The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 26 June 2015

South Ayrshire Council seeks views on £1.6M budget saving proposals

South Ayrshire Councillors have given the green light to budget savings of more than £4.7 million for the next three financial years, and agreed that local people and communities will be asked for their views on a further £1.6 million of budget savings proposals. 

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

The decision means more than £9.3 million of efficiency savings have been identified by the Council for 2016/17-2018/19, with Councillors approving savings of £4.55 million for the next financial year in December 2014.

This leaves the Council with a further £7.5 million of estimated savings to find over the next three years, based on the Council's Financial Strategy. With levels of Scottish Government funding for this period not yet known, the strategy anticipates the need – before this week's Council decision – for a further £4.2 million savings for 2016/17, £6.4 million for 2017/18 and £6.2 million for 2018/19.

The savings approved by Councillors include more than £1.7 million of 'management actions' such as reducing budget allocations to reflect current or required levels of spending.

Management actions include a £491,000 reduction in the budget to reflect falling school rolls; a reduction of £150,000 in the central budget to support certain teaching staff costs (such as funding additional staff to support new initiatives); an increase in planning and building warrant fee income of £150,000 to reflect increases in the number of applications being received annually; and a saving of £257,897 through the termination of the existing payroll maintenance contract, which is being replaced by a new system.

Also approved – although there will be further development of these before they are implemented – was another £3 million of savings. This includes:

A reduction of £800,000 in the cost of supported living for people with learning disabilities by reviewing the level of 24 hour support provided, the care arrangements in place and creating a new shared accommodation facility.
Reducing spending from the Central Repairs Account by £300,000 to reflect better targeting of the repairs work programme, the major capital investment ongoing in schools and less need for a reactive service.
A saving of £250,000 by reviewing centrally-based educational services staff.
Saving £75,000 by reducing the number of vehicles used to sweep the streets and collect commercial waste – this will be done by using vehicles on a 'double shift' basis, meaning they are used more hours per day.
A review of how often the Council collects different household waste bins to reduce costs by £80,000 as well as the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

In addition, Councillors will be seeking the views of people and communities across South Ayrshire on proposals totalling £1.6 million – that means the Council will consider what the public think of these proposals before any final decisions are made.

The savings proposals communities will be asked for their views on are:

Ensure people get most appropriate care by balancing use of nursing and residential care to reflect support required: £600,000 saving
Review support available to older people for unscheduled care – the care that we don't yet know that people will need – to make best use of resources, put measures in place to reduce likelihood of hospital admissions and improve outcomes: £500,000
Reduce centrally-held Curriculum for Excellence and Determined to Succeed budgets, which support purchase of relevant materials: £150,000
Increase bereavement charges for burial and cremation: £82,000 
Reduce school-based Curriculum for Excellence budget, which supports the purchase of relevant materials: £60,000
Reduce programme of primary school swimming lessons to reflect a more targeted approach: £40,000
Reduce Scheme of Assistance budget for improvement works in mixed tenure blocks (where both Council tenants and private owner-occupiers live), by making less grants available to private owners: £30,000
Increase swimming lesson fee (£3.60 to proposed £5.33 per lesson) to reflect a modernised and enhanced programme with reduced class sizes, lower waiting lists, and extra classes, which supports progression through different swimming levels, includes badges and certificates and unlimited free swimming throughout the programme for those taking swimming lessons (would also include a direct debit payment option): £30,000
Increase sharing of Head Teachers in small schools: £25,000
Remove school transport provision from Maybole Road, which is outwith the statutory guidelines: £25,000
Introduce charge for administering school funds: £20,000
Review the Anti-Social Behaviour Team: £20,000
Introduce proposed charges of between £10-£50 for pre-application planning advice to reflect level of support required such as letter, meeting or site visit: £20,000.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: "Getting the most out of our money is something we all try to achieve and our priority is to ensure that every pound we spend makes a difference for the people and communities of South Ayrshire.

