The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Sunday, 26 April 2015

CKD Galbraith offers for sale traditional stone built Ayrshire house with outstanding elevated coastal views

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Drumshang House in Dunure, which enjoys a beautiful, elevated position overlooking the Firth of Clyde towards Arran and the Antrim coast. 

The property dates from the late 18th century and whilst little is known of its history it was undoubtedly a property of note in the locality. 

Dunure is a pretty fishing village with a sheltered harbour and a well reputed local inn. The remains of Dunure Castle dominate the headland - originally the main fortress for the powerful Kennedy family and where Mary Queen of Scots once stayed for three days as a guest of Gilbert Kennedy. A winding path leads from Drumshang House down to the shoreline at Old Kate’s Bay - part of the Ayrshire Coastal path which stretches for some 91 miles (not for the faint-hearted).

The property itself is a traditional stone built house with well proportioned rooms and a sensible layout.  

The main reception rooms have westerly outlooks and the drawing room and master bedroom both have picture windows which not only afford wonderful views but enhance the natural light. 

Four good sized bedrooms and a box room are located on the first floor. 

The master bedroom suite has a dressing room and ensuite bathroom and there is also an artist’s studio and two further bathrooms.  

In addition to the accommodation Drumshang House has a range of traditional outbuildings in a courtyard formation including a workshop, stables and a large barn supplied with three-phase electricity. Adjoining the outbuildings is a former groom’s cottage which, with a little upgrading, would make an ideal holiday cottage. 

Landscaped gardens complement Drumshang House providing a variety of seasonal colour. There is also grazing land of approximately 3 acres which is divided into two paddocks and sheltered by an area of mature woodland.

In 1972 a Conservation Agreement was entered into with the National Trust for Scotland protecting the lands to the west of Drumshang. The Agreement prevents the erection of new buildings, the placing of mobile or static caravans and the felling of any unnecessary trees without the consent of the National Trust. The Agreement runs in perpetuity thus ensuring the views from Drumshang House will remain untouched and undeveloped.

Offers Over £650,000 are being sought.

PDF available on

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

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS 
Tel: 01292 268181 
Fax: 01292 292300 

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

Friday, 24 April 2015

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle enjoy successful visit to West Sound Radio

The latest business breakfast networking meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle took place this morning Friday 24 April at West Sound Radio in Ayr.

The meeting was hosted by West Sound Radio station director Brenda Ritchie and her team, and chaired by Norman Geddes, executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and managing partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors.

Members and guests enjoyed a buffet breakfast, watching the 9am news bulletin being broadcast live, and a guided tour of the radio station’s studios.

Pictured above (left to right):

Deborah Begg, Account Manager, West FM/West Sound.
Suzelle Murray, Account Manager, West FM/West Sound.
Norman Geddes, Executive Chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and Managing Partner at Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors.
Brenda Ritchie, Station Director, West FM/West Sound.
Chris Currie, Account Manager, West FM/West Sound.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Wayward Prince lands Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

BRILLIANT sunshine, a sell-out Saturday crowd, top class racing and fantastic entertainment combined to make the 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse a huge success. 

The huge crowd of 16,500 on Saturday witnessed a memorable running of the £210,000 Coral Scottish Grand National with Wayward Prince, a 25/1 shot holding on gamely to win by three-quarters of a length from the fast finishing Irish raider Goonyella.

[Pictured: Wayward Prince (right) leads near the line.]

A delighted owner and trainer Hilary Parrott had decided last year to move the horse from trainer Ian Williams to her own small yard, and admitted: “The change of scenery did him good. He loved the ground and was always travelling well.” 

And winning jockey Robert Dunne (pictured above with Wayward Prince) commented: “I thought when they came to me before the last I was going to get beaten, but he kept sticking out his neck and battled all the way to the line. 

“It’s a huge day for me, and my biggest ever win. I had to lose nine pounds to make the weight, so feel a bit weak at the moment, but it was all worthwhile.” 

Earlier in the afternoon Cheltenian won the £100,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle for trainer Philip Hobbs and jockey Richard Johnson in what was a high quality race.  

After the last flight it looked as if the Nicky Henderson horse Sign Of A Victory would win, but a fighting display by Cheltenian saw him hold on by a neck. 

Duke Of Navan won the Scotty Brand Handicap Chase under an ultra-confident Brian Harding ride, confirming the jockey as the leading rider at the track for the 2014-2015 jumps season with Lucinda Russell top trainer and Paul and Clare Rooney top owners. 

