Your Business Winter 2020

Page 1

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the magazine of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Celebrating 30 years of Your Business

business your

the magazine of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry

SAVE THE ANNUAL DINNER DATE 6th March 2020 at Trump Turnberry

winter 2019 £3

Chamber News Page 14 Ayrshire Business Awards Winners Page 18

PLATINUM PARTNERS CONTACTS Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry, The Mezzanine, Glasgow Prestwick Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2PL Mail Call 01292 678666 Visit President.................................... Frank Gormanley Chief Executive.............................. Valerie Russell Development Manager...................Helen McBride


Ayrshire Chamber wishes to acknowledge the support of the following companies as sponsors of our Platinum Partners programme. The Chamber in Ayrshire represents businesses of all sizes and all sectors and is particularly effective in representing the voice of businesses at local, national and international level. The Partnership aims to cement the relationship that companies have with Ayrshire Chamber, making sure they get the most out of membership and in turn contributing to the work of the Chamber, so supporting other business in Ayrshire. Partnership members have access to a comprehensive package of benefits, while at the same time assist with the development of the Chamber movement. If you would like to discuss the mutual benefits of becoming a Partner for Business please contact Helen McBride our Business Development Manager.

Editorial........... Ad Design/ Print/ An Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry publication. No part of this magazine may be copied, scanned or reproduced without the express permission of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. The views expressed in editorial and/or advertising in "Your Business" are not necessarily those of the Editorial Committee of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Articles submitted for publication will be considered at the Committee's discretion and may be subject to editing. Publication is not guaranteed.

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IT’S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER First and foremost it is a privilege and honour to be President of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lorna Gibson for leading the board for the past two years and for her wider contribution to the Ayrshire business community. We are delighted that she is staying with us for a further year as a director supporting our ‘Forward Together’ strategy. I would also like to acknowledge the work and commitment from Val and the Chamber team in delivering the Chamber vision to our members during what has been an extraordinary time for everyone. Born and bred in Ayrshire, I have an intrinsic passion and enthusiasm for our wonderful county, the people and the businesses within it. As an entrepreneur and someone who has gained incredible value and insight from a mixed and

adventurous career path, I am ready and excited to take the Chamber forward with fellow directors and the team until 2022. We will soon be sharing our ‘Forward Together’ strategy that highlights our plans as we navigate our way through the challenges ahead during these Covid-19 times. We will be reviewing our digital offering, our mentoring programme, redefining how we support retail and tourism sectors to name a few areas of focus, ensuring our members gain the best possible membership provision and experience. I would like to invite you to share your views. If you have any ideas or suggestions on how we can support you and your business through your Chamber membership, please email me directly via With this being our final ‘Your Business’ of the year, let me take this opportunity to wish you a safe and happy Christmas.

FRANK GORMANLEY Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce President

Let’s move ‘Forward Together’.

Frank Gormanley, President

PROTECT AYRSHIRE CHECK & TRACE SERVICE NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL AYRSHIRE BUSINESSES An online check-in service available to any Ayrshire business, brought to you by Ayrshire Chamber. #ProtectAyrshire Check & Trace gives business owners a platform to securely check customers or visitors in and out of their premises, anonymously collecting the data needed to support the NHS with the Test and Protect Programme. Visitors simply scan a QR code with a smartphone on entry and input their contact information to be held securely for use if required by NHS Scotland. This means that after the first sign-in, they can check in easily and securely each time they visit a café, restaurant, hotel, visitor attraction, offices and many more establishments which are using the service. Recently updated with a new field to allow the recording of additional details such as table numbers or office locations should these be required. The initiative is the latest measure rolled out by the Chamber’s team who have been supporting over 800 members since the start of the Covid-19 crisis. #ProtectAyrshire provides a safe and secure way of storing this information and can be used for the purpose of contact tracing should the need arise. Free to Chamber members and at a small one off cost of £20 to nonmembers, #ProtectAyrshire can be used by any business that may need to comply with Test & Protect. Easy to use for both the business and customer,

registered businesses have access to downloadable documents which include QR codes and numerical codes for display within their premises. For those without smartphone access, details can be added manually by the business. Information can be saved by regular visitors however the visit record, which is securely stored online, is automatically deleted once the 21 day period has passed. It removes the GDPR liability for the business as this is managed by the Chamber. Businesses wishing to sign up to the service can do so via a PC or Tablet (not mobile phone) at or contact for more informaton.





NHS STAFF BENEFITS PROGRAM A HUGE SUCCESS In 2020, the NHS Staff Benefits platform has helped businesses engage directly with NHS Staff and provide worthwhile incentives to benefit key workers along with increasing both footfall and online traffic for themselves during a difficult trading year. There has been a huge increase in NHS Staff registering to access the discount program during this time and there are now over 120K members throughout the UK, with the majority in Scotland’s Central Belt. A small, knowledgeable team works directly with businesses to create affordable, relevant advertising packages and advise on how to create incentives that get the audiences' attention. They currently work with over 300 different local and national

brands across a wide range of categories including travel, days out, hospitality, retail and home improvements. The team love the opportunity to work with businesses over a number of years, to create lasting brand awareness within the NHS community and successful campaigns - here’s what client Bloom & Wild had to say: "Bloom & Wild have seen a great benefit from working with NHS Staff Benefits. The new customers we have acquired have been great

quality, the team is a dream to work with and we are happy to be supporting some of the hardest working people in the UK” - Partnerships and Marketing Lead, Bloom & Wild If you would be interested to see how NHS Staff Benefits might work for your business you can see more at or get in touch with Marketing Manager Emma at


Brian Whittle MSP (South Scotland Region)

introduce home working and expand their digital offering more easily than expected. With those changes comes a greater need for digital connectivity across Ayrshire. Many towns and villages still struggle with slow broadband and patchy mobile phone signal. Once, that was an inconvenience, now it’s a barrier to everyday activities. If we want to be an attractive place to live, work or base a business, every part of Ayrshire needs to have digital infrastructure that’s as good as any city.


The last few months have brought unprecedented challenges for businesses across Ayrshire.


