The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 24 October 2014

Learning Shop in Ayr re-opens

South Ayrshire Council’s Learning Shop – an adult learning resource centre at New Bridge Street in Ayr – has been officially re-opened by Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, after a comprehensive refurbishment.

[Pictured: Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning (centre) cuts the celebration cake to formally re-open the Learning Shop in Ayr. Also pictured are current and former learners, volunteer tutors, staff and local Councillors.]

The Learning Shop opened in 2003, creating a dedicated centre to co-ordinate literacy provision throughout South Ayrshire and basing it in a town centre shop helped make it more convenient and visible to learners.

Cutting the ribbon to officially re-open the Shop, Councillor Toner said: “I’m absolutely delighted to re-open this excellent service and it’s a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the Adult Literacy team and the superb work they do.

“In the eleven years since the Learning Shop first opened, our team has helped thousands of people with reading, writing, spelling and number skills, all delivered at a time and pace to suit their needs.

“Our team is brilliantly supported by another team of over 100 volunteer tutors – people who give up their time to be trained to support other adults in their learning – and the success of the Learning Shop is a direct reflection of their dedication and commitment to others.”

This year looks set to be one of the busiest ever for the Learning Shop, with more than 150 students receiving literacy support and over 100 foreign students getting help to improve their English language skills. 

Nearly two hundred people will learn how to use a computer and more than fifty new volunteers will complete the tutor training course.

The team also works with partner organisations to support literacy projects in the community, with outreach work in Troon, Prestwick, Maybole and Girvan and still maintains strong links with the local college and other learning providers.

Councillor Toner added: “The team has also worked with those partners to deliver 15 literacy projects to over 400 learners, so it really has become the focal point in supporting the people of South Ayrshire along their lifelong learning journey.”

“I’d encourage anyone interested in improving their reading, writing, number or computer skills to drop in for a quick chat, or to lift the phone for some friendly advice, which could turn out to be life changing.”

The Learning Shop is on the corner of New Bridge Street, Ayr and can be contacted on 01292 263304 – or why not drop in for a friendly chat?

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

Ayrshire property market maintains momentum

Despite the uncertainty caused by the Scottish referendum during the summer months, leading property consultants CKD Galbraith have released new statistics showing that the property market maintained momentum and interest. 

[Pictured: Bob Cherry, partner and head of 
residential in CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office.]

The third quarter of 2014 (July-September) saw property sales i n Ayr remain consistently high compared to the previous quarter and the same quarter in 2013, as well as a significant increase in the number of property viewings since quarter two of 2014 - according to research conducted by the firm’s office at Killoch Place in Ayr town centre.

CKD Galbraith Ayr statistics from quarter three of 2014 show:-

• Viewings have risen by 48 per cent since the last quarter
• There has been a 14 per cent rise in the number of registered buyers since the previous quarter
• Property in the area has sold, on average, nearly a month quicker than the previous quarter

Bob Cherry, partner and head of residential in CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “Despite supply and demand being mixed across the UK as a whole, momentum in terms of sales and prices has remained steady in Ayr. Buyer interest remains firm in the Ayrshire region as well, bucking the trend elsewhere in the UK. We expected a slowdown in the market in the run up to the referendum but the region has shown a good degree of resilience”

There were also positive signs in the Ayrshire lettings sector. 

Joyce Smart (pictured above) of CKD Galbraith’s lettings department in Ayr, said: “We are greatly encouraged by our findings for the third quarter of this year, indicating continued strength in the Ayrshire rental sector. There has been an encouraging increase of 18 per cent in the number of properties let this quarter whilst the supply of high quality lets and viewing figures have remained steady. Demand is still outstripping supply and the average time taken to secure tenants has decreased once again in the third quarter.”

CKD Galbraith operates a network of regional offices located throughout the country and has enjoyed good growth over the last year, which it expects to continue into the final quarter of 2014. 

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

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

About CKD Galbraith 

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 225 staff in offices across Scotland including Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso, Alyth and Aberdeen, offering local knowledge, national expertise and enjoying an international presence. 

The firm is Scotland’s largest and leading rural consultancy managing in excess of 1 million acres of land across the country.

CKD Galbraith provides the full range of property consulting services across the residential, commercial, rural and renewable energy sectors throughout Scotland and northern England. The partnership also enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

To find out more about CKD Galbraith visit

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

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Construction workloads reach seven year high in Scotland

Private and public housing and private commercial construction activity drove a record workload in Q3, according to the RICS UK Construction Market Survey – the highest recorded since 2007. 

