The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 21 July 2016

New Dailly Primary School taking shape with steel frame now complete

Plans to build a new Primary School for Dailly are taking shape with the outline of the building now clear to see. The steel frame for the new South Ayrshire Council building is now complete as contractors continue to make good progress on the project.

The £3.8 million project will deliver a replacement school with educational facilities over two levels. The new primary will replace the existing three buildings with a single facility that will support a school capacity of 100 pupils.

[Pictured: Artist’s impression of how the 
new Dailly Primary School will look.]

Demolition of the original school building took place earlier this year with construction getting underway on 11 April.  Since then, the main contractor, Morrison Construction, has been working to complete the steel frame, with the building set to open in early 2017.

Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council’s Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder, said the project was making good progress. “It’s amazing what can be achieved in a short space of time and after just three months you can physically see the building take shape.

“This new project will help to transform education for generations to come while also providing a valuable community resource that I’m confident will quickly become a local focal point.

“I’m pleased to say the project, which complements our wider investment in South Ayrshire’s our education portfolio, remains on course to open next year.”

The school has also been designed to accommodate 30 children in an integrated nursery, something that will allow pre-school and ante pre-school children to attend in a single session.

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

Double boost for William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

SCOTLAND’S richest flat racing meeting the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, run at Ayr Racecourse from 15-17 September, received a double boost this week with two major improvements to the three-day extravaganza.

[Pictured: The 2015 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup winner Don’t Touch.]

The first of these is a huge cash injection for the principal race the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup which will boast £200,000 in prize-money (up from £180,000) which makes it the richest flat race ever run in Scotland.

And secondly, the £65,000 William Hill Doonside Cup, a Class 1 Listed Race, will move from the Saturday to the Thursday, becoming the feature race that afternoon and greatly enhancing the racing product on the Festival’s opening day and also meaning there will be a Class 1 contest on each of the three days of the Festival.

The six furlong William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is in the top two sprint handicaps in Europe. Every year the standard of horse competing has risen, and last year’s winner Don’t Touch has since won a Listed race and competed at Group level.

The William Hill Doonside Cup, run over one mile two furlongs, has been won in the past by outstanding horses such as Legerra, Island House and Anna Pavlova and is widely regarded as one of the best middle distance races in Scotland.

[Pictured: Scottish wins the 2015 William Hill Doonside Cup.]

Announcing the changes Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The class of horse running in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup keeps on improving, and by increasing the prize-money to £200,000 we are hoping to attract even better horses, many of whom will make the step up to Group class.

“The Doonside Cup is a race that is rich in history and one that is supported by some of the most prestigious owners and trainers in the country.

“By switching it to the opening day we feel it can be showcased in a more positive way and the Thursday of the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will be very much Doonside Cup day. It spreads the riches and means we have Listed races on the Thursday and Friday of the Festival and Scotland’s only Group race – the William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes on Saturday alongside the Ayr Gold Cup.”

To accommodate the moving of the Doonside Cup, the William Hill Kilkerran Cup a Class 2 handicap over one mile two furlongs will now be run on the Saturday.

In total there will be £680,000 in prize-money across the three days.

For more information, visit the dedicated William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival website 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.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Brexit uncertainty hits activity in the Scottish housing market

Uncertainty fuelled by the EU Referendum, coupled with the higher stamp duty now in place on investment property purchases, has resulted in a marked drop in activity in the Scottish housing market, according to the RICS UK Residential Market Survey, June 2016.

New buyer enquiries declined significantly across Scotland during June, with 21% more chartered surveyors reporting a fall in interest – this sharpest decline since 2012. The drop in demand was witnessed right across the UK, with the south of England the hardest hit. Anecdotal evidence suggests both the EU referendum result and the tax changes are having an impact on sentiment.

In June, there was also a further fall in the supply of properties coming on to the Scottish housing market, highlighting the continued challenge presented by the lack of stock.  Throughout the UK, 45% more chartered surveyors saw a fall in new instructions in June, following a net balance of -31% in May.  This is the steepest fall on record.

The market has also seen a further decline in sales with a second successive monthly drop in activity across Scotland.  Contributors expect this trend to continue with 9% more respondents anticipating a further drop in sales across the Scotland over the next three months; this is the first time the sales expectations series for Scotland has turned negative since January 2013.

Looking further ahead, sales are now projected to fall over the next 12 months across UK. Indeed, 12% more contributors expect transactions to fall rather than rise, the weakest reading over the past four years.

Although Scottish house prices continue to rise for the time being, short term expectations have turned downbeat, with a net balance of 23% more respondents predicting a drop in house prices over the next three months.

