Urquhart acquires three new practices

The six figure purchase of MacGregor Opticians adds three new practices in Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway to the independent group

Urquhart Opticians team

Urquhart Opticians has taken on three new practices through the acquisition of MacGregor Opticians in West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Stranraer in Scotland.

The acquisition involves a six-figure purchase of the three practices and strengthens Urquhart’s presence in North Ayrshire, as well as expanding the group’s footprint outside of the county.

This investment is expected to double over the next two years as the acquired practices will all be refitted as part of an upgrade to the facilities, including introducing new optical coherence tomography (OCT) equipment.

The MacGregor Opticians practices were first established in Saltcoats in 1988 and have now been sold following the retirement of Brian MacGregor, the son of the practices’ founder.

Peter Telfer, managing director of Urquhart, explained that the three MacGregor practices fit with the independent group’s values, sharing: “Like our existing practices in Kilmarnock, Ayr, Troon, Prestwick and Kilwinning, the new locations are already strongly embedded within their local communities.

“This is very important to us, as we seek to play an active part anywhere we have a professional presence.”

Telfer added that the group hopes to bring new benefits to the three practices, such as new eyewear ranges, as well as creating development opportunities for Urquhart’s staff.

Optometrist, Linda Dempsey, who has worked with Urquhart for four years, has been appointed director of the Stranraer site, and has also invested in the practice as a co-owner. The acquisition of the Stranraer practice, in Dumfries & Galloway, marks Urquhart’s first site outside of Ayrshire.

Neil Gray, director and co-owner of the Kilwinning practice, will take on the responsibility for Saltcoats and West Kilbride.

The West Kilbride location is the only optical practice in the town, with Gray commenting: “We love being in places where we see different generations of the same family.”

Becoming “embedded in a community” is important for Urquhart, Gray noted, explaining: “Wherever we operate, our growth has always been largely through word of mouth.”

Reflecting on the sale of the business, Macgregor shared: “I could not be happier to be passing my father’s legacy and my own life’s work on to the Urquhart team. Both sides have taken time to ensure it’s an exciting development for staff, clients and the community at large.”

Urquhart has operated within Ayrshire for over 100 years. In September, the business launched a Care & Community Fund to assist charities and organisations in local areas, which the three new locations will be able to benefit from.

Image caption: (L-R) Peter Telfer, Neil Gray, Linda Dempsey and Alistair Duff, clinical director at Urquhart Opticians