Having spoken to representatives of businesses large and small across Ayrshire, I know how hard they have worked to ensure they can protect their staff and customers, and trade safely. I also know how frustrating it’s been, particularly for those in the hospitality and leisure sector, when, despite all their efforts, the rules are changed and they’re asked to close again. These sector-wide “open again, close again” policies aren’t sustainable for businesses and I’m making that case to the Scottish Government. While we have to prioritise dealing

with the challenges of Covid-19 in the here and now, we also need to consider how businesses and the local economy recover. The signing of the Ayrshire Growth Deal will unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of investment in the area, but that must only be the beginning. Many businesses have been able to

If your business is based in East or South Ayrshire and experiencing any problems, please get in touch and I’ll do my best to help. I’d also love to hear from anyone who has ideas for the future of the area and what more could be done to support businesses and grow the economy. You can contact me by e-mail at

CELEBRATING THE 30TH BIRTHDAY OF YOUR BUSINESS In what has to be the most challenging year in recent history we are delighted to be able to share our 30th Birthday edition of Your Business with you. We love sharing your news with the business community in Ayrshire and look forward to continuing doing so for many more birthdays to come. Our Front Cover image provides a look back at how our brief newsletter of just 8 pages in 1990 has evolved:

winter 2020 £3

the magazine

of Ayrshire Ch amber of Comm erc

e and Industry Celebrating 30 years of Your Business

IT’S BUSINESS, BUT NOT AS USUAL The Chamber team continues to work hard on your behalf from homes across Ayrshire. Along with the wider network, we are lobbying for more support to help businesses through the ever changing rules and restrictions being imposed on them. We update our website regularly with the latest news as we have it and we are just an email away if you need to contact us. We would encourage you all to continue to ‘shop local’ to help support our fantastic Ayrshire businesses and to aid in the recovery of the local economy.


the magazine of

Ayrshire Chamber

of Commerce and


at Trump Turnberry


Chamber News Ayrshire Business Awards

winter 2019 £3

Page 14 Winners Page 18

We got a bit nostalgic when planning Business Week this year. Looking back through the past 12 years events while trying to embrace the ‘New Normal’ and deliver virtual events direct to businesses screens did not come naturally. Val Russell, CEO Ayrshire Chamber said “We were both nervous and excited to bring Business Week to you this year instead of the other way around. We are all having to find new ways of working and we would like to thank all those who took the plunge with us and embraced the technology. It is often said that every day is a school day and we are all certainly having to learn quickly.” Our offices, like so many others are still currently closed, but for more information on how Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce can help support your business, please contact us via email at


Although our normal events diary is currently postponed, we are still providing opportunities for networking, training and business support online. To keep up to date with what we have coming up make sure to regularly check our events page at If you have any topic suggestions or there is something you have a particular interest in, please email




@StagecoachWScot Ayr Survey Event Plan Location

• Outside Cafe Nero, Ayr High Street (See attached photo).


Big Pond is currently undergoing the exciting process of rebranding and expanding. The health of the firm has encouraged them to take stock of the current situation and get more hands on deck. At present, the team now comprises of six. Having recently taken on a Junior Digital Marketing Coordinator to train and support the increasing workload, the company are confident in the prospect of growing the team even further in the near future.

is more consistently active and vocal across its social accounts. Furthermore, its website was improved and launched, offering a more streamlined user experience, and showcasing the employees and the body of work they produce for clients.

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GETTING THE FIRST VIRTUAL STAY CONNECTED B2B EXHIBITION OFF TO A FLYING START! The Events Hub were delighted to work with the Ayrshire Chamber team on the first virtual Stay Connected B2B Exhibition on 7 October 2020. Attracting over 100 attendees including virtual exhibitors, members and non-members, the event was successfully hosted in the OnAIR platform. Allowing participants to network in small groups as well as 1:1; exhibitors to virtually showcase their services and meet with stand visitors and giving sponsors the opportunity to run workshops, the platform allowed the event to move at a dynamic pace, resulting in incredibly positive feedback from everyone involved. The Events Hub has since had more enquiries come through for both the OnAIR platform and their event management services from attendees and visitors of the Ayrshire Chamber B2B Exhibition. The Events Hub team solve virtual event woes using a tried and tested 7-step process, giving complete peace of mind as well as guidance and advice to help effectively design an online event agenda. They combine 3 key elements of running a successful virtual event: event management, an experienced tech team and an immersive event platform. Typically working with membership organisations, SME’s, consultancies and professional & financial service firms across Scotland and England. Whether it’s an internal get-together or an event to generate leads or interest in your product or service, book a chat with them so they can dive deep into your event plans.

YOUR BUSINESS | WINTER 2020 | Book a free 30 minute chat with Director, Ruby Sweeney:


AESTHETICS AYRSHIRE Not many people would look to open a new clinic offering industry leading aesthetics treatments in the midst of a pandemic, but that hasn’t stopped the team at Aesthetics Ayrshire from opening their doors – in a managed and controlled way - to clients at their new clinic on Dalblair Road, Ayr. As Managing Director Ann Burnett remarked: “We had been working toward an opening date during April this year, re-fitting the clinic, equipping it with the latest cutting edge technology and hoping to have a large opening event for over 100 guest but, of course, the lockdown restrictions put paid to that”. However, following an easing of restrictions Aesthetics Ayrshire finally opened it’s doors to clients in August this year, offering a wide range of procedures and services including cryotherapy, Byonik, Morpheus8 and Forma. “We are the first clinic in the country that offers Byonik procedures, a non invasive, patented beauty programme which stimulates cell functions which help our clients maintain a more youthful appearance” explained Ann. Also on offer, and already proving very popular, is the cryotherapy chamber, one of only two in Scotland.

“Our cryotherapy chamber has had excellent feedback so far from clients who have used it, many of whom have reported improved sleep after just one session, or easing of muscular and other aches and pains, increased levels of energy and a general feeling of wellbeing following a short course of cryotherapy treatments” The final word from Ann; “In a few short weeks from opening we’ve already built up a regular client base of people looking just to be the best version of themselves and improve their health and wellbeing, something we could all use in these difficult times”.

For more information, or to book a safely controlled consultation, check out the web site at

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LOCAL BUSINESS STAYING STRONG DURING LOCKDOWN! It has been over six months since going into ‘lockdown’ and it is easy to feel like it has been a time of bad news for business and local communities, however Albion Environmental have adapted and shown resilience as a business and would like to share some good news stories with the community. Whilst many sites closed, Albion’s workflow continued. By following the guidelines, the team ensured projects were completed for their clients. Alongside this, there has been exciting things happening behind the scenes at Albion Environmental to offer more services to the South Ayrshire community. Keep your eyes peeled for some helpful new technology coming soon to manage your waste and contribute to tidying up our planet! At the beginning of the year Albion were very busy delivering training and audits to all the NHS boards in Scotland. Once restrictions came in, they quickly transitioned to delivering these remotely, however events overtook as NHS staff quite rightly had other priorities. This work is now starting to move again, and they are providing high standards of training and audits to help keep our wonderful NHS running smoothly during these trying times. Having made great progress putting in improvements internally for Albion Environmental, they continue to deliver a high-quality service to their clients. Albion has been awarded a Knowledge Transfer between the University of the West of Scotland, creating new opportunities for the transfer of expert knowledge between the business and the new

Site work being completed

associate. In addition to all of this, Albion Director Alasdair Meldrum, as a trustee of SWITCH (Scottish Waste Industry Training, Competency, Health & Safety) has been working collaboratively to raise standards of health and safety, training, learning and development, and technical competence and to promote the Scottish resource management industry as an attractive career choice. Albion are thankful for the support from their local community and hardworking team throughout these difficult times and hope services can continue to be used to support new opportunities in the sector. Visit for more information.