The picture for near term price expectations are now in negative territory across the whole of the UK, with 27% more respondents expecting to see prices fall rather than rise over the next three months. Rent expectations over the same time horizon remain more resilient and are still broadly consistent with an increase of just over 20%.

RICS chief economist Simon Rubinsohn commented: “Big events such as elections typically do unsettle markets so it is no surprise that the EU referendum has been associated with a downturn in activity. However, eve n without the build up to the vote and subsequent decision in favour of Brexit, it is likely that the housing numbers would have slowed during the second quarter of the year following the rush in many parts of the country from buy to let investors to secure purchases ahead of the tax changes.

RICS data does suggest that the softer tone to the market will persist over the coming months but the critical influence looking further is how the economy performs in the wake of the uncertainty trigger by the vote to leave. Respondents to the survey are understandably cautious but with interest rates heading lower and sterling significantly so, it remains to be seen whether the concerns about a possible stalling in both corporate investment and recruitment are justified’’

Eric Curran FRICS from DM Hall LLP Glasgow commented: “Uncertainty, confusion and confidence issues have increased on the back of Brexit but there still remains a limited supply of property in many locations. Brexit may prevent overheating of the more desirable locations.”

Monday, 11 July 2016

Celebration as Council complete £10m housing development at Lochside

Residents from the landmark housing development at Lochside in Ayr were proud to show off their new homes as part of celebrations to mark the finish of the Council's largest affordable housing project to date. 

The project which sees a total of 102 Council houses built on the site of the old greyhound track and demolished maisonettes started in February last year and has been completed ahead of schedule and below budget. Councillors were keen to see for themselves just how the new housing has transformed the lives of hundreds of residents and the wider community. 

The development which was supported by Scottish Government funding of £4.7 million is part of a £17 million investment in new affordable housing across South Ayrshire over the next two years.

Minister for Local Government and Housing Kevin Stewart said: "This is an excellent example of partnership working to deliver much needed affordable homes in the area. The homes are a positive addition not only to the families who occupy them but also to the wider community within Ayr.

“This Government is investing over £3 billion over the next 5 years to deliver 50,000 homes as everyone should live in a good quality, affordable and sustainable home and have the opportunity to be part of a thriving community.”

Councillor Philip Saxton, Housing and Customer Services Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: "It was great to see the finished houses; they are exceptional and the quality really does shine through. A lot of consideration has been given to ensuring the homes are energy efficient, modern and bright and have the space to adapt to the needs of our tenants who are clearly impressed with their new accommodation. 

“Houses make streets but people make communities so it has been fantastic to hear the difference the new homes are already making. From the very start, locals worked with the Council to ensure the project reflected their needs. The community will benefit not only from the housing but from new play areas which encourage health and wellbeing.”

The Council has worked closely with main contractor Cruden Building and Renewal on the project. As well as employing local traders on the site, Cruden created apprenticeships and also had eight Council apprentices working on the houses to give them valuable experience.

Cruden also provided Braehead Primary with sporting equipment and gave materials to Braehead Nursey for a building project.

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

Sunday, 10 July 2016

CKD Galbraith offers for sale successful working Ayrshire stud farm

A purpose built South Ayrshire stud is now offering prospective buyers the chance to take the reins as it goes on the open market through Scotland’s leading property consultants, CKD Galbraith.

New Hall Stud, formerly known as Hall Farm Stud, was established in 1975 and has bred many winning race horses over the years, the most prolific being Donna Blini (Bertolini ex Cal Norma's Lady).

Starting with a handful of mares, the stud has grown to run a band of approximately 36 broodmares and their foals. In 2000 the stud relocated to its current location in Barbieston to concentrate solely on breeding quality, commercial racehorses. Along with the broodmares, facilities are also provided for yearlings, a number of recuperating horses out of training and resting broodmares.

The property’s outstanding facilities are ideally placed for the market town of Ayr and Ayr Racecourse and have numerous fixtures to allow new owners to continue operating as a stud farm or as an exceptional competition or livery yard.

The sale of New Hall Stud includes a beautifully presented three bedroom house completed in 2001. The property sits in a peaceful position and offers views of the surrounding gardens and grazing paddocks. The outlook is best enjoyed from the spacious kitchen and adjoining living room with double height oak beams, tiled underfloor heating and French doors opening out onto the enclosed rear garden.

The stud is well equipped for a range of equestrian uses with 27 loose boxes, including four foaling boxes, staff room, main office, a covered arena, horse walker and several yearling and foaling sheds. The land comprises 12 well fenced paddocks giving a total of around 66 acres of land, this has been divided into five nursery paddocks and seven smaller paddocks.