Despite skills shortage concerns for quantity surveyors rising for the second consecutive quarter (now standing at a net balance of 42%) commercial workloads continue to make a strong recovery throughout Scotland, with 39% more surveyors reporting a rise in activity (up from a net balance of 26% in Q2). This compares to a workload decline over the same quarter in 2012 (net balance of -9%). 

In Scotland, there were positive signs for workloads in the public housing sector, with a net balance of 22% of surveyors reporting a growth in construction activity during Q3, the sharpest increase in since 2005. Workloads in the private housing sector also grew robustly across all parts of the UK with the London/South East region seeing the strongest growth.

However, while still positive, workloads in infrastructure saw much more balanced growth with 27% more surveyors seeing activity levels rise across Scotland. Significantly for Northern Ireland, for the fourth consecutive quarter, infrastructure and private industrial sector growth in Northern Ireland remained flat (0% net balance).   

Across the whole of the UK, the main factors which were found to be limiting building activity were a shortage of labour, followed by concerns over finance and shortage of materials (both a net balance of 58%) followed by planning and regulation factors (a net balance of 51%). In particular, demand for brick layers grew significantly on the previous quarter, with a net balance of 71% of respondents now saying that they are in great demand (compared to 59% in Q2 2014). 

However, despite the concerns, the strength and breadth of the growth that is being reported across Scotland is promising and feeding expectations for further growth over the coming year. As a result, 43% more surveyors expect to see profits increase, rather than decrease, and 38% of respondents expect to take on more people in response to the rising workloads during the next 12 months. 

Commentating on the data, Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland said: “Unprecedented housing demand and the bounce back from a very deep recession are translating into prominent growth in workloads throughout Scotland. With a lack of housing supply identified in the recent Scottish Housing Commission reports, it is encouraging to see a growth in construction activity across housing sectors. 

“Of course factors impacting construction activity, such as skill shortages and material shortages, must be addressed if we are to avoid capacity constraints, but it is equally important that the underlying framework for effective planning and delivery of projects is in place to ensure long-term construction growth that is evenly spread across the country.”

Despite the positive figures, caution remains within the industry as the recovery begins to take hold.

David Taylor FRICS, CBA QS Ltd, Glasgow commented: “There is an ever increasing air of confidence but market participants still seem reluctant to commit to some of the larger projects. We are sensing caution on funding even though the uncertainty which was present before the referendum has dissipated.”

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

CKD Galbraith offer a contemporary country property in Ayrshire with practical equestrian facilities

Leading Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Number 6 Barlosh Court, Sinclairston, Ayrshire, a charming property enjoying an elevated south facing position overlooking the surrounding countryside.  

Forming part of a small courtyard development created from a former farm steading, Barlosh Court lies in the heart of rural Ayrshire, yet is just over 10 miles from Ayr town centre.

The property offers deceptively spacious accommodation over two levels and a good level of specification.  

The living room and dining room take full advantage of the surrounding views with double aspect windows and the breakfasting kitchen offers a range of modern units with excellent storage and a range of integrated appliances.  

Three bedrooms are located on the first floor – all have en suite facilities and in addition the master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe.

The gardens and land of Barlosh Court are perhaps of equal importance as the house itself. The gardens are practically laid out with an enclosed lawn, sheltered patio and raised beds used for growing fruit bushes and vegetables. In addition there is a greenhouse. Private parking and additional visitor parking spaces are also provided.

The present owners of number 6 have added excellent equestrian facilities including three timber framed stables, a tack room and a hay store.  All are supplied with power and water. There is also a floodlit outdoor arena which overlooks the paddock of approximately 7 acres.

Number 6 Barlosh Court is a contemporary house surrounded by rural farmland with excellent bespoke equestrian facilities.

Offers Over £330,000 are being sought.

PDF available on

For further information contact: Fiona Fulton (pictured above) at:

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

D/L Tel: 01292 292535
Switchboard:  01292 268181  
Fax: 01292 292300 

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

Friday, 17 October 2014

Jason’s treble tops at final Ayr Racecourse 2014 Flat fixture

By: Iain Ferguson

BORDERS born jockey Jason Hart rode a superb treble at Ayr’s final Flat fixture of 2014 last Thursday, bringing his total number of winners at the track this season to 10.

First up for Jason was Lord Buffhead (14/1) for trainer Richard Guest in Division 1 of the Coca Cola Handicap, then came the Garry Moss trained Fredricka (100/30)  in the Guinness Dublin Porter Handicap, and win number three was on Shaun Harris’s Rockweiller (11/2) in the Ginger Grouse Handicap (pictured above).