A new long-distance walking and cycling route is being set up, which travels in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims in the Middle Ages, from Glasgow to Whithorn. The route is 149 miles long, starting at Glasgow Cathedral, and travels a combination of cycle routes, minor roads, beaches and country paths, to reach Whithorn and the port at Isle of Whithorn in Galloway. “It is often not appreciated”, confirmed Julia Muir Watt, Development Manager at the Whithorn

Trust, “that St Ninian became Scotland's national saint, offering miracles of healing and forgiveness at his shrine at Whithorn”. Along the route, there is rich heritage from the Middle Ages, as well as cultural and outdoor experiences, and hidden gems. The route was mapped into easily walked sections of between 10-15 miles by volunteers, each ending in a settlement for food, drink and accommodation. The route is now being accepted as a major economic regeneration initiative by local authorities, from Renfrewshire to Dumfries

and Galloway. There is a particularly long section through Ayrshire and the Whithorn Trust, which is putting up signage, has created a guidebook (available via, pilgrim stamps, free maps of each section, and a free app (Walk the Whithorn Way, available at the AppStore or on GooglePlay), hope that additional footfall will help businesses along the route. The Trust is urgently seeking visitor attractions, accommodation providers, taxis, food outlets, walking supplies and crafters to sign up to the app – free of charge! –at the following link :


Thistle Help Ltd in Irvine are delighted to announce the successful acquisition of the Mobility Centre in Crosshouse, Ayrshire as part of their expansion plans over the next two years. Having over 13 years’ experience in the mobility sector, Thistle Help owners George Ruddick and Laura Hays were keen to acquire the business from current owner John Bond. Thistle Help’s Managing Director George Ruddick stated, "like ourselves, John has been in the industry for many years and has a successful business in Crosshouse. This acquisition makes sense as we strive to widen the area we serve. We will not only offer the customers of the Mobility Centre the same level of service but also a wider range of products from more suppliers than they do at present." Thistle Help will continue to supply lift & rise recliners, mobility scooters, manual and power wheelchairs, adjustable beds and daily living aids from both their Irvine showroom and the Crosshouse property. They will also continue to offer a repair service to all mobility equipment from both locations. Look out for some very special offers when they open in Crosshouse! Laura Hays, Director and Business Development Manager explained, "George and I have worked hard to ensure all of our staff in our Irvine showroom have kept their jobs during this pandemic. We are excited to be able to expand in these unprecedented times. Undoubtedly our staff's dedication in providing a superior service has enabled us to be in the position to acquire the Mobility Centre." Thistle Help officially opened at 11 Gatehead Road, Crosshouse on Monday 2nd November and look forward to being able to continue the excellent service provided by John over the last 3 years. John Bond commented “Having personally spent 15 years in the mobility sector serving the community of Ayrshire, I feel Thistle Help are the ideal business to acquire the Mobility Centre from myself. They are an excellent mobility company and I am confident my customers will receive the best service possible. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Thistle Help over the years and I would like to wish George, Laura and the team all the best for the future. The opening hours in Crosshouse will continue to be Monday – Friday, 10am to 4pm. For further information, please call our Irvine showroom on 01294 313369 or email

NEW FOR 2021 AYRSHIRE MICRO WEDDINGS FOR UP TO 20 AT BLAIR ESTATE Like many other Ayrshire businesses Blair Estate is adapting to the current situation and is now opening its doors to a limited number of Micro Weddings in 2021. Blair is a stunning Scottish castle and a much-loved family home offering an intimate setting for your Wedding Day. They are delighted to be able to welcome wedding parties for up to 20 guests for the Wedding ceremony, Reception, and Wedding Breakfast, with guests staying overnight in the castles luxury suites and bedrooms. For any couples struggling to find a wedding venue Blair offers a flexible option for their special day. They can reserve Blair House and 32 acres of beautiful private gardens now, for a wedding of up to 20 guests in 2021, and then if restrictions are lifted prior to their wedding, the wedding party numbers can increase up to 70. Blair Estate is situated just 25 minutes from Glasgow and 30 minutes from Ayr and offers 5 Star service, superb cuisine and a magical setting for small, Micro Weddings. For more information please call 01294 833100 or email



Dear Chamber Member

We are writing you this open letter in the hope that your business is surviving through the most challenging economic times in living history. Sales across all sectors have been badly hit due to the virus, and sadly, it looks like it will get worse towards the end of the year and into 2021. In times of economic stress, it is normal for businesses to cut their marketing effort in order to reduce costs, but this has been proven time and time again to have the opposite effect. Reducing or ending your marketing effort will very quickly reduce or end your sales. The only way to maintain sales is to maintain your marketing effort. Now might be the time to have a fresh look at how you promote your company, what platforms you market on and how you can maximise sales from a reduced marketing budget. CoshNiven is Ayrshire’s dedicated marketing company. Stephen Cosh and Graeme Niven have been responsible for the marketing of literally hundreds of Ayrshire companies over the last 25 years. This partnership consistently delivers increased sales and heightened brand awareness through solid strategy, copywriting, photography and advertising. During the crisis, we are offering all Chamber members a free marketing consultation where we will audit your sales process and suggest more efficient methods not only to survive the downturn, but to come out of it fighting fit. It’s free to talk, and we’d love to hear from you, so call us on 0800 0854 101, and we’ll do our very best to get your sales back on track.

Yours optimistically,

Stephen Cosh

Graeme Niven



Alloway Mill Studios, 57 Greenfield Avenue, Ayr KA7 4NX 0800 0854 101



A DECADE OF EVENTS For a decade Entourage UK has been helping organisations reach audiences and secure sponsorship funding to build and deliver successful events and 2020 was looking to be a very productive and profitable year. That was before March when the lights went out directly due to COVID-19. Entourage UK are best known for delivering events. It is what they are good at and respected for, but events bring people together and in a world where this is not currently possible, these highly skilled event managers had to think fast on their feet! Event management requires a variety of skills that are completely transferrable into any business environment and as a result Entourage UK have produced a new online brochure detailing their range of business development experience and where they can add value to any business, especially during these challenging times. Entourage UK have been working with Ayrshire Chamber to deliver the Ayrshire Business Awards for many years and the event was always a fantastic platform to raise money for charity. Now, with no events taking place charities are facing challenging times. Entourage UK have teamed up with the Beatson Cancer Charity to focus on something positive and to help raise essential funds. Previous Ayrshire Business Awards hosts Elaine C Smith and Edward Reid are amongst the many who donated prizes for the auction and live prize draw which raised essential funds for the charity. Linzi Harvey, Director commented “We love to speak to people and

networking is a huge part of our corporate life, often during the conversation we can identify an opportunity where we can make a genuine difference. Albeit it is in a very different format these days, but networking and events are still a very valuable way for us to maintain our relationships, make new contacts and identify new opportunities. A recent example of how effective networking online can be is our latest partnership with the Beatson Cancer Charity which we are extremely proud of.” For the time being online events are here to stay. Entourage UK can make them work and whilst the events industry may face many challenges for months to come there are still opportunities for the team to work with businesses and add value. Communication is key and Entourage UK is very much open for business. Entourage UK are offering Ayrshire Chamber Members an initial one hour no obligation meeting to discuss their business requirements. E-mail and quote #EUK2020

PROPERTY MARKET IS VIBRANT IN AYRSHIRE Managing Director of Limegreen Estate Agents, Stephen MacVean, has worked within the Ayrshire property market since 2000 and has never seen such an enthusiastic market for all types of properties especially well presented family homes with many properties going to closing dates and offers exceeding home report by incredible sums.