Vivien Wright, who is handling the sale of New Hall Stud from CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “It’s very rare for such a well-equipped and modern equestrian property to appear on the open Scottish property market and we expect a high level of interest from within the equestrian fraternity.

“New Hall Stud offers a superb business opportunity coupled with a superb residential house, outbuildings and land all of which are in prime condition allowing for a smooth transition for new owners to take over.”

The property is conveniently location for easy access to Ayr, Glasgow and beyond via the A77 and M77 whilst the pretty village of Coylton is a mere two miles away. Coylton has a well-regarded primary school, several shops and a medical practise. A wider range of amenities can be found in Ayr including a cinema, state and private secondary schools, sports facilities and restaurants.

New Hall Stud is on the market at offers over £800,000.

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, Perthshire, Cupar, Inverness, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso, and Aberdeen, offering local knowledge, national expertise and enjoying international reach.

The firm is Scotland’s largest and leading rural consultancy managing and providing advice on farm, forestry, land and estate interests on over three million acres.  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 CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

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

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

South Ayrshire Council invests millions to help communities and improve roads

South Ayrshire Council is set to use £4.6 million from Council reserves to help plug the estimated 2017/18 budget gap caused by a reduction in funds allocated by the Scottish Government. This will leave reserves of £9.9 million which is in line with the Council’s revenue reserves strategy.

[Pictured: Councillor Bill McIntosh, 
Leader of South Ayrshire Council.]

The Council will also use funding reserves of nearly £4 million to help communities and boost road infrastructure. 

As part of this investment, Councillors decided to allocate £1 million to create a Communities Hall Fund. The details are still to be worked out, but the new fund would allow community groups to bid for money to help them take over and run Council owned community buildings. The Council’s Community Asset Transfer policy allows for the under market value transfer of buildings to community groups if there is a social benefit. The fund will be publicised when it is developed and in the meantime the Council will continue to implement the Community Empowerment Act, in a bid to reduce inequalities.

Councillors also recognised the importance of the local roads network for the economy as they earmarked £1 million from reserves into maintaining and enhancing our roads. The work will be undertaken by the Ayrshire Roads Alliance and is over and above the £10m already being spent on our roads over 5 years.

£1.9m will also be allocated to a Transformational Change Programme which will help modernise the way the Council interacts with communities. This will lead to a greater range of services being made available from home via the Council website; a focus on developing mobile technologies that will allow social workers to spend more time in the community and new systems allowing parents to pay for school meals online rather than topping up cards with cash.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “When we set the Council’s budget in March, I said we would not make any knee-jerk reactions when it came to the use of reserves. 

“Following the harsh budget settlement from Scottish Government we were obliged to impose significant budget cuts on local people and communities in March this year. It would be intolerable to inflict further hardship on those same people and communities at this time, and we have therefore put £4.6m of reserves towards the budget gap.

“Our use of reserves will not only help ensure groups can continue to run activities in the heart of their communities but it will help tourism and commerce as we invest  in our roads network. 

“There will still be further challenges to come, but we will always seek to provide the best services we can and lessen the impact of budget pressures on our communities.”

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

Monday, 27 June 2016

Donald Trump reopens £200 million Turnberry

£200 million investment sets Turnberry 
resort apart as an opulent masterpiece

Donald J. Trump officially reopened Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, at last week’s grand opening ceremony, attended by his family and VIP guests. 

“To me, there is nothing more important than supporting my children," said Mr Trump, "and I am honored to be here with my family for the orand opening of the iconic Trump Turnberry. Our vision of creating an absolute masterpiece, that is unrivaled anywhere in the world, has now become a reality. It is incredible to see Turnberry return back to its original grandeur.      
"As a businessman, I have created many of the most amazing properties in the world, remaking skylines and employing tens of thousands of people in the process - from Trump Tower on 5th avenue to a city on the Hudson River, Trump Place, and soon the historic Old Post Office Building in on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. 
“Trump Turnberry is not only an iconic property, but it is also an important statement about the financial bonds between America and the United Kingdom, and how both our societies together benefit from our strong relations in trade and commerce." 

