The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Dead heat at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

THE first dead heat at Ayr Racecourse in many years marked the opening of the two-day May meeting last Wednesday.

In a pulsating finish to the six furlong maiden Ancient Astronaut, ridden by Phillip Makin and trained by John Quinn, got up on the line to share the spoils with the Kevin Ryan trained Shane Gray ridden Ferryover. 

[Picture shows Ferryover (nearest camera) and 
Ancient Astronaut dead heat at Ayr Racecourse.]

Quinn and Makin won the corresponding race last year with The Wow Signal who went on to win the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville. Ancient Astronaut will attempt to emulate his now retired stablemate. 

The in-form Linda Perratt saddled a winner on each of the two days with the same horse. On Wednesday Rock Canyon was successful over six furlongs in the Weddings At Western House Hotel Handicap. 

On Thursday over the shorter distance of five furlong Rock Canyon came with a late thrust to pip another Perratt runner Saxonette and land the Bacardi Carta Oro Handicap. PJ McDonald was in the plate for Wednesday’s win but had chosen to ride Saxonette on Thursday with Connor Beasley benefitting. 

 Ayr’s top flat trainer Jim Goldie was successful on the opening day with Classy Anne winning the New Website at Handicap with Fergal Lynch riding. 

Thursday’s feature race, the Tennent’s Lager Handicap over a mile was won by the David O’Meara trained Fort Bastion ridden by Sam James, a three and three quarter length winner from outsider Pintura, trained by Alistair Whillans. 

Hawick based Whillans had earlier won the Famous Grouse Handicap with Vicky Valentine ridden by PJ McDonald. 

Mark Johnston won the opening Guinness Golden Ale British Stallion Studs Maiden Stakes on Thursday with odds-on favourite Rogues Gallery ridden by Paul Mulrennan; and the final race of the two-day meeting, the Caledonia Best Handicap, saw Royal Duchess trained by Lucy Normile and the mount of Samantha Bell get up close home to foil Hellbender. 

Ayr’s next meeting is on Monday 8 June. For more information on racing at Ayr or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at 

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Linda Perratt on winning form at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

Linda Perratt continued her fine start to the flat campaign at Ayr Racecourse on Wednesday and Thursday of last week, saddling Rock Canyon to win on both days.

[Pictured: Rock Canyon (nearest camera) pips stablemate 
Saxonette to win at Ayr for the second day running.]

On Wednesday the six year-old gelding was sent off at 10/1 and stayed on well to beat Amis Reunis in the six furlong Weddings At Western House Hotel Handicap with PJ McDonald riding.

But on Thursday PJ opted to ride another Perratt trained horse Saxonette in the Bacardi Carta Oro Handicap over five furlongs and thought he’d won only to see  Rock Canyon (4/1)  come with a rattling late run to win by a short head with Connor Beasley riding.

PJ quipped afterwards: “I think I’ll sack my agent for putting me up on the wrong horse!”

Jim Goldie saddled his first turf winner of 2015 on Wednesday when Classy Anne landed the New Website at Handicap at odds of 11/1 with Fergal Lynch riding.

There was a dead heat in the opening race on the first day of the meeting when Ancient Astronaut, trained by John Quinn and ridden by Phillip Makin, shared the spoils with Ferryover from the Kevin Ryan yard with Shane Gray on board.

Thursday’s feature race, the Tennent’s Lager Handicap over a mile went to the David O’Meara trained Fort Bastion (5/2) ridden by Sam James, a three and three quarter length winner from 33/1 shot Pintura, trained by Alsitair Whillans.

Hawick-based Whillans didn’t leave the track empty handed however, having earlier landed the Famous Grouse Handicap with Vicky Valentine (10/1) ridden by PJ McDonald.

Middleham-based Scottish trainer Mark Johnston won the opening Guinness Golden Ale British Stallion Studs Maiden Stakes on Thursday with 1/3 favourite Rogues’ Gallery, ridden by Paul Mulrennan while the final race of the two day meeting the Caledonia Best Handicap went to Royal Duchess (7/2) trained by Lucy Normile and the mount of Samantha Bell.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Friday, 22 May 2015

CKD Galbraith offer for sale a charming Ayrshire country house situated within its own grounds

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Hareshaw Lodge, by Waterside, Ayrshire, a charming country house situated within its own grounds of some 10 acres outside the pretty hamlet of Waterside.