Limegreen are a long established sales and letting agency located within Prestwick and are well placed to give advice on selling or letting properties throughout Ayrshire. All properties are listed on the major marketing platforms to include rightmove with quality photographs and floor plans. Being the only estate agency in Ayrshire with an in house marketing department they are committed to ensure your property gets the

exposure it deserves. With all sales over seen by Stephen personally, he is on hand to ensure you get the best price for your property. He says: “Our fees are competitive, our results are outstanding!” Contact the team for a free market appraisal and discover how much your property is worth! 14 The Cross Prestwick KA9 1AJ : 01292 478123


KEEPING YOUR STAFF AT THE HEART OF YOUR BUSINESS – COVID 19 AND BEYOND In the pre-Covid-19 world people used to say if you’re not in the room, you’re not in the know. Now, virtually nobody is in the room. They are on Zoom and it may have left you feeling “How do I ensure I keep the team in the loop?” One of the most important things that you can do is to make sure that you are able to both understand what the impact of the current situation is on your team, take account of that and provide as much support and communication as you can. That can be about having a one-to-one conversation which is not so easy or convenient to do when you are not in the same physical location. And it can also be about keeping the team involved and engaged. Team resilience doesn’t necessarily lie with individuals. It can lie between them. Local company Booth Welsh have come up with some great ideas.

From the outset of lockdown they have been running mini 'video blogs' streamed live from the MD ensuring their teams are kept up to date with the news and its impact on their company. They try to make the updates as honest and open as possible. Initially, they held live online Q&A sessions with an 'Ask Me Anything' approach. Staff commented that this visibility was very reassuring. They continue to ensure that strong communication is moving in all directions. They recognise the importance in keeping staff engaged in these worrying times but also that this strategy needs to become the new way of working, and not just during the Pandemic. We should all consider adopting this philosophy. Maureen Johnstone HR email:




Indigo Networks is the national carrier of gas and electricity. The company is one of the largest independent network operators in the country, dedicated to heating and powering over 187,000+ domestic and commercial premises across the UK. Indigo offer a fully supported service for the adoption of assets, backed by a team of experienced industry experts. The company is licensed by Ofgem, ensuring that they maintain and develop a safe and secure network of infrastructure and connections that serves their clients specific requirements. Launch are a Digital Marketing agency with Studios in Ayrshire and Glasgow. Launch focus on creativity and provide a vast amount of marketing services including branding, website design, graphic design, social media, and search marketing. Quality and customer satisfaction are priority and the team at Launch are proud of their many longstanding clients in the local area who they continue to work closely with. Both companies have been working together over the past few months on the design and development of a new, modern, dynamic and

functional company website for Indigo Networks. Indigo recognised the need for a new a website which incorporates the values and showcases the quality of services provided by the company, in order to increase their credibility and brand awareness. The team at Launch were happy to get involved with this interesting project and worked closely with Indigo Networks to develop a website which fully portrays the success of the company and the services they offer. Launch also carried out thorough search engine marketing and research to ensure the new website is targeted at the required audience and are measuring success on page visits, engagements and conversions. Check out the new website:

CLIMATE KIND ENERGY CAN HELP REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT Stuart Murdoch has spent over 30 years working in the energy industry, witnessing some big changes: deregulation of supply markets, globalisation of company ownership and emergence of ‘challenger suppliers’. However, the biggest change Stuart has seen is happening right now – the move to clean, green, renewable energy to fight climate change and achieve Net Zero carbon emissions targets. Climate change and the measures to combat it affect everyone, as individuals and in our workplace. We already see this in action through unprecedented flooding and record temperatures, as well as government policies to phase out diesel and petrol cars, improve energy efficiency and build a post-COVID ‘green economy’. The next decade will see huge transformations to heating systems, transportation networks, and energy generation and storage. Emerging technologies that are currently niche may become the norm, like hydrogen power. Household names such as Marks & Spencer, Amazon and Tesco have made public commitments to be supplied with 100% renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint. However, all businesses, no matter what size, have a carbon footprint and should be doing what they can to reduce it. Stuart is using his experience of producing Decarbonisation Delivery Plans for public sector organisations to benefit all types of business customer. His consultancy, Climate Kind Energy, secures 100% renewable energy contracts from large and small-scale suppliers, and helps

businesses to create strategic plans for further decarbonising their operations. Stuart says: ‘With greater awareness of climate change, consumers are more inquisitive about what national and local businesses are doing to reduce their carbon emissions. This provides opportunities for forward-thinking companies to gain competitive advantage by being transparent about their mitigation activities.’

Stuart Murdoch

Contact Stuart to find out what your business can do to reduce its carbon footprint and save on energy costs. Email: Tel. 07593 557121

TWO MEMBERS TEAM UP AND LAUNCH NEW PRODUCTS Ayrshire Chamber Members RCO Furniture and Geraldo’s of Largs have teamed up to bring exciting new products to the Scottish market just in time for Christmas. RCO Furniture, set up during lockdown, brings a new and interesting combination of wood and resin to create a unique contemporary look to handcrafted Scottish goods using local sustainably sourced wood. Their Charcuterie/Tapas Boards caught the eye of Toni Dawson, Managing Director at Geraldo’s, Ayrshire’s only five star tourist shop. Having just expanded their offering into cheese and tapas products, Toni thought the Tapas Boards seemed the perfect accompaniment to Geraldo’s new range. Toni said: “I spotted images of them on Twitter and thought they looked fantastic. Ryan has an incredible eye for detail. I love how he picks out the imperfections in a raw piece of wood and can visualise how to enhance it with resin. His work is really original and contemporary and I’m delighted to be working with him and supporting him in his new business.” Ryan Oldfather from RCO Furniture who designs and crafts all products individually and developed the Riverwood collection, commented: “I wanted to bring a new and modern look to traditional handcrafted wood

and thought resin was the perfect partner. As a new business set up during lockdown I was so pleased when Toni invited me for a chat. When she saw the Charcuterie Boards and one of our coffee tables first hand she said right away, let’s work together. Since then we’ve been working up the range to compliment Geraldo’s amazing range of quality gifts. To be working with an established business like Geraldo’s is a huge help to a new business like my own.” Both businesses are aimed at the quality end of the market and have a shared enthusiasm for contributing an Ayrshire quality brand to the Scottish food and gift market. With Christmas on the horizon, there’s an opportunity to support Ayrshire business and at the same time purchase a unique handcrafted quality Christmas, wedding or birthday gift. To place an order contact or





MOVING ON UP! During these uncertain times, it is extremely refreshing to hear some good news about a company who are not only surviving the pandemic but also, evolving and diversifying into new avenues of business. Saxen, already a renowned supplier of exceptional furniture solutions for offices, hospitality, healthcare and education sectors are venturing into the fast growing business sector of move management and secure storage. In addition to their 7,000 sq. ft. Saxen furniture showroom in Newmilns, they have acquired a 160,000 sq. ft. secure warehouse. The office moves is headed up by Operations Manager Kevin Duffy, who has a decade of experience in facilitating office moves for public, private and third sector organisations throughout the UK.

