The chair of the Prestwick Business Association has retired. 

Graeme Johnstone, who operates the Inspirations shop on Main Street, has been trading in the town for 21 years.

Through his leadership, he helped the town soar to success by spearheading the Christmas Light Up Day as well as many other schemes. The festive event has attracted crowds of 6,000.

He also managed to increase parking times from 20 minutes to two hours in the town, fighting off charges in the process.

The biggest highlight saw him involved in Prestwick scooping the Great British High Street Award for Scotland in 2019. 

It put the small town on the map and made it very desirable for new business ventures with nearly a 100 per cent retail occupancy rate.

As he broke the news of his retirement, the Prestwick Business Association chair said: “The town has a strong sense and depth of pride among local residents. All community ventures are supported and attended very well.

“Prestwick is a thriving town with local business and community relations very strong. The shop local message is very well supported by the community.”

Most recently Graeme has helped secure grants to fund a dedicated website for the town to showcase businesses and other organisations. 

The grandfather-of-two has lived in Prestwick for most of his life but currently lives in Ayr. 

As well as relaxing he intends to do more fly fishing and cycling during retirement.
Graeme said: “The strength of the Business Association has played a huge part in making Prestwick a successful town with a strong voice to challenge adversity.”

Paying tribute, Conservative councillor Hugh Hunter said: “For more than 20 years Graeme has been an integral part of the business community in Prestwick.

“His outstanding leadership qualities and unbridled enthusiasm will be sorely missed. I wish Graeme and wife Pat a long, healthy, and contented retirement.”