Megan Carberry was another young rider in top form with a 687/1 double in the first and last race. Royal Regent was sent off at 80/1 in the opening maiden, but Megan brought the Lucy Normile trained horse to hit the front over a furlong out and stay on well to win by three lengths from the evens favourite Sir Chauvelin.

In the final flat race at Ayr of 2014, the Caledonia Best Handicap, the Carberry class came into play as she held Royal Duchess (15/2) up before coming to lead before the furlong pole and comfortably winning by three quarters of a length from Uncle Brit.

Jim Goldie saddled his 43rd winner of 2014 and his 13th at Ayr when New Lease Of Life (8/1) landed the second division of the Coca Cola Handicap under Gary Bartley ride. 

Double header marks start of Jumps season

THE new jumps season at Ayr Racecourse kicks off with a double header with October Fun Raceday on Monday 27 October followed by John Smith’s Raceday on Saturday 1 November.

The opening fixture sees a seven race card with the feature, the Handicap Chase over three miles one furlong at 3.50pm.

The first race, a maiden hurdle is off at 1.20pm with the final race, a national hunt flat race scheduled for 4.20pm. Gates open at 11.20pm.

John Smith’s Raceday is always a popular Saturday fixture with £50,000 in prize-money. The highlights of the afternoon is the John Smith’s No Nonsense Handicap Chase over the minimum trip of two miles and the John Smith’s Extra Smooth Handicap Hurdle also over two miles.

[Pictured: Green Flag, trained by Lucinda Russell, wins at last year’s John Smith’s Raceday.]

Gates open on Saturday 1 November at 11.05am and for more information or to book tickets go online at 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.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Glaisnock House set to become a hub for business and cultural links between Scotland and China

A Victorian mansion in Ayrshire is poised to assume an exciting new role in the 21st century.

Glaisnock House near Cumnock has been sold to new Chinese owners who plan to convert the impressive building into a centre to encourage further development of business and cultural relations between Scotland and China.

[Pictured: celebrating the new Chinese investment In Ayrshire - Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors managing partner Norman Geddes; Sino-Scottish expert and Ayrshire entrepreneur Meiqin McColm; East Ayrshire Council Leader Douglas Reid; East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Fiona Lees; Chic Brodie MSP for South of Scotland.]

The Cumnock landmark will see visitors from China learning English and being tutored in European culture. British students and business people will also learn Chinese language and culture. The scheme will see the building become a one-stop shop for businesses looking to enter the ever-expanding Chinese market. It is an exciting new chapter for Glaisnock House, which has lain empty for several years.

The project is fronted by Li Peng, an entrepreneur from Dandong in north-east China and Operations Director of UPIC, an investment consortium which involves retail, tourism and education. The company provides students to three Scottish universities and three in England but plans to increase this to 30 overall with the Cumnock site as an administration centre.

Mr Li Peng said: “I am delighted to be involved with Scotland on this ambitious development which I am sure will further strengthen Chinese and Scottish cultural and business ties.”

It is believed the first phase of the project will see Chinese music students arrive in Ayrshire next summer.

In future there are plans for teacher and student exchanges, including schools, as well as increased business development opportunities.

East Ayrshire Council’s Economic Development and Planning teams played an important role in helping bring this development to Cumnock.

East Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Fiona Lees said: “This is great news for East Ayrshire, and I welcomed the opportunity to meet with Mr Peng on his recent visit, and hear of his plans for Glaisnock House.

“The Council stands ready to support the development in whatever way we can. The regeneration of Glaisnock House as an educational and cultural centre will be a great asset both locally and nationally, and we look forward to welcoming students and entrepreneurs from China to East Ayrshire.”

Chic Brodie MSP for South of Scotland based in Ayr said: “I am delighted to have been associated with this very exciting new development in the furtherance of Scotland’s relationship with China.

“It is a great honour to have been associated with those who have been instrumental in processing this development so quickly.

“Pivotal were local Sino-Scottish expert and Ayrshire entrepreneur Meiqin McColm with her strong communication links with China, and the legal expertise of Norman Geddes of Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors, who enabled all of the statutory hurdles to be cleared so quickly.

“I also commend Fiona Lees, Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council and her Economic Development and Planning teams who stand ready to bring such opportunities to fruition. They are a clear example of a ‘Council in Action’ ready to seek meaningful business and employment opportunities.”

As well as being Managing Partner of Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors, Norman Geddes is Executive Chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, an association founded in 2007 by many of the top companies in Ayrshire.