The founder of Pillow Property Partners, Scott Weir, has won the Scotland & Northern Ireland Entrepreneurial Spirit Award at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Pillow is an Ayrshire based online travel tech platform that match holiday home owners with quality guests from all over the world, while making a positive impact to local communities and helping society’s most vulnerable people. It’s the second year in a row that Scott has picked up a Great British Entrepreneur Award, after he was named Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019. Now in its eighth year, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards in partnership with Starling Bank celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs in the UK, rather than the business’ balance sheet. In response to the win the founder and CEO of Pillow, Scott Weir said “It really was a privilege to win this award, and I must give all credit to my amazing team who all came together to ensure we not only got though the lockdown, but came out the end stronger.”


The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award celebrates entrepreneurs who have overcome hardship either in their personal lives or business careers to be the driving force behind their business’ growth.


With Covid-19 restrictions preventing the regional finals taking place at a live event, Scott won the award during a virtual award ceremony joined by finalists across every region. In a video message to finalists, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Entrepreneurs stay strong, even during a global pandemic. Coronavirus hasn’t stifled enterprise. “Entrepreneurs are creating new businesses and adapting to the crisis, as seen in this year’s entries. And that’s what we need to happen if we want our economy to bounce back. We need all of you to keep inventing, keep taking risks, keep creating new businesses.” “Congratulations to all the winners. Thank you to all of you for everything you’ve done.”

The move management package incorporates: • Pre-site survey & furniture audit • Planning & design • Furniture sourcing and storage • Crate hire • I.T. and floor box relocation • Carpet tile replacement • Logistical services • Environmentally friendly furniture recycling and disposal service Saxen provides a full stress-free relocation package for ‘live’ working environments or relocations into empty premises. Your workspace can be redesigned to comply with social distancing guidelines and excess furniture can be stored, short or long term, in their secure warehouse and returned once social distancing procedures are relaxed. Operations Manager, Kevin Duffy stated “although Saxen’s main passion is sourcing and supplying great furniture solutions to meet or even surpass our client’s expectations - this relatively new side of the business is already generating enquiries on a daily basis, often leading to exciting new opportunities to quote and supply furniture.” Tel: 01560 329 916 Email:


At the core of every business’s SEO strategy is a deep understanding of the customer and their needs. Without this understanding, within the culture of the company and the products/services, any SEO strategy can fall flat.

These are the top five strategies all businesses need to implement:

According to HubSpot, 75% of people don’t look past the first page of Google. They will revise the search before they click on page two. Wild! Considering that data, it’s so important to tap into the science of marketing and SEO and play to its advantage. With the right strategy and tools, any size business can compete online.

That means less money spent on paid ads, less time guessing what people are searching for, and more money flowing through the virtual doors of the business.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is one of the most critical parts of a business. Organic traffic from a strong SEO strategy can increase conversions and revenue quickly.

While SEO has many opportunities for scalable customisation, it is also built on a universal foundation that applies to all users, regardless of the company size.

Good SEO gets a website or listing on the first page of Google. Great SEO gets a website in the highly coveted top positions, or SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Keyword research and targeting Local search engine optimisation Mobile optimisation Content creation Link building

By building an SEO strategy around each of these points it will be significantly cheaper than paid advertising. It may take hiring a professional digital marketing team to get things off the ground initially, but it will be well worth it, and not to mention incredibly reliable, in the long run. Get in touch with to discuss SEO.

GERALDO’S LAUNCH PRIVATE ARRAN CASK WHISKY To celebrate 20 years of trading, Geraldo’s of Largs is releasing a private cask whisky in collaboration with Arran Distillers. Shortly after the UK went into lockdown, Geraldo’s should have been celebrating their 20th birthday. What followed for many people was a period of isolation and reflection, including Geraldo’s business owner, Toni Dawson. When her parents’ business ceased trading at the end of 1999, a lifeline was thrown to Toni by way of an empty shop in Largs. Her father encouraged her to ‘go for it’ and Sugar & Spice was initially established as your typical seaside sweet shop with ice cream, candy floss and sweets. Toni said: “It’s incredible to think how the business has developed over the years, especially since I rebranded the business to Geraldo’s in 2016, in memory of my dad who passed away in 2005. I would never have believed I would be here 20 years later.” The business is unrecognisable from its humble beginnings, now specialising in

luxury hampers, handmade chocolates, specialist confectionery, ice cream and premium drinks including a discerning range of whiskies. It was always their intention to release a private whisky cask from Arran Distillery this year, as they have a strong connection and co-hosted a sellout whisky masterclass for the distillery’s 25th Anniversary in February. The private cask bottling was carefully chosen from just 3 cask samples. Geraldo’s new Whisky Ambassador, James Gillies, assisted rating the whiskies to help decide on something special to mark Geraldo’s 20th year. “When we both compared notes the choice was clear,” said Toni. “It’s later than planned but given everything that’s gone on in the world this year, the timing seems right to ‘seize the day’ as who knows what’s round the corner. Geraldo’s Private Arran Cask Whisky is available at from late November.



Feeling lost & We can shed confused some light. with your Access free 1:1 business business? adviser support and online resources for a brighter future.

Connect with us on 0330 678 1611


DIGITAL SKILLS FOR ECONOMIC RECOVERY The pandemic is forcing all of us to utilise 21st-century technologies – from working to learning and socialising - most of us are essentially living a virtual life in more ways than we could have imagined.



As we move through this chapter of restarting the economy – safeguarding and recreating jobs through targeted upskilling and reskilling will be critical for Ayrshire’s recovery. In the immediate term, many employers still need to fill critical skills gaps fast to keep business running – either by upskilling existing staff or reskilling them to work in another part of the business. Equipping employees with relevant skills-sets is key.

Founded in 1869, Kilmarnock FC is the oldest professional football club in Scotland with a proud history of setting the highest standards on the pitch. When six players recently tested positive for COVID-19, the club showed it sets the highest standards off the pitch too. Following advice from a Problem Assessment Group led by NHS Ayrshire and Arran, the club immediately placed its entire first-team playing squad into self-isolation for 14 days. To minimise the risk of further cases at Rugby Park and in the wider local community, the club also commissioned the team at Confida FM to carry out its specialist bio-fogging service in the changing rooms, gym and medical suite, as well as the sports bar, restaurant and catering facilities. Bio-fogging is an ultra-low volume disinfection method which dispenses micro droplets of a specialist cleaning agent to eradicate airborne and surface-based pathogens. By adding an electrical charge to the liquid droplets, surfaces attract the drops allowing them to reach places traditional disinfection methods are unable to penetrate. The technique is quick to deploy, causes minimal disruption and kills 99.9% of known viruses. Lorraine Brophy, Commercial Manager at Confida FM, said: “If an outbreak of COVID-19 is confirmed, there is no time to waste. By rapidly responding, we were able to help prevent the risk of further contagion and let the club focus on playing rather than the pandemic.” Gregg McEwan, Head of Marketing and Commercial Operations at Kilmarnock FC, said: “Even with our high standards of hygiene, the spread of this virus is unavoidable. Our swift action was aided by the team at Confida FM, who assembled their crew to assist us with the deep clean. We wouldn’t hesitate to call on their expert services again in the future.”

