocating work to others and have some limited opportunity for making decisions. This qualification should take around 6-12 months to complete.

Management Level 4 SVQ

The Level 4 qualification is for practicing middle managers who have responsibility for allocating work, achieving specific results, carrying out policy, controlling limited financial budgets and contributing to organisational change and recruitment. This qualification should take around 6-12 months to complete.

Management Level 5 SVQ

The Level 5 qualification is aimed at senior managers who have operational responsibility for substantial programmes and resources, have a broad span of control, pro-actively identify and implement change, negotiate budgets and contracts and lead high level meetings.

Membership / Fellowship of CMI can be applied for along with relevant experience on completion of the Level 5. This qualification should take around 12 months to complete.

Benefits to the Employer:

• Fully funded (limited spaces)
• SVQs are clearly focused on the knowledge and skills managers need to perform effectively
• Reassurance your managers are competent to carry out the responsibilities allocated to them
• The Management standards are a benchmark which can be used to review current practices
• Realise organisational efficiencies
• Communication improves as managers begin to use a common language and an empowering culture develops.

Benefits to the Employee:
• Build on your strengths, and focus training and development on where you want to improve
• Relevant to your job role
• Plan the preparation for your qualification to fit in with your work and personal commitments
• Choose how you learn to suit your preferred learning style
• Receive a certificate recognising your competence as a manager
• Become better equip to manage change and be able to transfer your skills from one context to another.

JB Management managing director Bill Ure (pictured above commented: “This is an ideal opportunity for organisations to undertake Continuous Professional Development for their management teams."

For further information contact:

Kellie Zdanowicz)
Operations Manager
JB Management Ltd
12 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Tel:01292 886664

JB Management Ltd is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.