He commented: “Ever since the inception of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, we have been pleased to have been associated with the further development of business and cultural relations between Ayrshire and China. We greatly welcome the Glaisnock House project as evidence of the steady progress that we are all making along this exciting journey.”

PR-Inside  BigNews

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Official opening of Barrhill Primary School

There was plenty to sing about in Barrhill last week as children welcomed the official opening of their primary school – just twelve months after work began to transform it into a great place to learn.

Originally built in 1851 and extended at various times up to 1970, the school has been fully modernised thanks to a £1.3 million investment by South Ayrshire Council.

[Pictured:South Ayrshire Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, officially opens Barrhill Primary School.]

Officially opening the school during a fun programme of celebration and song from the children, Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said: “Last year, we agreed funding of £1.3 million for the upgrading and extension here at Barrhill primary school and what a transformation we’ve seen!”

“Pupils and staff now enjoy teaching spaces that are open, bright and flexible, the nursery class has been relocated and fitted out to a very high standard; and the superb new sport and dining hall is amazing!

“The reception and management areas have been greatly improved and outside areas have been creatively landscaped, creating pleasant places where our pupils can play, socialise and learn. It really is stunning!”

Head Teacher Fraser Baird added: “What we have has exceeded all our expectations and the children were in awe when they finally saw the building on their return to school. 

“The transformation has been incredible and has made learning and working at Barrhill primary school a pleasure for everyone, providing us with an outstanding building that will help us deliver every aspect of the curriculum in the 21st century.”

Councillor Toner concluded: “We are fully committed to giving our young people the best possible education and a solid platform on which to succeed in learning and in life.

“We’re proud of our commitment to investing in rural schools, with new primaries opened in Colmonell and Kirkmichael – and future plans progressing for an exciting new school at Dailly and a new community school and campus at Tarbolton.

“This will ensure our young children – no matter where they are from – can get the best possible start in life. 

“Barrhill Primary is an important part of the village and is a place of which the whole community can be proud, now and for many more years to come.

“It was a great pleasure for me to officially declare the school open.”

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

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Alex Salmond and artist Gerard Burns visit CLIC Sargent’s Malcolm Sargent House

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond this week visited CLIC Sargent’s Prestwick holiday home Malcolm Sargent House. He was joined by artist Gerard Burns after the latter’s painting of the First Minister raised £51,500 for the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

[Pictured left to right: CLIC Sargent Community Fundraising Manager May Gilchrist, artist Gerard Burns and First Minister Alex Salmond, together with some of the children who have been supported by CLIC Sargent.]

Gerard’s ‘14 for 14’ exhibition was launched during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and featured 14 Scots who inspired him. The fundraising exhibition raised money for 14 charities – with proceeds from the auction of his portrait of Alex Salmond going to CLIC Sargent.

The First Minister was joined by Gerard as he presented the cheque to staff at Malcolm Sargent House and met with a group of young people and their families who have been supported by CLIC Sargent as he had a tour of the house.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:  “I am honoured that the highly acclaimed artist Gerard Burns asked to paint a portrait of me as part of his ‘14 for 14’ exhibition. Gerard is a fantastic artist, a real treasure of Scotland and he has done a marvellous job with this painting.

“CLIC Sargent offers essential respite for children, young people and their families who are inevitably going through a very difficult time, and I’m delighted that the painting has raised £51,500 for such a worthy cause.”

Every year, CLIC Sargent helps hundreds of families to take a short break, free of charge, at Malcolm Sargent House in Ayrshire. Offering holidays for young people and their families during and after treatment, as well as shorter breaks during the weekends or low season, accommodation and all meals are provided free of charge, giving families the chance to get away from the stresses of daily life and spend precious time together.

Burns said he decided to paint Scots who inspired him to mark 2014 as a landmark year for Scotland, with the recent Independence Referendum and Commonwealth Games and, and has organised the multi-charity event that celebrates each character he has chosen to paint, whilst raising funds for each of his sitters' chosen charities.

Gerard Burns said: “I was absolutely over the moon when the First Minister decided it would be CLIC Sargent who would benefit from the proceeds of this painting, because it is a charity that is very close to my heart and one that I have a longstanding commitment to support.  

“I am eternally grateful to the business community in Scotland who via this portrait, have donated so generously to this wonderful charity. By doing so they have made it possible for CLIC Sargent to continue their amazing work and in particular the services that Malcolm Sargent House provides, which is vital, particularly for families who are going through such a tough time.”
CLIC Sargent Community Fundraising Manager May Gilchrist said: "We were thrilled to welcome the First Minister and Gerard Burns to Malcolm Sargent House, and it was fantastic to see the artwork which raised vital money for CLIC Sargent.

