The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Gordon going for a Grand National treble

By: Iain Ferguson

TRAINER Gordon Elliott will aim for a hat trick of Grand National victories this weekend when he hopes to have two runners in the £215,000 Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse.

Gordon, (oictured above), who won the Irish Grand National with General Principle and then followed up with Tiger Roll triumphing in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, could run Fagan, owned by Scottish businessman Ronnie Bartlett, and Folsom Blue in the Ayr race.

If one of these two horses wins the race the trainer will became the first person ever to hold the three National titles at the same time.

History could also be made in the race if Vicente, winner in 2016 and 2017 were to land this year’s renewal and become the first horse in 105 years to achieve three wins on the bounce.

Trevor Hemmings, who owns Vicente, will also see his colours carried by the Sue Smith trained Vintage Clouds.

Nigel Twiston-Davies, who has trained the winner of the race three times with Captain Dibble (1992), Earth Summit (1994) and Hello Bud (2009), has several remaining entries – last year’s second and third Cogry and Benbens and Ballyoptic.

Paul Nicholls, who has also been successful in the race three times - Belmont King (1997) and Vicente (2016 & 2017) - has Silsol entered in addition to Vicente.

The declarations for the race will be announced shortly after 10.00 am on Thursday.

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, 13 April 2018

Public exhibition will showcase plans for the new Ayr Grammar Primary

Proposals to breathe new life into the old Ayr Academy are being put to the public. An exhibition is being held at Ayr Town Hall on Thursday 19 April to highlight plans to relocate Ayr Grammar to a new home on Fort Street.

The exhibition comes as the planning application for the new Ayr Grammar is submitted for consideration. If approved, the £16 million project would create a new primary school with capacity for more than 430 pupils, a new early years centre with 50 places, community arts facilities as well as a new Archive and Registration Centre. 

There has been a school on the town centre site since 1233, with the old Ayr Academy built in 1880. The school relocated to its new home at Craigie Estate in summer 2017.

The new project will see the historic buildings completely refurbished and remodelled to create an inspiring modern facility with a bright new entrance connecting the school, early years and community facilities. The proposals also involve the demolition of obsolete extensions at the back of the school, a move that will create external space for playgrounds, external teaching and car parking. 

The project will be delivered through hub South West, who have appointed Morrison Construction, and a design team led by BDP Architects. Planning Consent has been granted for the demolition work, which is expected to start on site early in the summer. 

If approved, construction would start later this year, with completion scheduled for 2020.

Councillor Peter Henderson, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said the project was now at an important stage, “We want South Ayrshire to be the best it can be and for all people and places to have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and our schools programme plays an important role in that wider work. 

“The plans to breathe new life into this landmark building would leave a lasting legacy for generations of families, and with the proposals submitted for consideration, now is the time for the public to get involved.

“I’m sure there will be a great turnout for the Town Hall exhibition where people will have an opportunity to view the plans and speak directly to the team to find out more. Alternatively, anyone looking to find out more can also find the plans online on the Council’s planning portal where they can have their say directly.”

The Archive and Registration Centre will be a separate building (illustrated above) with its entrance on South Harbour Street, providing public access to archive material as well as registration services.

The public exhibition, including images and drawings of the new buildings, takes place at Ayr Town Hall on Thursday 19 April between 2:00pm and 8:00pm to give an opportunity to view the proposals, ask questions and provide feedback.

The plans will be available to view soon on the Council's planning portal

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

Ayr business goes from strength to strength after contract win

An independent retailer from Ayr has been appointed to supply all three Ayrshire Councils with specialist goods. A1 Ironmongery sought out advice and training to help them to deliver on their initial ambition to become a supplier to South Ayrshire Council, with the end result representing a significant opportunity to grow their business.

Ayr-based A1 Ironmongery (pictured above) has been appointed a place on a National Framework to deliver general ironmongery, ground care tools, fixings, adhesives, sealants and silicon’s to local Councils.