Friday’s highlight was the Listed Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase, and this was won by course specialists Presenting Junior, winning at Ayr for the fourth time this season for owners Mr and Mrs Wilson Garnet, trainer Martin Todhunter and jockey Wilson Renwick. 

Reflection on a highly successful Festival Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown commented: “The two days saw some excellent racing, with some exciting finishes, and we were blessed with some fantastic weather. 

“The atmosphere was good with everyone enjoying themselves and joining in the occasion. I thank everyone for their support.” 

Ayr’s next meeting is the opening of the flat season on Monday 27 April with the first race due off at 1.50pm. 

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.

Trump Turnberry unveils changes to legendary Ailsa golf course

The proposed changes to the legendary Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry Resort have been unveiled for the first time at a press conference hosted today at the world-renowned golf resort owned by Donald J. Trump.

[Pictured: Impression of how the new 18th hole 
on the legendary Ailsa golf course wil appear.]

In less than one year after securing ownership, The Trump Organization and famed golf course architects Mackenzie & Ebert have completed a meticulous historic study and modern day review of the Ailsa course, and in close consultation with the R&A, have revealed plans for extensive but sympathetic changes many of which have been sought for decades. 

The proposals for the great Ailsa course, which first opened in 1901 and has hosted the Open Championship on four occasions, will include the creation of five dramatic and stunning new holes and a range of alterations covering virtually every corner of the course which sits on over 1,000 acres. 

“Today marks a very important milestone for Turnberry and we are thrilled to be officially unveiling a new and exciting future for this spectacular development. While considering improvements we have paid close attention to the prospect of staging future Open Championships. In close consultation with the R&A, we have created an intricate plan which covers every inch of this magnificent course and will make Trump Turnberry a masterpiece in golf course design providing the most challenging and spectacular golf experiences anywhere in the world,” said Donald J. Trump. “I would like to thank the R&A for their time and dedication to the delicate renovation of the Ailsa course.” 

Hosting the press conference Mr. Eric Trump, Executive Vice President, Trump Organization, made a passionate commitment to make the course the best it can be.  He commented; “Our plans are extensive and will offer a new playing experience which will be unrivalled anywhere in the world.  Our main objectives have been to retain the routing of the course, but to emphasise the spectacular coastline views.” 

The changes have been created in partnership with Mackenzie & Ebert, golf architects which currently advise 6 of the 10 venues on the Open rota, and were presented today in a digitally mastered short film which included a “fly through” illustrating the key changes. 

Mr Martin Ebert, Director of Mackenzie & Ebert, commented; “There is huge international respect for the existing course at Turnberry and therefore these proposals will generate great debate in the golfing world. We have been very careful to make an in depth study of the evolution of golf at Turnberry before making these proposals. The re-born Ailsa course will create a much enhanced golfing experience, making even more use of the spectacular landscape and the iconic historic scenes that make Turnberry so special.   That, in turn, will lead to even more enjoyable golf for everyone and further dramatic championships at Turnberry.”

Among the new changes announced today include the lengthening of the Open layout by 150 yards giving it a total yardage of just over 7,350 yards which will be a real test bearing in mind that there will now be 5 par 3s in the layout. It will retain its par 70 status for The Open but will increase to 71 for general play with the 5th hole becoming a par 5.

Five new holes will be created at the 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 14th together with alterations to all other holes including the reshaping and positioning of bunkers, new tees and green positions and the softening of green contours to provide for more options for flag positions.

A summary of the proposed changes to the golf course:

A tougher par 4 1st hole lengthened with new championship tees and a new green and with a wider landing area to encourage more attacking play. 

An extension of the par 3 4th hole with a new green.

An extension of the 5th hole at the tee and the green to produce a par 5 for general play but a par 4 for The Open.

A new shortened par 3 6th hole, played from a series of tees, the most dramatic of which will sit on the dune bank by the beach, to a new green with danger all around.

A new par 3 9th hole from the existing tees across the bay to a new green at Turnberry Point to create one of the most exhilarating par 3s in world golf.

A new lengthened par 5 10th hole playing around Castle Port Bay with new championship tees providing a number of options with the driver, the boldest being a 280 yard carry over the bay. A new green will be pushed back to the site of the existing 11th tee providing a new elevated position with the ocean as its immediate backdrop.

