Significant expansion for D&R in D&G 

Davidson & Robertson (D&R) add to their team with a focus on the Castle Douglas office 

D&R, Scotland’s longest standing firm of Rural Surveyors and Consultants who have offices across Scotland and Northern England, are set to significantly expand the team and service offering in their office in Castle Douglas in the Southwest of Scotland. D&R Director Ian Austin, who grew up on the family beef and sheep farm near Gatehouse of Fleet and has worked with agricultural clients across Dumfries and Galloway and the Central Belt for over ten years, will head up the local team, splitting his time between Castle Douglas and Edinburgh. Ian joined D&R in 2015, becoming a Director in August 2018 and taking on the role of Head of Department for D&R’s Utilities, Energy and Infrastructure team in 2020. 

Derek Bathgate, previous branch manager in Castle Douglas and now based in D&R’s Ayr Office, continues to represent clients in the area and is now the lead Director for renewable energy within the business. As many clients are aware, long serving and well-respected Consultant John Neil FIA Scot sadly died. He remained engaged with D&R and was committed to ensuring his long-term clients continued to be well served. Our thoughts remain with his family.

Ian McKnight, a familiar face in the region, joined D&R as a Consultant in August 2021 and his role includes assisting in the continued negotiations surrounding the reinstatement of the Gas Networks Ireland (GNI) pipeline in the area. Senior Land Agent Sarah Bennett (nee Jamison) returns from maternity leave in November and will also be involved in the project.  

Ian Austin and the team in the Rural and Agency Department have seen a strong rise in the number of properties being bought and sold through the Castle Douglas office. These have mostly been actioned locally with support from the national dedicated sales team headed up by George Hipwell. Due to growth in the sales and valuations side of the business, Romy Noble, who has worked for D&R since 2015 and moved to the Castle Douglas office in 2019, has recently taken on a new role as Sales and Valuations Assistant. This means she will deliver administrative support to the sales team with a focus on exceptional client service.  

In the Property and Forestry Department, Kimberly Briscoe has joined D&R as a Graduate Surveyor. Kimberly recently completed her Masters of Land Economy in Rural Surveying and Rural Property Management at The University of Aberdeen and will be based in the Castle Douglas office. Kimberly has a background as an archaeological surveyor and has strong mapping skills having held roles as a Geographic Information System (GIS) Teaching Support Coordinator and GIS Technician. Eilidh Strachan will be starting on September 20th as Property and Forestry Coordinator. Eilidh is currently a well-established Property Manager in the area and shall be providing administrative support to the Property & Forestry Team. Associate Nick Mellish is a property management expert based in Lockerbie and Forestry Manager Rob Cleaver spends much of his time in the Region attending to ongoing projects and performing appraisals. 

Ian Austin commented “The Southwest Scotland is a key area for D&R, so it was essential that we expand and develop our team in the local office to ensure our valued clients continue to be well served and we have the opportunity to grow our business in the area based on a well-established reputation. Each of D&R’s three departments are well represented locally, meaning that expertise in a wide range of workstreams is easily accessible. Support can also be brought in through our wider network such as Chris Edmunds and Nigel Harris from our Cockermouth Office who are both involved in the GNI pipeline project. It is nice to see the office bustling with activity again as we return from COVID and with the expanded team. D&R are in a good place going forward.”  

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