Scotland Excel, the Centre of Procurement Expertise for Scotland's local government sector tendered The Trade Materials Framework, which was open for applications. A1 Ironmongery has now been appointed onto the Framework for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

The news comes at a time when a concerted effort is being made to make it easier for smaller companies to secure public sector contracts. As part of South Ayrshire Council’s commitment to growing the local economy and working with businesses, staff outlined the process to A1 and highlighted additional help available from the independent Supplier Development Programme (SDP), which provides training and support to SMEs to compete for Scottish public sector contracts. 

[Pictured left to right: Billy Andrew (SAC); Zoe Fance (SAC); Ivie Kerr, Director of A1 Ironmongery;  and Cllr Peter Henderson, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performanc.]

Councillor Peter Henderson, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said: “We’re committed to supporting local businesses, and helping people understand that there are opportunities for smaller companies to secure public sector contracts is an important part of our work.

“Too often in the past we’ve heard from owners who felt they couldn’t compete with big business, but by taking a strategic approach and identifying realistic ways of working with the public sector, there’s no reason why the process shouldn’t be open to all.

“I’m pleased to see that A1 Ironmongery will have opportunities to work with us in the coming years, primarily with our housing and property teams, and I look forward to seeing the relationship develop in the months ahead.”

Director of A1 Ironmongery, Ivie Kerr said: “Securing a place on the framework presents us with a significant opportunity to extend what we do and realise fresh growth from our base in Ayr.

“We’re proud to have been given the opportunity to work with our own local authority, South Ayrshire Council, as well as with neighbouring East and North Ayrshire, and we’re hoping the new contract will help our business go from strength to strength.

“Competing for an appointment like this is a daunting task, but there is help available from organisations that can guide you through the process. I’d like to thank everyone, especially our own staff, that have helped us secure our first public sector contract.”

For more information on South Ayrshire Council’s contract opportunities contact:

For more on available public sector contracts:

For more on the Supplier Development Programme:

For more on A1 Ironmongery:

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

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Vicente for Scottish Grand National hat trick?

By: Iain Ferguson

VICENTE could attempt to be the first horse to win three consecutive Coral Scottish Grand Nationals at Ayr Racecourse in more than 100 years after being named as one of 78 entries in this year’s race.

[Pictured: Vicente winning the Scottish Grand National last year.]

The last horse to claim that honour was Couvrefeu II, whose glory run came in 1911, 1912 and 1913 and now trainer Paul Nicholls is eyeing making his own bit of history with the Trevor Hemmings owned nine-year-old.

Vicente, quoted at 14-1 by sponsors Coral, first won the race in 2016 as a seven-year-old, and repeated the feat last year, with Sam Twiston-Davies riding on both occasions.

Cogry and Benbens, both trained by Sam’s father Nigel, second and third in the race last year, also hold entries for the £215,000 contest, while Missed Approach, trained by Warren Greatrex and the winner of the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last month, looks set for the Ayr feature.

Leading Irish trainer Gordon Elliott, who won the Irish Grand National earlier in the week with General Principle has entered Fagan, owned by Scottish businessman Ronnie Bartlett, and Folsom Blue.

West country trainer Colin Tizzard, whose Native River recently won the Cheltenham Gold Cup, holds five entries including Sizing Codelco and Sizing Tennesse. 

Lucinda Russell will attempt to win her first ever Coral Scottish Grand National with the highly talented Big River.

Champion trainer Nicky Henderson has three entries, with the most notable being Beware The Bear, fourth in the Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month.

The main supporting contest on the day, the £105,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle, has attracted 49 entries with some very highly rated hurdlers among them.

Last year’s winner Chesterfield, from the Seamus Mullins yard, is set to defend his crown, while the 2016 winner Ch’tibello trained by Dan Skelton also holds an entry, and others that take the eye include the Nicky Henderson trained Jenkins and Kevin Ryan’s progressive five-year-old Beyond The Clouds.

Coral make another Nigel Triston-Davies trained horse Ball optic, fourth in the RSA Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham, the early 12-1 favourite.

The full list of betting from Coral is :

12 Ballyoptic, 14 Fagan, Missed Approach, Sizing Tennessee, Vicente, Vintage Clouds, 16 Big River, Doing Fine, Folsom Blue, 20 Baywing, Beware The Bear, Bigbadjohn, Cogry, Daklondlike, Henry Parry Morgan, Impulsive Star, Looking Well, Seeyouatmidnight, Sugar Baron, The Dutchman, 25 Bar

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 0101292 294972 or 07795 565691.