Waterside has a small population of some 82 residents and is popular with commuters seeking quiet rural living yet with easy access to the M77 and Glasgow city centre. 

The property originally formed part of Hareshawmuir Estate, and whilst little is known of its history, the house bears more than a little resemblance in style to the nearby Hareshawmuir Lodge - an Edwardian shooting lodge built for the Earl of Glasgow.  

Built in a traditional Arts and Crafts style, Hareshaw Lodge dates from the early 1900s, and despite its simple whitewashed facade has a certain understated elegance.   

The accommodation is well proportioned and, on the ground floor, centres around a wide spacious hall.  

The living room has picture windows overlooking the grounds and a log burning stove with a large stone surround.  

The kitchen is spacious and sensibly located adjacent to the dining room. There are two bedrooms and a shower room on the ground floor and the more recent addition of a conservatory provides an additional seating area. Two further bedrooms and a bathroom are located on the first floor.   

The grounds of Hareshaw Lodge complement the house beautifully. A white wrought iron fence opens to a private tarmac driveway which sweeps around the house culminating in a practical parking area at the rear.  

An expansive level lawn surrounds the house, sheltered by mature trees and shrubs which provide an array of seasonal colour.  

A productive fruit and vegetable garden has been carefully tended by the present owners for many years and has an adjacent greenhouse and potting shed.  

There is also workshop and wood store complete with circular saw.  The garage block lies at the rear of the house. An adjacent paddock of some 5½ acres provides grazing. 

Hareshaw Lodge requires some modernisation, but is a practical family home in an accessible yet private location. 

Offers Over £395,000 are being sought. 

PDF available on

CKD Galbraith 
7 Killoch Place 
Ayr KA7 2EA 
Ayrshire, Scotland 

Tel: 01292 268181   
Fax: 01292 292300 

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Scottish Government provides funding for 500 extra apprenticeship places

First Minister confirms £3.8 million to boost youth employment

An extra 500 Modern Apprenticeship places will be funded over the next year following a £3.8 million investment, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

The funding will also be used to create more opportunities for young people still at school through work-based Foundation Apprenticeships for senior secondary pupils, which will provide industry-recognised qualifications and first hand insight into the world of work.

The 500 places – announced to mark the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week – are the first step to expand Skills Development Scotland’s current apprentice programme from 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020. 

The First Minister met with some of the female apprentice mechanics at GTG Training which is owned by Arnold Clark, to highlight the opportunities open to young women through the new funding to encourage them to consider roles traditionally filled by men.

Arnold Clark has seen 160 apprentices starting this year – of which 31 are female.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s vitally important that all of our young people in Scotland - no matter their background – have the opportunities available to get on in life.

“Apprenticeships not only offer our young people better job prospects – they also have a positive impact on businesses and industry, bringing value to employers and our economy.

“We have already seen youth unemployment reach its lowest level in seven years, and with further investment in our young workforce - like these 500 apprenticeships - we can hope to see that continue to improve. 

“I also want to make sure that these opportunities are open to everyone. Traditionally, some sectors have been dominated by men, and women have felt that there are barriers to them entering.

“As we continue the expansion of our successful apprenticeship programmes we need to make sure that more young women are aware of the tremendous opportunities that an apprenticeship provides.

“I want our young women – as well as our young men - to be inspired and supported to achieve whatever they want in life."

Carol Henry, Group HR Director, Arnold Clark said: “As a large employer and supporter of developing the young workforce of Scotland, I am pleased to see the continued efforts being made around the extension of apprenticeships. For young people to succeed in today's workplace, it is essential that they are equipped with the right skills and knowledge. The public and private sector have an important role to play in ensuring valuable learning opportunities continue to be available to young people.”

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Pride of Prestwick takes to the water

An enthusiastic crowd watched as the Pride of Prestwick, a coastal rowing skiff built by South Ayrshire Council’s Prestwick Academy students along with volunteers from the community, was officially named and launched at Prestwick Sailing Club. 

[Pictured: Councillor Margaret Toner (left) and Councillor Hugh Hunter (right) take part in the launch of the Pride of Prestwick.]