The growth in digital has been phenomenal but the downside is the skills deficit. Lloyds Bank UK Consumer Digital Index 2020 highlighted that 52% of the workforce lack digital skills. Help is at hand for levy paying companies who can access support for reskilling and upskilling via the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. The Business Growth team offers a suite of digital skills training focussed on providing employees with the essential tools to manage effectively in our new world – tools that can lead to better productivity, better analysis of data and decision-making and better ways to engage and communicate with teams wherever they are located. We have invested significantly in our virtual classroom, offering small, high quality and interactive learning. Courses are practical and hands-on which means employees will gain skills they can apply immediately within the working environments. We are operating within a fundamentally different world requiring new thinking, skills and knowledge. Digital skills are an important strand for economic recovery and skills sets we require now more than ever. There is a significant risk that skills training will be deprioritised as companies face many challenges and competing demands. Investing in people now and in the future must be at the heart of our economic recovery. The Business Growth team is ready to help businesses tool up for recovery. Learn more about the Flexible Workforce Development Fund and wider training courses We look forward to working with you. NUALA BOYLE Head of Business Growth




WORKING FROM HOME & NEED MORE SPACE? Creating a dedicated work space in a home can add value to a property and increase wellbeing by improving work life balance. The team at TeraPro are pleased to offer a free initial consultation to Ayrshire Chamber members. Founded in Ayrshire in 2017, TeraPro offer land, planning and environmental consultancy services. Combining local knowledge and in depth insights of the planning process to deliver bespoke solutions that are creative, catalytic and above all commercial.

Stress and anxiety are a natural response to uncertain times and we have all experienced our fair share of uncertain times in 2020.

Ronnie Hogg

1. INTERNAL REMODELLING Reconfiguring the space utilising Permitted Development (PD) rights. Building Warrant approval will be required on structural elements and electrical works. 2. LOFT CONVERSION Increased space and headroom can be created as PD allows for the construction of dormer windows to the rear of a property. 3. GARAGE CONVERSION Converting an attached building, like an integral garage, into living space falls under PD as the overall footprint of the building is not increased. 4 .SIDE OR REAR EXTENSION Single and 2 storey side and rear extensions can be accommodated under PD rights however size limits and distance from boundaries apply.


Donna Shillinglaw

Donna from A New Chapter Life Coaching is an Anxiety Therapist who has been supporting her clients through some really tough times this year.

5 Things That Can Be Achieved Without Planning Permission...

5. HOME OFFICE IN THE GARDEN PD rights allow the construction of outbuildings: summer houses, gyms, home offices, garages or sheds. Size restrictions apply. EXCEPTIONS If a home is a Listed Building, in a Conservation Area, a flat or maisonette PD rights won't apply. ADVICE Always consult a Chartered Town Planner or the Local Planning Authority before undertaking any work. Visit or contact them on 0141 237 6063



Some common feelings recently, especially amongst 15 – 25 age group have been - I’m not good enough, negative overthinking, fear of being judged and feeling overwhelmed. Donna has also noticed an increase in the number of people experiencing dark thoughts. She will support people by showing them how to take control of their thoughts rather than their thoughts controlling them and she will show clients various coping strategies to be used in their daily life. There has never been a more important time to look after your own, family and colleagues mental health as this year. As so many people are now working from home there can be feelings of isolation. Signs that someone is struggling that would previously have been picked up at a morning meeting or a 5 minute chat at the coffee machine are being missed. It’s very easy to pretend to be fine on a zoom call, very few people will put up their hand to say that they are struggling in front of their peers. This is definitely the time to keep talking about mental health and mental wellness and letting people know that there is support out there for them if they need it. There are also so many organisations and charities doing a fabulous job supporting people in Ayrshire. If help is needed in any way then please contact Donna at who would be delighted to support local businesses and people in any way that she can.

SOFTWARE INNOVATOR STREAMLINES PROCESSES FOR BUSINESSES EXPERIENCING CHANGES IN DEMAND A good news business story at this time is welcome, so it’s great to see Scottish cloud software innovator and Chamber member Eureka Solutions continuing to enhance the functionality of what is undisputedly a cost-effective way for businesses of all sizes to free up essential resources and adapt to change, with their Cloud Data Exchange solution. The timing really couldn’t have been better for those businesses that have jumped at the chance to take some pressure away from their staff by automating data transfer between the disparate systems they use – massively reducing duplication of effort and manual processes. It’s a scalable integration solution that sits in the cloud and securely facilitates the automatic transfer of data between the popular platforms that businesses use day in, day out for accounts/ERP, Ecommerce, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), EPOS and more. As David Lindores, Technical Director at Eureka Solutions, explains, “Cloud Data Exchange was always going to be a game-changer, but in 2020 many companies have had to adjust to increases in demand – eCommerce businesses in particular – as well as often a reduction of ‘hands on deck’ during periods of furlough. Enabling a business to automate key data such as sales orders, stock levels and customers

between their eCommerce and accounts platforms, for example, has the instant impact of reducing strain on resources. We anticipate this being increasingly important to eCommerce businesses in the lead up to Christmas this year, where online retailers will be under even more pressure than usual due to the changes in shopping habits brought about by restrictions.” New connectors are being added all the time, with pre-made templates that accelerate set up, but readers will surely recognise and be using the systems already on the list, including Sage, Amazon, Xero, WooCommerce, Magento, Shopify, NetSuite, Freshdesk, Visualsoft, eBay and Salesforce. Further information: Laura Weir,, 01355 581960

IM-PRESS PROMOTIONS AYR LTD REACHES AN EXCITING NEW STAGE IN ITS DEVELOPMENT Stuart Thomson, owner and founder of specialist promotional products and clothing company IM-Press Promotions Ayr, is happy to announce that since 1st July 2020 he has entered into a collaboration with Style Brands Marketing Limited.

It specialises in the sourcing and supply of: • bespoke gifts and promotional products • branded clothing and uniform • office stationery and furniture • school supplies • printed literature and exhibition goods • graphic and web design

This exciting new development will enable a greater choice of promotional and clothing IM-Press has been a member of Ayrshire products and highly competitive prices, not to Chamber since 2001, and has supplied a large mention a bigger back-up administration team number of members over the years with products to support IM-Press Ayr’s customers in their such as pens, bags and mugs, including the Chamber business requirements. The collaboration will itself. Style Brands is a family business supplies also offer new products groups and ranges company established since 2000, and will now focus to customers, including all types of business on managing IM-Press Ayr’s day-to-day operations. supplies, stationery and PPE equipment.