A new par 3 11th hole will play across rocky coastal inlets to a new green with a beautiful setting offering complete intimacy with the coast. 

A new lengthened par 5 14th hole with a new and elevated green on the site of the old 9th fairway offering 180 degree views of the sea. 

A new stone bridge over the ‘Wee Burn’ at the par 4 16th hole.

A shorter par 4 17th hole with a new green short of the current green providing more room for a championship grandstand to the rear of the green. 

A lengthened and straightened par 4 18th hole offering a new elevated championship tee position on the dunes giving golfers a full view of the hotel for their final hole and for spectators and viewers a perfectly framed scene of players silhouetted on the horizon with the Turnberry seascape behind. 

The proposals for the course have already been presented in a private meeting to golf club members to an overwhelmingly positive response.   

Additionally, a £10m upgrade of the clubhouse and new Duel in the Sun restaurant is currently underway and is planned to open in June 2015, in advance of the RICOH Womens’ British Open, which will be the last major tournament to be hosted by the course in its current form.  

Likewise, the 2nd course is being fully redeveloped to the highest standards of golf. It too will be a high calibre tournament quality course.  

The newly re-designed Ailsa course will be available for play for the first time in June 2016.

Further images CLICK HERE

Fly-Through Video CLICK HERE

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

Friday, 17 April 2015

Coral Scottish Grand National Festival gets under way today at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

BIG fields and some of the top names in horseracing will be in abundance at Ayr Racecourse today (Friday 17 April) for the opening day of the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival. 

Horses from all over the UK and Ireland will be competing in the seven race card, including runners from the leading stables of Nicky Henderson, Alan King, Jonjo O’Neill, Sue Smith and Nigel Twiston-Davies. 

The highlight is the £40,000 Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase, a Listed Race, which has a field of 13 including Alan King’s Hollow Penny, Brave Spartacus from the Keith Reveley yard and Brian Ellison’s Conquisto. 

Nicky Richard, who has a great record at the track, saddles Sir Vinski, the mount of Brian Harding in the Abbott Risk Consulting Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, while AP McCoy, just eight days away from retiring has three mounts during the afternoon, including Tap Night (pictured above) in the Hillhouse Quarry Chase in the famous JP McManus colours. 

[Pictured: AP McCoy with trainer Lucinda Russell.]

McCoy also features among the 30 riders in Saturday’s £210,000 Coral Scottish Grand National when he takes the mount on Paul Nicholls Benvolio. Last year’s winner Al Co is also a runner with young Sean Bowen in the saddle, and Tom Scudamore rides Broadway Buffalo for David Pipe. 

Club badges for Saturday have sold out in advance for the first time in the history of the race. 

The ‘sold out’ signs for club were put up late on Tuesday night, although Grandstand tickets are still available, but racecourse bosses are urging these are either booked in advance or people turn up early on the day. Crowd capacity on the day will be 16,500. 

The opening day of the two day Coral Scottish Grand National meeting still has Club and Grandstand tickets available although hospitality on both days is sold out. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “We are gearing up for two extremely busy days, and everything is indicating a massive crowd of 16,500 on Saturday. 

“To sell out club for the first time in advance is tremendous and shows just how popular this meeting is. Hospitality has also been sold out for both days for quite some time. 

“I stress to anyone who intends coming racing on Saturday and who haven’t yet purchased a ticket that only Grandstand tickets are available, and to either attend early on the day or book in advance.” 

Ayr have upgraded some facilities ahead of the meeting by installing a new purpose built Paddock Lawn Marquee, a permanent structure, and creating new toilet facilities in the Chancellor Hospitality Restaurant on the first floor of the Princess Royal Stand. 

The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival takes place today and Saturday. There are seven races on the opening day with eight on Saturday. In total there is more than £580,000 in prize-money. 

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, 16 April 2015

AP McCoy to ride in Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

AP McCoy, who rode Shutthefrontdoor to come fifth in last Saturday’s Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree, will now be in action at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse this weekend.

The champion jockey (pictured above) is booked to ride Jonjo O’Neill’s Capard King in the Abbott Risk Consulting Novices’ Handicap Hurdle on Friday, and is likely to have many more mounts at the meeting.

McCoy, who earlier this year announced his intention to retire, will now ride on until 25 April and the season’s final meeting at Sandown.

