By Ian McConnell

A CHAIN of opticians founded in the Ayrshire village of Dreghorn in 1916 has flagged its appetite for further expansion, after adding three practices to its existing five through a six-figure acquisition.

However, Urquhart Opticians has added that further expansion will “also be based on culture and values”, and declared: “This will always be more important to Urquhart’s than size.”

Urquhart’s purchase of the MacGregor Opticians chain adds outlets at West Kilbride, Saltcoats and Stranraer to its existing practices in Ayr, Troon, Prestwick, Kilmarnock and Kilwinning.

READ MORE: Ayr firm celebrates £1m-plus turnover

Peter Telfer, managing director of Urquhart, said: “We have always stressed that maintaining our values is the most important part of any acquisition and in the three MacGregor practices we have found an excellent fit.

“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.”

READ MORE by Ian McConnell: Up step Johnson and Frost to signal how much worse things might become

Urquhart plans to invest to upgrade facilities at the three practices acquired.

MacGregors Opticians was established in Saltcoats in 1988, with the sale arising as a result of 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. Both sides have taken time to ensure it’s an exciting development for staff, clients and the community at large.”

The Stranraer practice is Urquhart’s first outside Ayrshire.

Urquhart said the Stranraer practice "shares many characteristics with its Ayrshire neighbours, being [in] a historic market town in a coastal location".