“CLIC Sargent currently reaches two out of three children and young people with cancer and the money raised at auction from Gerard’s brilliant painting will help the charity to be there for even more families in need of support.”

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Scottish housing market stalls in September

RICS UK Residential Market Survey, September 2014

Demand dropped to lowest level since January 2013 during September, as referendum uncertainty hit  the Scottish market.

The number of new homes coming onto the Scottish market also decreased, with a net balance of 14 percent of respondents reporting a decline in new instructions, the lowest since September 2012.

Despite a the slow-down, greater confidence was evident with house prices, with a net balance of 33 percent of respondents reporting a growth in house price momentum in Scotland over the last three months. 

Sarah Speirs (pictured above), Director RICS Scotland, commented: “The effects of the referendum appeared particularly significant to the housing market during September, with a considerable drop in the number of interested buyers and stock coming onto the market. 

“Looking ahead, we expect to see an increase in supply and demand as the market settles, but with interest rates still at historically low levels and long-term house price expectations positive, households are not under any real economic pressure to sell. Next year, we expect the house price outlook to be far more subdued.”    

The longer term price forecast also looked positive with a net balance of 35 percent of respondents predicting price growth in Scotland over the coming three months and prices across the UK still expected to rise on average by 2.1% outside of London.

Kevin MacDonald, Inverness, Graham + Sibbald commented: “With the outcome of the referendum decided, it is now time to re-group and build upon the improvements seen in the market during the earlier part of 2014. Stability and security will be key factors to help maintain an active market through the winter.”

The slow-down in buyer activity stands in contrast to the Scottish lettings market, where demand has continued to grow solidly, despite new instructions to let not keeping pace with the rise in tenant demand.  

Chartered surveyors also noted the continued positive impact of the Home Report on the housing market in Scotland, with 70 percent of respondents reporting that it has reduced the need for multiple surveys. RICS continues to work with the Scottish Government during the five year review process which will conclude at the end of this year.

About RICS

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.

In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.

Over 100,000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.

RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fresh new look and modern facilities coming to the Citadel in Ayr

The Citadel Leisure Centre in Ayr is set to benefit from a fantastic, modern and vibrant new look, thanks to an investment of £450,000 from South Ayrshire Council.

The funding will see a new state-of-the-art gym being built, which will include modern ‘Life Fitness’ equipment to boost cardio-vascular training and ‘Hammer Strength’ resistant machines.

Much of the equipment will also be wi-fi enabled, allowing customers to watch TV, listen to music, or even download their workout data direct to apps on their smartphones – allowing their exercise regimes to be easily recorded and tracked for optimum performance. 

A multi-purpose training hub (called Synergy 360), designed for group and individual exercise programmes, will also be installed and the modernisation works will also convert the former cardio-vascular room into a superb, dedicated indoor cycling studio.

Completing the modernisation programme, the ground floor reception area will be re-configured to be more customer-friendly, making it easier for customers to access all sports and leisure facilities and get information and advice on what’s on, where and when.

To allow the work to get underway – and to ensure the new facilities can be enjoyed as soon as possible – the gym at the Citadel will be closed for approximately 10-12 weeks.

The health and fitness class programme will be unaffected and will continue as normal. All Citadel members have been informed of the closure and changes to their membership payment while work is ongoing.   

Councillor Bill Grant (pictured above), Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: “The modernisation work at the Citadel is a superb development and will offer a fantastic new range of equipment in a brilliant, modern and vibrant environment.

“The use of latest technology through wi-fi will also enable customers to keep an eye on how well they are progressing, allowing them to tweak their fitness regime to meet their needs and goals through their phones or digital devices.”

If you’re a member at the Citadel gym, or thinking about joining in the future – or if you’re interested in how work is progressing and new classes on offer, keep up to date by Facebook (Sport and Leisure South Ayrshire), Twitter (@southayrshire) or speak to a member of staff within any of the Council facilities, or contact the Council on 0300 123 0900.

The Council will not collect any gym membership payments during October and November, and a reduced amount will be charged in December, with normal monthly subscriptions resuming in January 2015.  

Councillor Grant concluded: “It’s an exciting time for the Citadel, and I look forward to seeing the new facilities and classes up and running very soon – and just in time for us to make our New Year’s resolutions to keep fit, lead a healthier lifestyle and join the gym!

“And where better to do this than the bright and modernised surroundings at the Citadel?”

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