The champion’s sole win in the Scottish Grand National came in 1997 on board Belmont King for Paul Nicholls.

It is unclear what McCoy will ride in Saturday’s £210,000 Coral sponsored race, the highlight of the two day, 15 race Festival. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “Everyone at Ayr is looking forward to welcoming AP McCoy here for the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.

“It is fitting that his fans north of the border will now have the opportunity to see AP in action at Scotland’s biggest jumps Festival.

“This traditionally is our best attended meeting, and AP McCoy’s presence will undoubtedly lead to an unprecedented rush for tickets. 

The current favourite for the Coral Scottish Grand National is Gallant Oscar, trained in County Meath by Tony Martin, at 10/1.

The highlight of Friday’s card is the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase, which this year has Listed status for the first and carries a healthy £40,000 prize fund. There are 32 entries for this including horses from the top stables of Nicky Henderson, Nigel Twiston-Davies, Philip Hobbs, Alan King and Nicky Richards.

Sandra Hughes aims for Irish-Scottish National double 

IRISH trainer Sandra Hughes is aiming for a Grand National double at Ayr on Saturday when she runs Raz de Maree in the Coral Scottish Grand National.

Sandra, who took over the licence in November 2014 after her father Dessie died, saddled Thunder And Roses to win last Monday's Irish Grand National.

She now intends to come to Ayr on Saturday to capture the £210,000 Coral Scottish Grand National with Raz de Maree, who was runner-up to Goonyella, another intended runner at Ayr on Saturday, in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter earlier this year.

Other intended runners include Jonjo O'Neill's Catching On, top eight Sam Winner from the Paul Nicholls stable, Lucinda Russell's Lie Forrit (pictured above), and last year's winner Al Co, a faller at the first in Saturday's Grand National at Aintree. 

Meanwhile Paul Nicholls has two of the highest rated horses in Saturday's £100,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle, the main supporting race on Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday.

He has highly talented Irving, the top weight and winner of this season's Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and also the five year-old Calipto.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “We have first class horses remaining in both the principal races, and with 216 entries across Saturday's eight races and a further 196 for Friday's card we have all the top stables in the country with representatives including a healthy number of Irish based entries.”

The Coral Scottish Grand National Festival takes place on Friday and Saturday and there are seven races on the opening day with eight on Saturday. In total there is more than £580,000 in prize-money.

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.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Supply constraints continue to drive up house prices in Scotland

Buyer enquiries and house sales remain 
steady despite lack of supply 

House sales and buyer enquiries in Scotland grew steadily in March, while the number of properties coming onto the market continued to lag behind demand, pushing prices rapidly upwards, according to the latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey.

[Pictured: Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland.]

Throughout Scotland, the supply versus demand imbalance led to 21% more surveyors reporting rise in house prices during March and 27% more surveyors expecting prices to increase over the next three months.

Overall the demand for residential property remained steady in Scotland, with 11% more surveyors reporting an increase in new buyer enquiries, and 9% more surveyors reporting an increase in newly agreed sales during March. 

Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, said: “The initial boost given to the housing market by the Help to Buy scheme has begun to dissipate and activity levels have slipped back. The new Land and Building Transaction Tax was implemented at the beginning of April. and we will monitor the potential impact this has had on all market levels. 

“There have been indications of price increases in recent months, as the supply of stock to the market continues to fall. Anecdotal evidence does suggest that election uncertainty and the impact of the drop in oil prices may be having some impact on the market, but underlying the trends visible in the latest survey indicates a very real housing crisis which will urgently need to be addressed by the next UK government.”

Northern Ireland continues to outperform the rest of the UK with the strongest house price growth in March and the highest price expectations over the next three months. However, across much of the rest of the UK, particularly in Wales and Scotland, price gains over the next three months are expected to be much more moderate. 

Robbie Buchanan, Graham + Sibbald commented: “Demand is outstripping supply at present and this has resulted in quicker sales and a modest increase in prices levels for houses.”

In London, a lack of prospective buyers saw enquiries and the number of agreed sales both fall for the 11th consecutive month and 24% more surveyors reported a decline in the number of new properties coming onto the market for sale.  

However, compared to the start of the year when 42% more surveyors reported a decrease in prices, just 13% more surveyors saw prices fall in March and across the whole of the UK, the average surveyor sold 19.5 properties - reflecting activity since Autumn - although it remains some way down on where it was in the early part of 2014. 