Set along a richly historic landscape and coupled with the incredible renovation of Turnberry’s legendary Ailsa Championship golf course, the resort now takes its position as one of the most opulent luxury retreats in the world. This £200 million renovation involves every facet of the 800 acre property, from the magnificent remodeling of all guest rooms and suites to the new state-of-the-art grand ballroom, world-class restaurants, the restoration of the iconic Turnberry Lighthouse, the Golf Academy at Trump Turnberry and much more. The grand re-opening of Trump Turnberry marks a new chapter in the hotel’s illustrious 110 year history, which has hosted four of the most exciting championships in all of golf, housed some of the most influential people in modern history, served as the Royal Air Force in the United Kingdom through two World Wars and was the birthplace of Robert the Bruce, King and Founder of Scotland, in 1307.  

Leading the renovation alongside his father, Eric Trump commented: “Trump Turnberry is truly a masterpiece, and we have spared no expense as we underwent this truly transformative renovation. Every facet of the property has been improved, from the ballrooms and guest rooms in our spectacular hotel to the legendary championship Ailsa course. There’s no question that Turnberry will continue to top the charts as one of, if not the most, iconic golf resort anywhere on Earth.” 

Turnberry, located along the majestic Ayrshire coastline, consists of 103 state-of-the-art guest rooms, including four magnificent suites (named after Tom Watson, Nick Price, Stewart Cink and Greg Norman, past winners of the prestigious Open Championships hosted at Turnberry). Additionally, included in this iconic renovation is the Grand Tea Lounge & Bar, the world-class Duel in the Sun and 1906 restaurants, as well as the creation of the Donald J. Trump Ballroom, a 500 person grand ballroom set to open in August 2016, which will be the most luxurious meeting facility anywhere in Europe.  

Adding to this substantial list of enhancements is the full restoration of the historic Turnberry Lighthouse, which for over a century has acted as an iconic image of Scotland and beautiful Scottish golf. The Turnberry Lighthouse has been transformed into the finest halfway house in the world, creating an experience that is truly unrivaled. Additionally, the lighthouse will offer the United Kingdom’s most spectacular two-bedroom presidential suite, which will be priced starting from £3,500 per night. Elegant in its d├ęcor and grand in its aura, the Turnberry Lighthouse, overlooking the Firth of Clyde, offers breathtaking views across the Irish Sea, the Isle of Arran, the famous Ailsa Craig and beyond. 

A range of experiences are available for guests, including exhilarating outdoor pursuits within the onsite Turnberry Adventures facility and The Spa at Turnberry. The resort is a convenient 25 miles (20 minutes) from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, 55 miles (one hour) from Glasgow Airport and 100 miles (one hour and thirty minutes) from Edinburgh Airport. 

Overnight accommodation rates for the hotel start from £389, including breakfast, and from £3,500  per night for The Lighthouse Suite. 

For more information visit or telephone: 01655 333991. 

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

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Paul Mulrennan’s aeroplane flies to Land O’Burns success at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

JOCKEY Paul Mulrennan, who rode a three timer at Ayr on Saturday to follow his double on Friday evening described Marsha, the horse he rode to win the Listed Scottish Sun/British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes, as an “aeroplane”. 

A return to five furlongs suited the lightning quick daughter of Acclamation as she shot clear to win by two and a half lengths from Fine Blend. 

Mulrennan said afterwards: “She’s an aeroplane. She was so keen that my left arm was dead from halfway. She’s just all speed and so quick they couldn’t go fast enough for me. In the end it was just so easy.” 

The jockey’s other wins on Saturday came on the Mark Johnston trained Miss Infinity in the six furlong two-year-old race and Central Square in the one mile two-furlong handicap. 

The Class 2 Scottish Sun On Sunday Handicap was won by the Marwan Koukash owned, Richard Fahey trained and George Chaloner ridden Gabrial’s Kaka. 

And the Sunsport Handicap saw Timeless Art win for Karl Burke and Joey Haynes prompting one of the owners Jon Hughes to say: “He could be gelded now with a view to an autumn campaign when he may return here in September. We will be delighted to come back as all his owners love Ayr.” 

The day’s attendance of 7,469 was a record for the fixture. 

Friday night’s highlight was the Tennent’s Handicap over six furlongs which was won by Intisaab, trained by David O’Meara and ridden by Shelley Birkett who were repeating their win at the track earlier in the month. 

One of the best performances of the two days came from the Jim Goldie trained Euchen Glen (pictured above) in Friday’s concluding Caledonia Best Handicap over one mile two furlongs. He met with lots of trouble but Paul Mulrennan managed to extricate his mount and got in front 50 yards out to win by half a length from Gworn. 

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, 20 June 2016

Three South Ayrshire schools compete at Sir Tom Hunter Challenge finals

A team of entrepreneurial young people from three secondary schools in South Ayrshire (Prestwick Academy, Marr College and Queen Margaret Academy) battled it out at the finals of the Sir Tom Hunter Challenge last week.

