A CUMNOCK business owner did not really want to have to use her company’s new product.

Unfortunately, the first frost of winter forced Wendy Pring of KCP to put her handy little orange ice scraper into action so she could see where she was going.

In her hand was a promotional product that was the brainchild Cumnock Academy S2 pupil Breegan Mullen, winner of the KCP Design Challenge 2017.

Wendy said: “As I considered the efficiency of the design of the KCP ice scraper I was grateful for an idea from a few years ago and hopeful for the future of design and entrepreneurial activity in Scotland.

“Philosophising over a humble ice scraper is not my usual Monday morning activity but its newness is still a novelty and its creation marks the latest milestone in our journey of discovery with the pupils of Cumnock Academy.

“It started with a keyring my daughter Ruby had made at school which made me think about getting similar ones made as promotional items for our business and I opened talks with the school soon taking delivery of my first batch of Cumnock Plastics’ goodies.

“The potential of Cumnock Plastics as an educational tool on many levels soon became clear and the school’s Faculty of Business and Technologies picked up the ball and ran with it while KCP were delighted to act as mentors in the process.”

This has evolved as a bi-annual design competition for which KCP provides a detailed brief.

“KCP has not just a great range of special promotional products, but also a chance to take the Cumnock Plastics story to events with us and to spread the word on how business and education can work together to mutual advantage,” Wendy added.

Cumnock Promotional Gifts is now branching out into mug and canvas printing using the profits gleaned over the years from sales of their plastic goods to fund the purchase of some state-of-the-art printing equipment and a £7,000 CNC Router to take them into the world of 3D printing.

Billy Nolan, acting principal teacher, who has recently taken charge of the enterprise group said: “We now have a wide range of clients who buy our goods including Ayrshire Council, KCP and other companies and without their support we would not have been able to raise the money for the new equipment which will take us to another level.”

“In working with companies like KCP the pupils learn the whole range of manufacturing processes, from design and development, to manufacture, sales and accounting and thereby gain a wide understanding of how business works and what it takes to run a business.

“It is perhaps not a surprise that Tom Hunter is a former pupil of Cumnock Academy and he too takes a great interest in the business and Technologies Faculty at the school being especially delighted when the Cumnock pupils took second place in the annual Tom Hunter Challenge adding £2,500 to their development funds.”

KCP office manager Lana McCurdy was joined by Ruby to take delivery of the natty new ice-scrapers and to present the prize to the winning designer Breegan.

Ruby’s mum Wendy said: “I hope too, that Breegan, and all the other pupils who took part in the competition, gain some additional encouragement and inspiration from our judge Victoria Hamilton, a product design engineer.

“Victoria, invented, created and now successfully sells Recoil Knee-pads after her father, a joiner, complained that his knee-pads were cutting into his legs and were not a lot of help.”