Stuart says: “Having at the end of this year reached our 20th anniversary of successful trading, it’s very appropriate we now look at the business’s future development, the opportunity to work with Style Brands will give us the momentum to carry things forward for the benefit of both existing & new customers alike while still maintaining our reliable, dependable reputation with our attention to detail delivering quality products on time within the budget available.” All contact details remain exactly the same so the IM-Press team can be contacted via: Email: Telephone: 01292 570 495



01292 678666

EMPLOYER ENGAGEMENT VIRTUAL ASK We are working on alternative ways to help employers engage with education and continue to support Ayrshire’s young people. There are various ways that you can still support albeit virtually: If you would like to find out more or discuss in more detail then please get in touch with the team




DYW Ayrshire have been working with our local schools and business partners to adapt engagements to a virtual setting whilst restrictions from the COVID-19 outbreak are in place. On Friday 25th September DYW Ayrshire helped to facilitate the first virtual event of the new school year with pupils from Girvan Academy’s National 5 Laboratory Science class. These young people are currently undertaking a unit of work which involves them researching and gaining a knowledge of how laboratory skills are used in various career settings, other skills which can develop as a result of working in a lab and the qualifications and experience needed for these opportunities. During the Microsoft Teams session the class were fortunate to hear from PhD students Mark Thomas and Kimberly Black as well as Dr Anne Crilly at the University of the West of Scotland who all shared how they use laboratory skills in their roles. Dr Anne Crilly commented “The BREATH Team from the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), which included PhD students Ms Kimberly Black and Mr Mark Thomas, were delighted to have the opportunity to be part of an online public engagement event involving N5 pupils at Girvan

Academy, Ayrshire. The Interreg BREATH research programme aims to improve understanding and knowledge around a progressive lung condition known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, with Ayrshire and Arran having an unusually high incidence of the condition. The EU Interreg funded BREATH research programme at UWS supports the doctoral training of 7 PhD students, which includes Kimberly and Mark. It was a fantastic opportunity for Kimberly and Mark to talk to pupils at Girvan Academy about their own journey into a career in science and the transferrable skill sets that they are developing while studying for a PhD. The event also allowed us to promote awareness of lung health and COPD to school pupils within Ayrshire and Arran”. Class teacher, Stephen Lam was very appreciative of the support received and commented “The speakers from UWS were very helpful and enthusiastic – I certainly think it is a good experience for pupils at Girvan to hear presenters from different backgrounds talk about their careers and jobs.” Over the next few months the Laboratory Science class will benefit from further virtual engagements organised by DYW Ayrshire.

For more information in the above please contact


Aimed at employers, parents and young people #ajobforeverybody promoted, illustrated and celebrated diversity and inclusion in the workplace as well as encouraged businesses and organisations to realise that there are many organisations in the region around them willing to meet with them and advise and support them in recruiting. Building on last year’s #ajobforeverybody campaign we introduced a new feature – #myskillsmakeme which aimed to showcase transferable skills and value through a diverse workplace. This element was open to all ages so that adults who have had to struggle with society perceptions when in work could act as role models to the next generation. This feature was also sent to schools to include

pupils in the highlights. The week also saw a series of events including a Live Event ‘Strengthening Diversity through Inclusion’ with 3 In Consulting and several webisodes from the DWP featuring Disability Confident and the return of 'Play Your Cards Right!' with Sue Livermore, (from Dumfries & Galloway College). Some Ayrshire businesses provided us with case studies that we promoted out during w/c 16th November which illustrated diversity and inclusive practice in the workplace.

CASE STUDY: EMMA CAIRNEY I was referred to Employability and Skills Supported Employment in March. I worked with my E&S Officer to develop my employability skills, travel training and general confidence building. Due to Covid I was worried there would not be many job opportunities. I also felt my disabilities were a barrier to securing employment as I require some additional support. Despite all of this I continued to apply for work and used my initiative to contact a previous employer to explore what opportunities may be available. My E&S officer supported and helped me throughout the process. I have now successfully secured paid employment at a local care home and have a designated mentor to help build on my skills and confidence. My Employability and Skills Officer also frequently checked in to ensure I was doing well, being supported and my needs were being met. Gaining employment has helped me build my confidence and independence. “Emma has done fantastically well and has grown in confidence throughout her time at Employability & Skills. I wish her every success in her new job.” Daryl Paterson – Employability & Skills Officer, South Ayrshire Council



In August 2020, DYW Ayrshire helped deliver a series of virtual live events aimed to inform young people about the various pathways available to them after leaving school. This was a national event held on an online streaming platform, reaching all corners of Scotland. These interactive events focussed on employment, training and higher/further education. We invited our business partners from various sectors to join us in a panel discussion, in which they offered advice and shared their experiences from within the world of work. The DYWUp2U episodes are filled with informative, interesting and relative conversation moderated by Gavin Oattes from Tree of Knowledge. These episodes were recorded and can be accessed now via the DYW Scotland website:


LOVE LOCAL South Ayrshire Council is supporting the national campaign ‘Scotland Loves Local’ to help shops and businesses in town centres get back on their feet following the challenges of COVID-19.

are the lifeblood of local communities, so it’s vital we do what we can to support them and help them recover. I would urge everyone, before they make a purchase online, to think ‘can I buy this locally?’ and if so, to do so, safely.”

The campaign is being led by Scotland’s Towns Partnership (STP) and aims to encourage everyone to shop in their local high streets, while staying safe and following public health advice. SAC is backing the campaign in an effort to help boost sales for local shops and independent retailers across town centres in Troon, Prestwick, Ayr, Maybole and Girvan – all of whom lost out on trade for months as they closed to help keep communities safe. Councillor Siobhian Brown, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture said: “It’s in all our interests that shops and businesses across the area can survive to offer services and jobs to local people. They

South Ayrshire Council is encouraging local businesses and retailers to get behind the campaign. The “Scotland Loves Local” website ( offers a branding toolkit and campaign packs created by STP so retailers can make their own images and content to promote their business, high street, town and the “Scotland Loves Local” campaign itself. The Council is promoting the campaign via social media and other channels, and is keen to feature local businesses. To get involved, please contact Gillian Bruce in the Economy & Regeneration team on 01292 616110 or email For more information on Scotland Loves Local, visit:

From 1 January 2021, the way businesses export and import goods will change. ChamberCustoms is the customs advisory, training and brokerage service delivered through Chambers of Commerce across the UK. We can help your team get ready for new rules and border controls.


We provide specialist customs advisory services A HMRC compliant brokerage service that you can trust for all your import and export declaration requirements. We’re the only customs broker in the UK to offer a ‘One Stop Shop’ with direct links to all sea, air, rail and road ports and terminals.

We can train your people ChamberCustoms has developed a range of training courses designed to prepare businesses and trade professionals for the future of trade. All our courses are eligible for HMRC Customs Intermediary Funding.



AMPCONTROL POWERS GOLD MINE IN MALI Ampcontrol’s skilled team assembles the latest AUK4000 Motor Control Centre at their Prestwick main assembly. This (MCC) will provide power to a Gold Mine in Mali, Africa. Ampcontrol’s customer is a mining company with 30 years of experience in operating gold mines in Australia and Africa. They have been commissioned to develop the worlds most advanced mining automation system, delivering a low cost, large scale operation with a mine life beyond 2032. This world-class Gold mine produces 300,000 ounces per annum from existing processing. Ampcontrol’s customer owns three gold mines with a global base of more than 13 million ounces of gold.