The finals held in Kilmarnock were an opportunity for nine teams, three from each Ayrshire authority to present their innovative business ideas to Sir Tom and his panel of judges.

The team from Prestwick Academy (pictured above) were delighted when they came joint third with their idea Thermoband. This unique wristband uses body heat to create electricity which is then stored and can be used to charge smartphones.

The three students impressed with the depth of their product research and Sir Tom said they were the best prepared when it came to questions from the judging panel. The team also scooped £1,000 to help develop their idea.

The team’s general manager Emily Noble (15) said: “I am incredibly grateful and immensely appreciative to Sir Tom Hunter for giving me this opportunity.” 

Young people from Marr College and Queen Margaret Academy also did themselves and their school proud. 

‘Make-Me-Up, Shake-Me-Up’ was the business idea presented by students (pictured above) from Queen Margaret Academy who have developed an app and customised tablet stand to demonstrate make-up techniques.  Inserting the tablet into the stand turns the tablet into a mirror using the inbuilt camera and the app then shows users how to apply their make-up.

The judges were impressed with the number of ways the product could make a profit for the team, although Sir Tom conceded he may not be the target market.

Fey Donoghue (14) product/ service development manager said:” I could not believe how confident I felt when on the stage - I never thought that I could stand in front of an audience like that.”

The team of five (pictured above) from Marr College introduced ‘Solar Net’, an idea which uses solar panels to automatically open and close blinds. The solar blinds can also be operated via a timer. 

The judges were impressed with the well thought out concept and loved the potential of the product which could be used in buildings such as hospitals.

IT manager at Solar Net, Mark Howard (15) said "It was an amazing night and a great experience. The talks at the start were very interesting and inspiring"

The Sir Tom Hunter Challenge promotes entrepreneurship and economic awareness in young people. As well as fitting in with the school curriculum, the challenge promotes the development of key skills in communication and teamwork.

Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur and philanthropist (pictured above) said: ”This schools competition is about preparing our young people both for the world of work and in creating their own work, their own businesses, giving them the confidence and motivation to do so. Why? Because 100% of the net new jobs in our economy will come from businesses less than five years old and, as importantly, around half of the young people in primary school today will go to jobs not yet created! We need to do all we can to help our educators support our young people in a highly dynamic and changing economy, educating them for the future world of work. 

"The Ayrshire schools taking part were a huge inspiration and should be roundly congratulated, as should the teachers and Councils supporting them. The ideas the teams came up with, the teamwork they put in, the opportunities they identified, all contributed to an exceptional outcome. These young people can and will succeed either in the world of work or in building their own entrepreneurial workforce. Ayrshire schools - a true inspiration for all of Scotland."

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

Saturday, 11 June 2016

New school extension will transform education in Annbank and Mossblown

Education for pupils at Annbank Primary School is set to be transformed as work gets underway on a significant new extension. The South Ayrshire Council project will deliver a new focal point for the communities of Annbank and Mossblown, while also allowing the local library to move to a new purpose-built facility.

[Pictured: Annbank Primary School extension – an 
artist’s impression of how the new building might look.]

The £1.6m project will provide a new gym hall, as well as a separate multi-use dining hall, which will also be available for use by the local community. Other features include: accessible changing rooms, a new kitchen, substantial storage space, and new PE equipment and chairs.

The main contractor for the project will be Prestwick based Ashleigh (Scotland). The building was designed by South Ayrshire Council Professional Design Services.

Head teacher at Annbank Primary, Davina Chalmers said the project was a major addition. “This striking new extension is going to make a huge difference to both the pupils and the public.

“With a brand new gym and dining hall, we’ll also be creating a focal point for the school that will also be widely used by the community.

“Everyone at the school is looking forward to the new wing opening next year, when this fantastic new facility will help to transform the way we work.”

The project also paves the way for the existing Mossblown Branch Library to be relocated to the school, creating a custom-built, modern space that will be used by pupils and the wider community.

Donald Gillies, South Ayrshire Council’s Head of Property and Risk, said the project would deliver significant improvements to the local community. “This project is part of a significant investment in South Ayrshire schools that will safeguard education for the local community for generations to come.

“The extension will greatly improve the facilities on offer, while also giving the public far greater access to a new purpose-built extension and a brand new library

“With the main work now getting underway, I’m confident people will like what they see when the doors open next year.”

Initial work will see the demolition of the existing janitor’s house on the school campus. The main contract works are due to begin on 13 June 2016, with completion expected in spring 2017.

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