Coastal rowing in St Ayles skiffs, wooden rowing boats, is a relatively inexpensive way of getting people out on the water rowing. The boats comes in part kit form and are built by enthusiasts and customised by painting them in colours relevant to the users. 

Pride of Prestwick was built by Prestwick Academy pupils, and community volunteers in partnership with the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, as part of their participation in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme skills section. 

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “For many years there was a strong band of people in coastal communities around Scotland who rowed in skiffs. Over the last few years, there has been a revival of this sport, with schools and communities around Scotland getting out on coastal waters. 

“The students have had the satisfaction of building the skiff and now they will be able to get out on the water, getting exercise in the fresh air, enjoying our coastal scenery and getting an introduction to water sports.”

The newest South Ayrshire skiff was launched at Prestwick Sailing Club by the pupils after it was officially named by Shona Lauder, Depute Head Teacher at Prestwick Academy. 

Many people gathered and some took to the waters in the skiff during free ‘Come and Try’ skiff taster sessions that were on offer at the official launch.

Councillor Toner concluded: “Building and rowing the skiff has helped to develop the students’ team building skills and foster an interest in watersports. I am sure that coastal rowing will continue to grow from strength to strength in South Ayrshire.”

Through The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme other South Ayrshire schools have also built skiffs. There are skiffs at Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick Academy and Marr College.

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Friday, 15 May 2015

First Minister meets Prime Minister

More powers and ending austerity on 
agenda during ‘constructive’ talks

More powers for the Scottish Parliament and ending austerity were on the agenda today as First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met Prime Minister David Cameron at Bute House in Edinburgh.

During their first face-to-face talks since the general election, the First Minister welcomed a commitment by the Prime Minister to look at proposals from the Scottish Government to extend Holyrood’s power beyond the plans outlined in the Smith Commission. 

Ms Sturgeon also welcomed the Prime Minister’s agreement that legislation currently being drafted to take forward further devolution would implement in full the Smith Commission proposals and also take account of the report published by the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution Committee earlier this week. 

The discussions, which were described by the First Minister as “constructive and helpful”, also covered her desire to tackle austerity, with further proposals on how this could be achieved within the UK Government’s own fiscal mandate now to be submitted by the Scottish Government and considered by the Prime Minister in due course. 

To take forward these points, the First Minister and Prime Minister also agreed to much closer contact between their respective governments, with a commitment to increasing the number of bilateral meetings between the pair. 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I was pleased to welcome the Prime Minister to Bute House for what were constructive and helpful talks on a range of issues following the outcome of the UK general election.

“During the meeting, we had a productive discussion about the Smith Commission proposals and where we might go beyond them. From that, two things of importance were agreed. Firstly, there was a commitment from the Prime Minister that the legislation being drafted will fully implement the Smith Commission proposals and take account of the conclusions of the Holyrood committee report that was published yesterday. 

“Secondly, the Prime Minister agreed that he would look at proposals the Scottish Government will bring forward on how we go beyond the Smith Commission in various important areas. There was no agreement on the substance of that, but the Prime Minister has said he will consider our proposals and there will be a meeting, in the first instance, between the Deputy First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland to look at how we take that further forward.”

The First Minister continued: “The Prime Minister and I have agreed to meet more regularly, which is a good step forward. We have also agreed to much closer contact between Ministers in the Scottish and UK governments to discuss issues of common interest and policies that impact on Scotland at a much earlier stage – that’s all very positive. 

“David Cameron and I are a world apart politically but, where we can, I’m determined that we do business in the interest of people in Scotland and across the UK and I’m determined to have a constructive and business-like relationship.

“I hope that the Prime Minister can now show he can respond and deliver a better deal for Scotland, with an empowered Scottish Parliament with the powers over business taxes and employment law, the minimum wage and welfare that enables us to grow our economy, get more people into jobs, and lift people out of poverty. Because, ultimately, that is what this process is all about.” 

The First Minister confirmed that discussions had also covered austerity and public spending across the UK. She said: “The Prime Minister has a fiscal mandate, but even within that that I believe there is enough flexibility to ease the pain of austerity, invest in the things that matter while still getting the debt and deficit down. We have agreed to send our analysis and proposals to the UK Government and he has agreed to look at them. I have a duty as First Minister of Scotland to stand up for the things I believe the people of Scotland want and I will not shy away from doing that.”