Future Chamber member Na Bràithrean [na brahrin] is an independent whisky bottling brand based in Ayrshire. The company was kickstarted by cofounders 25 year old Brendan Clark and 25 year old Andrew Paxton in late 2019. After experimenting in tastings with different finished whiskies, Clark and Paxton realised they could create two unique liquids from one ‘mother cask’ giving birth to the brand’s name – Na Bràithrean which means “the brothers” in Scottish Gaelic. Na Bràithrean celebrates the intricacy of whisky making. Each of its releases will be two limited edition single malts from one mother cask, the Big Brother and the Wee Brother. For the Scottish independent bottler’s inaugural collection, which launched in July this year, the pair bottled a bourbon cask of Islay’s famous 8-year-old Caol Ila single malt. The Wee Brother of the collection was bottled straight from the cask. The remainder of the cask was finished for 6 months in a Pedro Ximénez sherry cask, creating the Big Brother. The first release by Na Bràithrean has been a great success with its Wee Brother bottle selling out in under two months and the Big Brother selling out soon after in under 3 months. To add to this success, Na Bràithrean whisky is growing in popularity further afield with many bottles from its first collection being purchased from Europe and some from the United States. They are now preparing for future releases as well as planning for growth into global markets for Scotch whisky. As young whisky-lovers themselves, Clark and Paxton want to inspire more young people to appreciate the art of whisky making. They hope that by sharing their passion, they can encourage a new age of whisky drinkers to explore the incredible world of Scotch whisky. For more information on Na Bràithrean, please visit

Ampcontrol’s AUK4000 portable substation pictured below is a full enclosed IP66 MCC with a fully integrated system designed to control the Storage and distribution of HFO (heavy fuel oil) to the onsite Mines power station. Ampcontrol’s portable substations are space, time, and cost-effective alternatives to constructing a concrete, brick, and mortar substation for power distribution in the tunnelling and mining industries. Ampcontrol’s custom designed and built compact substations are engineered to address space constraints, ease relocation, and are approved for shipping transport. They are designed, manufactured, fully assembled, wired and operationally tested in our workshops, reducing site works and minimising delays associated with inclement weather. The compact substations include power factor correction equipment, a ring main unit, circuit breakers, switchboards, and dry type transformers encased in robust enclosures with easy access to equipment. With their comprehensive AUK Flameproof, Robust, and Industrial switchgear portfolio, Ampcontrol’s Scottish manufacturing and engineering is powering mining and infrastructure projects worldwide.





A commercial banker with 20 years’ experience has been unveiled as The Roxburgh Group’s newest signing.

division across Scotland. It is an honour to join this well respected and longstanding independent brokerage business and I look forward to continuing to work with

Andrew MacLeod, who has spent the last 12 years as Senior Relationship Manager for RBS Corporate & Commercial Banking, moves to the Troon firm with the aim of developing their Commercial Insurance proposition throughout Ayrshire. He said: “I am delighted to join Roxburgh Group at a time where they are currently encountering growth within their insurance

Andrew MacLeod

the local business community to help deliver solutions that will meet their needs and de-risk their businesses appropriately.” Managing director, Stewart Roxburgh, added: “We are delighted to welcome Andrew to Roxburgh Group which further demonstrates our commitment to developing and growing the team in our Troon office. Andrew has worked within the Ayrshire area for a number of years and he will be a great asset to our company. Our Troon branch is a key part of our business strategy and we are fully committed to help develop and grow the business locally.”



Gemmells Garden Centre are pleased to announce to all their customers the opening of their new Coffee Shop and facilities after extensive refurbishment. This refurbishment with cosmetic improvements has been designed and focused for customers to improve their shopping experience.


Gemmell’s Garden Centre Coffee Shop has been relocated to the centre of their building, making it easier to find and has new menus with additional choices with full table service in place, which contributes to a more relaxing and pleasant visit. The layouts and displays are even better than before and include magical Christmas Decorations, Gifts, Homeware, Kitchenware, Toys, Books and much more! A new roof on the Plant Canopy has completed this substantial makeover. Gemmell’s Garden Centre is a long established family run business. They look forward to welcoming you for an amazing shopping experience, delicious meals and drinks at their stunning new Coffee Shop. Gemmell’s Garden Centre, Trabboch Road, Stair, KA5 5JD. Tel 01292 591 900

With many dry cleaners about; there remained no option for a self-service facility. Ayrshire Self-Service Launderette is an unmanned laundry facility equipped with the newest in professional grade washing and drying equipment. It offers the residents and businesses of Ayr and Prestwick an opportunity to use industrial sized washers and dryers at their convenience. At an affordable price; large loads of washing, bedding, duvets, and the likes can be washed and dried in no time at all. Freeing up space in the home, eliminating the need for

clothes horses and bedsheets hanging over doors. The facility has ample seating as well as plenty of parking space for customers who would prefer to sit and wait in the car listening to their radio. On top of this it is located on Whitletts Road across from Tesco, giving the opportunity for people to possibly do a food shop while they wait! If you would like to have a closer look or have some questions their website is where they have a gallery and a FAQs section. Additionally, you can find them on Facebook as ‘Ayrshire Self-Service Launderette’.

The Board of Directors is delighted to welcome the following companies as recently joined members of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry: 1:1 DIET LINDSAY DUNLOP Troon Ms Lindsay Dunlop

CLIMATE KIND ENERGY Dundonald Mr Stuart Murdoch

M JOHNSTONE ASSOCIATES Prestwick Mrs Maureen Johnstone

2BK PARTNER LTD. Glasgow Mrs Naciye Neslihan Yasav


MAGNUM FALCONS Maybole Mr Robert Shirley





EVENTS HUB (THE) Livingston Mrs Ruby Sweeney



GIEMEIT Drongan Mr David Handling

RAF BENEVOLENT FUND Edinburgh Ms Michelle Jeffcott

BALLOCHMYLE GOLF CLUB Mauchline Mr Andrew Harrow

HOUSE OF ROTHACH Stevenston Miss Niki Munro

RCO FURNITURE Irvine Mr Ryan Oldfather

BH EVENTS Darvel Mr Andy Dunlop



SIMPLY SIMON LTD Dunlop Mr Simon Partridge SOFTWORX Glasgow Mr Alan Smillie TALISKER BAY INTERNATIONAL LTD Kirkmichael Mr Fraser Robertson THE NECTARY Kilmarnock Dr. Jillian Mullen TRUSTCARE INTERNATIONAL LTD Cumnock Mrs Rae McNicol VENICE CAFE (THE) Troon Ms Vicky Louise Newall

We want to recruit more members to strengthen your business network and create more business opportunities for you. We are asking you to help by referring companies you know to us. When they join, we’ll reward you with a choice of special offers to help your business. Call the membership team on 01292 678666 or visit the referral page on our website.



Rocket fuel for business. Meet Dave our Managing Director. Speak to Dave about how to skyrocket your business sales, boost your brand presence and get the ultimate ROI. @launchscotland

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