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

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Ayrshire Growth Deal moves ahead as UK Government signals early support

The team behind bold multi-million plans for the regeneration of Ayrshire say UK Government support is a major step forward for their ambitious proposals.

The Ayrshire Growth Deal aims to take forward a number of transformational projects across the region. 

The Ayrshire Growth Deal team say the commitment made by Prime Minister Theresa May during a visit to Ayrshire this week will help them start bringing a range of those projects to life.

[Pictured: UK Prime Minister May examines the products at textile producers Alex Begg in Ayrshire during a during a visit to the county this week.]

At the heart of the proposals put forward is Inclusive Growth - creating opportunities that benefit everyone across all of Ayrshire's communities. The Ayrshire Growth Deal will provide significant investment in the key sectors of aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing and tourism.

The Growth Deal team – which includes the three Ayrshire Councils and national agencies, with support from the private sector – have been lobbying hard to gain the guarantee of financial support from the UK Government.

The Scottish Government have already made a firm commitment to progressing the Deal.  

During her visit to Ayrshire – as part a one-day tour of the UK – the PM confirmed that talks would now formally begin over a new Ayrshire Growth Deal.

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said, "Today's announcement from the Prime Minister and the UK Government on the start of formal talks is a welcome and positive step forward in turning the Ayrshire Growth Deal from an ambition into a reality. It's testament to the huge amount of time and effort that we've put in over the last couple of years to bring both the UK and Scottish Governments to the table and to get them to buy-in to Ayrshire's potential.

"The Growth Deal is more than just a set of projects – it's about investment and jobs, the transformation of our economy and our communities, and, ultimately improving lives.

"With the backing of both the Scottish and UK Governments and talks about to get underway, we want to hit the ground running to discuss exactly what support and funding they will be putting in place so we can get to work on delivering a terrific deal for the people of Ayrshire."

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said, "We have developed projects, visualised how they will map out and how they will positively impact the local, Scottish and UK economies. It is been hard having these potentially transformational plans without being able to take them significantly forward.

"It is now fantastic that we have reached this stage and we're excited about what it could mean for Ayrshire. We have worked hard to identify projects that will benefit not only our local economies but also the wider Scottish one too.

"Inclusive growth is key to these proposals and we firmly believe that the Ayrshire Growth Deal will deliver economic growth that will enrich all our communities.

"We feel these proposals are ambitious and would make a huge difference to the Ayrshire economy. We can now take these forward and that is really exciting."

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said, "We welcome this commitment from the UK Government and in particular, recognition from them that Ayrshire has indeed the potential to provide growth for the Scottish and UK economies, with the assets and ambitition available in this area.

"The Ayrshire Growth Deal team outlined their proposals in a strategic business case that highlighted that, with government support, they could make a long-term change to the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economies.

"They put forward a compelling case for government intervention through investment in business support, skills, strategic infrastructure and local communities."

The HALO project in Kilmarnock which was included in the Growth Deal proposals has already secured £7m of investment - £3.5m from the Scottish Government and £3.5 from the UK Government.

Other potential Ayrshire Growth Deal projects include:

The growth and development of the aerospace industry at Prestwick Airport and securing the  UK's first spaceport there
Development of Irvine Harbourside and Ardeer Peninsula
Ayrshire being considered as the UK location for a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre
Regional transport appraisal to lead to improvements to the road and rail infrastructure particularly the main arterial routes
Investment at Bellfield Interchange and A76, providing essential links to the northern powerhouse and to open up additional development land across Ayrshire
Development of industrial space at Moorfield Kilmarnock
Complementary investment in digital infrastructure
Further development of industrial and business premises in key locations.

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

Friday, 23 March 2018

Spotlight on landmark projects highlights the future of Ayr Town Centre

Plans to regenerate several key sites in Ayr have received further backing from South Ayrshire Council. A one-year business plan has been approved for Ayr Renaissance which commits £269,000 for 2018/19 on projects aimed at transforming the heart of the town.