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to meet at West Sound Radio

All interested Ayrshire business people are cordially invited to attend the next OPEN and FREE business breakfast networking event, will be held at our independent local radio station West Sound at 8.30am on Friday 24 April.

[Pictured: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors managing partner Norman Geddes and West Sound station director Brenda Ritchie.]

Our meetings at West Sound Radio are always popular with members and guests, but accommodation is limited, so please book your place(s) as soon as possible.


Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Trainer Paul Nicholls could have two runners in Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

CHAMPION trainer Paul Nicholls looks like having two runners in this year’s Coral Scottish Grand National at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday 18 April.

Sam Winner (pictured above) and Benvolio will represent the stable, provided that Nicholls is happy with the ground conditions at the track. Sponsors Coral have priced them at 20/1 and 16/1 respectively.

A total of 93 horses are entered for the race and Coral have Tony Martin’s Gallant Oscar at the head of the betting at 10/1 with the Ian Williams trained Indian Castle and David Pipe’s Broadway Buffalo on 12s while the Willie Mullins trained On His Own, a winner at Cork on Sunday is 20/1. Milborough from the Ian Duncan yard at Coylton has a 16/1 quote while the previously mentioned Hadrian’s Approach is 20/1.

Simon Clare, Coral spokesman said “We are thrilled with the quality and quantity of the entries for The Coral Scottish Grand National. The race is always one of the top five biggest betting turnover races of the year, and attracts one of the largest Channel 4 audiences, so can rightly be regarded as one of racing’s crown jewels.”

The main supporting race on Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday is the £100,000 QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle, and the highest rated of the 44 entries is Irving from the Paul Nicholls yard.

Other notables at this stage include Nicky Richards Glingerburn - winner of all four of his hurdle races, including a Class 1 at Kelso last time out, Evan Williams’s 2012 winner of the race Court Minstrel, Sign Of A Victory from the Nicky Henderson stable and John Ferguson’s Sea Lord.

The standard of horse running in the race, which is now in the top 5 richest handicap hurdles run in Britain, looks like being the highest ever with Irving rated 157 and 23 horses rate 140 or higher.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The quality of entries for the Coral Scottish Grand National and QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle is exceptional.

“To see horses from most of the leading trainers including Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson, Jonjo O’Neill, Alan King and of course Willie Mullins entered is extremely satisfying.

“The Scottish Grand National has attracted some leading Irish entries, and as it’s a race that they have never won, it adds to the intrigue. 

“We have invested a good deal more money in the Scottish Champion Hurdle this year with the help of our sponsors QTS, and have been rewarded with some really classy entries.”

Latest betting from Coral on the Coral Scottish Grand National

10 Gallant Oscar, 12 Broadway Buffalo, Catching On, Indian Castle, 14 Cause Of Causes, Embracing Change, If In Doubt, Lie Forrit, The Last Samuri, 16 Al Co, Balthazar King, Benvolio, Cogry, Godsmejudge, Milborough, Sego Success, Trustan Times, 20 Hadrian’s Approach, Heathfield, Houblon Des Obeaux, No Secrets, On His Own, Perfect Gentleman, Rivage D’Or, Royale Knight, Sam Winner, Soll, The Package, Unioniste, 25 Bar 

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.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport at the heart of military exercise Joint Warrior

Glasgow Prestwick Airport is playing a major strategic role in Europe’s largest military exercise which starts on Saturday.

Joint Warrior, held twice a year, is a UK multinational NATO exercise involving the Royal Navy, British Army and the RAF. 

Running from 11-24 April, it will feature 55 warships and submarines, 70 aircraft and around 13,000 personnel from 13 participating countries. There will be significant naval and aerial activity off the West and East coast of Scotland, including amphibious landings on the West coast. Aircraft will operate from locations including Prestwick, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Marham, RAF Leeming and RAF Lossiemouth.

The NATO exercise is designed to improve joint operations amongst the armed forces of the participating countries.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Iain Cochrane said: “Prestwick stands ready to play its part in Joint Warrior and our involvement shows we have the expertise, capability and resources to assist in Europe’s largest military exercise.

“We look forward to hosting numerous aircraft from the RAF and the Royal Navy as well as those from countries including France, Belgium and Holland. Aircraft types should include various fast jets, helicopters and transport aircraft such as Hawks, Falcon 20s, A340s and C130s.”