Frazer Coogans Solicitors opens in Prestwick

Leading Ayr based law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors are delighted to announce that they have expanded into Prestwick and have taken over the former practice of Lawson Russell Solicitors of 163 Main Street, Prestwick. 

Donald Russell and Iain Lawson have run Lawson Russell for over 30 years in the heart of Prestwick, and are well established and respected in the local community.

[Pictured: Donald Russell (right) hands over Lawson Russell & Company to Norman Geddes (centre) and Peter McNamara (left), Directors of Frazer Coogans Solicitors]

 Norman Geddes, Senior Director for Frazer Coogans commented “I wish Donald and Iain all the best in their retirement, and assure them that Frazer Coogans will continue to provide the excellent service which Donald and Iain have provided to their clients and the Prestwick community over the last 30 years. We welcome the new staff members and look forward to this new chapter.

“This is an exciting time for Frazer Coogans Solicitors, and we are all looking forward to even more progress and development in the years to come.” 

[Pictured: Directors & Staff of Frazer Coogans Solicitors outside Prestwick Office.] 

Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Ayr Office: 01292 280 499  
Prestwick Office: 01292 478 487 

Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Two day May meeting at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR Racecourse stages it annual two-day May meeting next Wednesday and Thursday 20 and 21 May. 

Spring Raceday is the first fixture with the opening race a six furlong maiden stakes won last year by The Wow Signal (pictured above) who followed up by winning The Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and then going to Deauville and landing the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny. 

Elsewhere on the card the feature race is the five furlong Class 3 handicap with a prize fund of £12,000 that should see a competitive field of horses with speed to burn. 

The afternoon action ends at 5.20pm with the one mile one furlong apprentice handicap featuring some up and coming jockeys who could be stars of the future. 

Wallaces TCB Raceday on Thursday 21 May begins with the Guinness Golden Ale/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes over the minimum distance of five furlongs at 2.20pm. 

The Tennent’s Lager Handicap over a mile is the feature race of the afternoon with £12,000 in prize money and this always attracts a biggish field with some good horses from the top northern stables. 

Sprint safety limits reduced 

SAFETY limits on the sprint course at Ayr Racecourse have been reduced from 27 runners to 25 runners for this year’s William Hill Gold Cup Festival to allow remedial work to be done on part of the home straight. 

This will mean two fewer runners in each of the three big sprints at Ayr’s flagship flat meeting in September the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, Silver Cup and Bronze Cup. 

Emma Marley, Racing Manager/Clerk of the Course, commented: “By reducing the safety limits we will be able to carry out remedial works over an area of approximately four metres from the old stands’ side rail line during this season resulting in an overall narrowing of the sprint course.  

“We have worked closely with PSD Agronomy to find a solution to a slight compaction issue and are trying our utmost to provide a fair and consistent surface for all races.  The BHA Course Inspector and PJA Safety Officer have been extremely helpful and supportive of this action, with a view to us reviewing the situation at the end of the year.” 

For further information please contact Clerk of the Course Emma Marley on 07881 908702 or Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to hold annual Summer Luncheon at Trump Turnberry Resort

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is to hold its Summer Luncheon 2015 on Friday 3 July at the Trump Turnberry Resort.

The event is free to Circle members and their invited guests.

To book places, please RSVP as soon as possible to:

Photographs from a previous Elite Ayrshire Business Circle Summer Luncheon:

Friday, 8 May 2015

Trump Turnberry reveals summer of golf

A programme of golfing events has been revealed at the iconic Trump Turnberry resort as the golf season gets underway.

With the Trump Turnberry Clubhouse scheduled to open in early June after a multi-million pound refurbishment and only 22 weeks of play remaining on the existing Ailsa course, visitors are encouraged to play in a range of up-coming events.

In June, a unique chance is offered to play the legendary Ailsa course for the last time as the ‘Turnberry from the Tips’ competition will be the last before the course begins its radical transformation in September.  This popular event among experienced golfers offers the Ailsa course at its toughest, with the pin positions the same as the final round of the 2009 Open Championship.

The popular Father’s Day Golf tournament returns on 21 June with families encouraged to play the challenging Kintyre course, with the event open to adults of all ages and juniors from age 10.