[Pictured: The Riverside development, north view from the Auld Brig.]

This coincides with revised plans being submitted for the Council’s proposed Riverside Office development on High Street. The £11 million project will have capacity for 350 workers and creating a new public space. A planning application was submitted for the project in January 2018, with strong public feedback commenting on the proposals. As a consequence further consideration has been given to enhance the design. The revised proposals for the south and west elevations has changed the layout of the top floor to create a step back between the top two floors.

Also being progressed, is the Council’s new scheme for the old Ayr Academy that will see it redeveloped as a replacement Ayr Grammar and new Archives and Registration facility.

To showcase work underway, or planned for Ayr, a public exhibition will take place on Tuesday 27, Wednesday 28 of March and Tuesday, 3 April, in Ayr Town Hall from 11:00am-8:00pm. This will provide an opportunity to see the work that is being progressed in Ayr together with designs and drawings, with staff on hand to discuss the projects in more detail.

The new Ayr Renaissance business plan highlights a number of projects that complement the Council projects:

[Pictured: The Riverside development, north view from the Auld Brig.]

Work is nearing completion on the former Clydesdale Bank on High Street with the building due to open its doors this summer as an indoor market and an events spae.

A review of Burns Statue Square is considering ways to reconfigure the square to improve public space and traffic flow as well as identifying sites for development.

A town centre strategy, heritage trail and feasibility study for the Affleck’s block near the town hall to highlight future regeneration projects.

[Pictured: The Riverside development, the public square.]

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said there are now clear signs of progress, “We’re investing heavily in South Ayrshire’s people and its places and remain committed to leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved in the regeneration of Ayr town centre with progress underway on a number of innovative and inspirational projects.

“We want to ensure that all of our towns are vibrant places and encourage even more people to experience everything that our high streets have to offer.  I look forward to building on our current momentum in the months ahead.” 

Ayr Renaissance Business Plan: The Ayr Renaissance LLP – 2018/19 Business Plan and Management Arrangements paper is available: CLICK HERE.

Riverside Development: A masterplan for the cleared site was approved in February 2017 to regenerate land between the medieval "Auld Brig" and the Victorian "New Bridge". The masterplan sets out a vision for a mixed use development including quality office accommodation and housing, as well as space for niche retail units, cafes, restaurants and spaces for public engagement.

The plan for the office building sets out a commitment to top quality design including the use of materials that relate to existing historic buildings and to an overall scale that respects the surrounding conservation area. This will be complemented by an enhanced public realm area.

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

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse sold out

By Iain Ferguson

THE Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday 21 April is completely sold out, more than four weeks before the big day.

All Club badges were sold out over the weekend, and on Wednesday night Grandstand tickets followed suit.

A crowd of just over 17,000 will converge at the track for the second day of the two-day Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.

This day features the £215,000 Coral Scottish Grand National and the £105,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle along with a brand new £100,000 novices’ handicap chase.

This is the fourth successive year the Saturday of the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival has been sold out, but it is by far the earliest.

There are still Club and Grandstand tickets available for the opening day of the Festival, Ladies Day, when the winner of the Best Dressed Ladies Competition will win a prize including a three-night break in Rome.

To book Club Badges and Grandstand tickets for Coral Scottish Grand National Ladies Day on Friday 20 April CLICK HERE or call 01292 264179.

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.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

South Ayrshire Council agrees multi-million pound budget for people and places

A budget “shaped by our people, for our people” has been set by South Ayrshire Council as Councillors agreed spending plans for people and places across South Ayrshire.

[Pictured left to right: Councillors Alec Clark, 
Douglas Campbell, Brian McGinley and Brian Connolly.]

The £186 million revenue budget for 2018/19 and eight-year £237 million capital programme 2018/19-2025/26 will support the delivery of the new Council Plan – also being considered – which sets out the difference the Council wants to make for the people of South Ayrshire.

In agreeing the budget, Councillors approved a Council Tax increase of 3 per cent, which will raise Council Tax for a Band D property in South Ayrshire by £35.66 – or around 69p per week – to £1,224.23.

