Independent optometry group Urquhart Opticians has hailed a six-figure investment with the acquisition of a fifth practice.

It will see Kilwinning’s former Optical Express refurbished, rebranded and restocked. The practice will be led by Neil Gray and optical assistant Liberty McArdle, with a new posts expected to be created.

The new practice is the latest in a series of investments by Urquhart Opticians which in recent years has invested over £500,000 in patient care and premises.

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The business acquired a practice in Ayr last year, and this followed expansion to new larger premises in Troon, the refurbishment of Urquhart’s flagship Kilmarnock and Prestwick practices, and the introduction of new technology and equipment to deliver an enhanced patient service.

The creation of a new Kilwinning Urquhart Opticians also marks the company’s return to north Ayrshire 90 years after founder Robert Urquhart moved from nearby Dreghorn to Kilmarnock, where the business has remained headquartered since.

Over the last five years, Urquharts has been led by clinical director Alistair Duff and business director Peter Telfer, childhood friends “whose vision has seen Urquharts become an award-winning business”.