Ayrshire’s Urquhart Opticians eyeing strong future after acquiring trio of practices

Ayrshire’s Urquhart Opticians has increased its number of optical practices to eight, through the acquisition of MacGregor Opticians in West Kilbride, Saltcoats, and Stranraer.

The six-figure purchase of the MacGregor’s chain looks set to be doubled over the next two years, as all three new practices will be refitted with upgraded facilities, enabling enhanced eye examinations. The acquisition increases staff numbers to 40 at Urquhart, which says more broadly that it remains keen to grow.

Linda Dempsey, an optometrist who has been with Urquhart for four years, has been appointed director of the Stranraer practice and has invested in it as a co-owner. Neil Gray, who is similarly director and co-owner of the Kilwinning practice, adds responsibility for Saltcoats and West Kilbride.

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From left: Peter Telfer, Neil Gray, Linda Dempsey and Urquhart co-owner/operations director Alistair Duff. Picture: contributed.

Urquhart MD Peter Telfer said the three MacGregor practices are “an excellent fit” for the company. He added: “Like our existing practices in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Troon, Prestwick and Kilwinning, the new locations are already strongly embedded within their local communities.”

Additionally, Urquhart has operated within Ayrshire for more than 100 years, having been established in Dreghorn in 1916, while MacGregors started out in Saltcoats in 1988 with the sale arising this year through the retirement of the founder’s son, Brian Macgregor. He said: “I could not be happier to be passing my father’s legacy and my own life’s work on to the Urquhart’s team.”

Mr Gray said: “Wherever we operate, our growth has always been largely through word of mouth... all five of our existing practices continue to enjoy steady growth, year on year.”

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