The £53.8 million this raises will help fund and protect Council services over the next year.

Councillors used feedback from this year’s ‘Balancing the Budget’ consultation to determine funding priorities as well as areas for efficiencies.

A number of savings proposals were removed from consideration ahead of today’s budget meeting as a direct result of the consultation responses and the better than expected grant funding settlement from the Scottish Government, which not only maintained funding levels, but included additional monies for social care.

This has resulted in Councillors agreeing further budget savings of almost £3.7 million, bringing the total to just under £6 million. These are mainly based around reviewing work processes, revising staffing structures and changing financing arrangements – minimising the impact on frontline services, people and communities.

Thanks to the Council’s prudent and effective financial management, the budget also includes additional investment in key areas that support the Council’s vision for Our People, Our Place. This includes: 

*Increasing the school clothing grant by 50 per cent to £75 pounds (£66,000)

£65,000 to support the schools at the heart of the community project and to provide additional holiday activities for schools in the most socially-disadvantaged areas

£20,000 to reinstate a fund to support community galas

£17,000 to cover the letting costs for breakfast clubs in our schools

Supporting the development of place plans for the five towns and villages programme, with £100,000 for improved signage and community engagement

£75,000 to support staff training and retraining initiatives to ensure the Council can deliver the right services in the best possible way.

Councillors agreed the use of £1.5 million of uncommitted reserves for revenue spending, and a further £3 million from uncommitted reserves split evenly between the Repairs and Renewals Fund and the Capital Fund

They also approved funding of £71 million pounds for the South Ayrshire Health and Social Care Partnership, which is an increase of 2.5 per cent on previous years. Like all other Council services, health and social care will have to meet necessary additional costs, such as funding for pay awards, and that will be reflected in how the Integrated Joint Board (which is responsible for the Partnership) plans to balance its budget. Combined with Scottish Government funding via the NHS, that will come to a total of almost £79 million.

Council Leader Douglas Campbell said: “What we have agreed today is an unprecedented budget for this Council – a budget that has been shaped by our people, for our people.

“It’s the outcome of consultation and engagement with thousands of people across South Ayrshire who took the time to have their say – and to whom we have listened and responded. As a result, this budget genuinely balances the resources we have with the services and facilities people want and need, and I want to thank those people for their participation.

“From the outset last year, we have been clear as an administration about what matters to us, and that is our people and our places. They sit at the heart of everything we do and the ambitions we have, not just for the Council, but for the whole South Ayrshire area.

“We want South Ayrshire to be the best it can be and for all people and places to have the opportunity to reach their full potential and, through this budget, we are laying the foundations for a strengthened South Ayrshire that works for all, but especially the most in need.

“I’m pleased we have addressed the restrictions of the current financial climate head-on, while taking steps to ensure the impact and burden of balancing the budget doesn’t fall on those least able to pay.

“That’s not been easy, and we’ve had to do this while meeting necessary costs like pay awards for staff and increased contractual costs – all of which impacts on how much we have to spend.

“That’s why we can be proud that we have agreed a balanced budget today that not only bridges the challenging budget gap we’ve had to meet, but also provides an ambitious programme of investment that will improve lives and make a difference where it matters most.

“This budget invests in our vision, in our people, and in our places to create a strong, sustainable South Ayrshire – and that’s something we all want to see.”

Councillor Brian McGinley, Depute Leader of the Council, said: “Our budget for 2018/19 is testament to our commitment to deliver for our people and our places, and targets investment and support where it can have the biggest impact.

“By boosting the monies available for the likes of clothing grants, breakfast clubs and holiday activities, we will make positive progress in tackling poverty, inequality and social injustice in South Ayrshire and supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“I’m also pleased that, on the back of the pilot of Our People, Our Place – our schools as community hubs programme – in Newton Primary and Ayr Academy, we’re putting money into making more public services, help and support available on people’s doorsteps. We know from the recent pilot that such an approach really can and will make a difference.

“We’ve also done all we can to keep the impact of the budget cuts we’ve had to make away from our frontline services – and that will continue for future years with further savings focused around our organisational structure, our properties and our ways of working.