Junior golfers from across the UK are also invited to enter the Turnberry Junior Open on the Kintyre course on Thursday 16 July as aspiring future Open champions will gather for the opportunity to tee off on the on the world famous Turnberry links.

There are also junior golf camps available at the Turnberry Performance Academy during selected dates during the summer holidays, priced at just £60 for a four-day school.

Richard Hall, Director of Golf, Trump Turnberry commented: “It’s a very special summer at the resort this year, as we are looking forward to launching our new clubhouse and welcoming all our visitors and members to enjoy our busy events programme.  In some cases, like Turnberry from the Tips, it could be the last opportunity to play a competition on the Ailsa in its current form, so we expect to see good numbers out enjoying this experience.”

In addition to participating, visitors are encouraged to visit the resort as spectators to watch the world’s best women golfers in the RICOH Women’s British Open which takes place from Thursday 30 July to Sunday 2 August 2015.  The Ailsa course will host the event for the second time in the Championship’s history.


11 June - Turnberry from the Tips

On Thursday 11 June 2015, play the Ailsa Championship course from the tips for the very last time before this legendary course begins a major transformation in September.

 For more information: CLICK HERE

Sunday 21 June - Father's Day Golf Tournament

Show your dad how much he means to you and spend the day on world famous links of the rugged Ayrshire coast.  Cost £89 per team of two open to all adults and juniors from aged 10.

16 July - Junior Open

 The Turnberry Junior Open returns to the Kintyre course on Thursday 16 July 2015. Open to all aspiring young golfers aiming to be the next Rory McIlroy.

30 July – 2 August - RICOH WOMEN'S BRITISH OPEN 2015 at Trump Turnberry

Now in its 40th year, the tournament returns to this iconic destination for the second time, so why not enjoy it in style with a special hospitality package, priced at just £95 per person.

Trump Turnberry is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Fairlie firm crafts new sustainability model

North Ayrshire furniture producer, Fairlie Furniture, which designs and crafts handmade wooden pieces, has branched out by installing two biomass boilers at its wood shop and showroom.

[Pictured: Fairlie Furniture owner Kenny Donaldson.]

The firm will be making better use of its big by-product – wood – while becoming more sustainable, thanks to expert advice from Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Scottish Government-funded Zero Waste Scotland. 

The business decided to install the new boiler system in order to heat its premises more efficiently, keep the all-important furniture products at the correct temperature, and put its waste cuts of wood to good use. 

Resource Efficient Scotland provides the public, private and third sectors with free support and advice to help them to reduce costs by using their energy, water and raw materials more efficiently. Businesses and organisations can benefit from a suite of online tools as well as a dedicated advice phoneline designed to provide support in all areas of sustainability. 

Fairlie Furniture owner Kenny Donaldson says: “The Resource Efficient Scotland service was really easy and helpful. They came out to see us and provided lots of great recommendations on how we could become more environmentally friendly and save money doing so.

“They also helped us to secure a low interest loan to install two biomass boilers – one in our wood shop and one in the mains show room. These boilers were up and running by December 2014 and all of our unused pieces of wood are used as fuel. Post-installation we were approved for a Renewable Heat Incentive which effectively covers our five-year loan repayment. 

“In the long term, the boilers will benefit the business financially but ultimately, it was a good decision for us and we strive to be more sustainable. It also means none of our wood goes to waste and any cuts we need to discard just get thrown in the boilers to heat the buildings.” 

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive of Zero Waste Scotland, the programme which operates Resource Efficient Scotland, said: “It’s always great to see local businesses making a resource efficient change for the better and I am pleased to see that Fairlie Furniture is now able to put its waste wood product to good use.

“I would encourage any business, large or small, that is keen to explore opportunities to become more sustainable to contact the team at Resource Efficient Scotland and discuss what options might be available to them.” 

Through Resource Efficient Scotland there is also an option for businesses and organisations to sign up to the Resource Efficiency Pledge, which aims to help Scotland’s businesses to save money by using energy, water and raw materials more efficiently, demonstrating their commitment to the environment at the same time. 

Resource Efficient Scotland works with each individual business to identify the best pledge actions for them and to provide support to help achieve them.  Pledge actions can range from setting up a green team to improving their recycling rates. Businesses can also take advantage of the Savings Finder, an online resource efficiency tool which helps businesses to target their best savings opportunities.

To find out more visit