“Given what we were facing, this budget is not only the best possible outcome; it’s a positive outcome that will make life better for our people and our places.”

At the Council meeting, a new eight-year capital investment programme – which sets out total investment of almost £237 million until 2025/26 – was also agreed.

Key features of the programme include: 

More than £43 million strategic investment in ICT

An additional £12 million for a new ‘all-through’ campus at Carrick Academy, taking the budget to more than £19 million as part of a total investment package of more than £74 million in the education estate

£3 million more in 2018/19 for road reconstruction and improvement

£1 million to support Maybole town centre regeneration

£750,000 to support the implementation of 20 mile per hour speed limits in towns and villages

£855,000 to improve public toilet provision.

Independent Councillors, Alec Clark and Brian Connolly added: “Through this budget, we’re delivering investment that will make a significant difference for communities right across South Ayrshire, including those in our rural areas, and that is great to see.

“Our spending programme highlights the ambitions we have for South Ayrshire and backs up what we want to achieve through our Council Plan to give people the best possible opportunities, a sense of value and a real pride in their communities.

“That’s particularly clear in our capital programme which will have a positive impact, in one way or another, on every single person in South Ayrshire. It will deliver investment that benefits children and families, adults and older people, visitors and businesses, and our wider communities, as part of a record-breaking package worth – on average – around £30 million per year. This is something that will create a legacy for years to come, whether it’s investment in schools, roads, sport and leisure, or public spaces.

“And by putting the monies needed into our ICT and infrastructure, we can really start to transform how we deliver services on the ground, so there really is something for everyone. 

“We have worked tirelessly to get to this place and – crucially – we have listened to what people want. That’s not something that has ever happened in such a meaningful way before and well and truly confirms this budget as one for our people and our places.”

Full details of the budget agreed by Councillors today can be found HERE.

Council Tax notices confirming the increased Council Tax charges for 2018/19 will issue to households later this month.

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

Friday, 2 March 2018

Jockey Ross Chapman bags a four timer at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

JOCKEY Ross Chapman stole the show at Ayr Racecourse last Monday, riding his first ever four timer and finishing second on his only other mount.

[Pictured: Instingtive gives Ross Chapman 
his fourth winner at Ayr last Monday.]

And after steering Instingtive to victory in the Biggest Jumps Season on Racing UK Handicap Hurdle for win number four, Ross joked: “It should have been five.”

As a result of the wins, Ross had his 5lb allowance reduced to 3lb and added: “Unfortunately that’s me down to 3Ib now, so I’m chuffed in a way but I know it’s going to get harder now. Hopefully I can keep riding winners and trainers will continue to support me.”

The Chapman quartet came courtesy of Presented in the three mile two furlong handicap chase for trainer Lisa Harrison who also saddled the aforementioned Instingtive, The Delray Munky for his guv’nor Iain Jardine in the three mile handicap hurdle and Bulls Head in the two mile four furlong handicap hurdle.

The one that got away was Bobbie’s Diamond in the two mile four furlongs novices’ chase who finished threequarters of a length second to Looksnowtlikebrian. The latter was ridden by champion jockey Richard Johnson who was riding his 150th winner of the season – the 12th time he had achieved that landmark.

Richard said: “He made hard work of that and didn’t jump great today. He jumped nicely on his first two starts over fences, but he never really got into a rhythm on the ground and that was probably the main problem. He’s got a good engine, though, and is getting the hang of it slowly.”

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.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Triple celebration as South Ayrshire libraries go from strength to strength

The quality and performance of services people receive at South Ayrshire Council's libraries is being highlighted as staff come together to mark their recent success.

[Pictured: Staff were joined at the Carnegie Library in Ayr by Councillor Brian McGinley, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism & Leisure to toast the success of staff.]

South Ayrshire Libraries came first in Scotland in the Local Government Benchmarking Figures for the cost of delivering their service; and were ranked as fourth in Scotland for customer satisfaction in the National Household Survey. Meanwhile the Council’s online library services were used two million times in 2016/17 as more people make use of the internet to access services and information.

Staff were joined at the Carnegie Library in Ayr by Councillor Brian McGinley, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism & Leisure to toast the success of staff.

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