"That's a real challenge as we only have a limited amount of money to spend and there's lots of demands for the services we provide, so it's vital we make the right decisions about where our money goes. The savings agreed today help us do just that by making sure we can balance the budget while protecting – as far as possible – the frontline services that make such a difference to the people of South Ayrshire.

"We understand the impact the decisions we make have on those people and that's why we're seeking the views of our communities on the savings proposals that will have a more direct impact on them – for example, by changing what level of service we deliver or the cost of delivering that service.

"I would encourage as many people as possible to let us know what they think and we will take these views on board before making any further decisions to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible services with the resources available."

Councillor John McDowall, Depute Leader of the Council, added: "Determining where and how we spend the money available to us is the most important decision we make as Councillors and it's not a decision we take lightly. We've worked to put our money where it matters most and where it can make the biggest difference for people. I'm pleased our communities will have the chance to input into that process and let us know what they think of identified savings proposals before any further decisions are made."

Councillor Robin Reid, Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance, concluded: "Like every Council, we have to live within our means and our focus has been to make sure we're running our services in the most efficient way and looking at where we can make the necessary cuts in costs with minimum impact on frontline service delivery. That's difficult, and it will only get more difficult as time goes on. But I'm confident we've done what we can to achieve that and I look forward to hearing the views of our communities before we make any further decisions."

Plans for gathering community views on identified savings proposals are currently being finalised. In the meantime, any comments or views regarding the budget savings can be emailed to.

Final decisions regarding these proposals will be made later in the year as part of the 2016/17 and 2017/18 budget setting process. At that time, Councillors will also consider the uncommitted draft reserve balance – the reserves that have not been allocated for projects such as investment in ICT or to support new ways of working, or repairs and renewals. 

The uncommitted general reserves balance – the monies not allocated for specific pieces of work – currently sits at almost £15.22 million, which is 5.8% of the 2015/16 budget. In line with the Council's Financial Strategy, the Council is only required to maintain uncommitted reserves of between 2% and 4% or £5.23 million and £10.46 million.

Councillors will therefore consider the level of reserves it wants to maintain above 2% (£5.23 million) and the use of any additional funds that are then available for investment. 

Full details of the savings and proposals agreed today are available HERE.

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

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Increased prize money for Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

FOUR races at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, Scotland’s biggest and richest flat fixture, have been given a substantial prize money boost. 

The William Hill Ayr Gold Cup now carries £180,000, up by £20,000 on last year. 

The Shadwell Stud EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes, a Listed Race, will now be worth £50,000, a rise of £10,000 from last year while Scotland’s only Group race, the Group 3 William Hill Firth Of Clyde Stakes goes up in value from £60,000 to £65,000 and the William Hill Doonside Cup, a Listed Race, also receives a £5,000 hike to £65,000. 

The five furlong Harry Rosebery Stakes for two year olds, which this year will be run on Friday 18 September, boasts some famous past winners including Garswood (pictured above} who won it in 2012 before going on to land the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last year. 

The William Hill Firth of Clyde Stakes, also for two year olds, is run on the Saturday of the meeting and was a Listed Race until 2004 when it was elevated to its current Group status while the William Hill Doonside Cup over a one mile two furlongs on the Saturday has been captured by Godolphin runners on five of the last 11 runnings. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “By boosting the prize money of three of our most prestigious races we are underlining our commitment to attracting the best quality horses possible to Ayr. 

“Over the years the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival has grown in stature and we feel this latest investment will further enhance Scotland’s premier flat fixture.” 

The total prize fund for the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will now be more than £660,000. 

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, 24 June 2015

CKD Galbraith offer superb Ayrshire coastal rental apartments right by the shore

With summer on its way, your thoughts may begin to turn to sand, sea and sleeping arrangements and that well-earned break by the beach. But your seaside stay need not stop at a fleeting fortnight - thanks to these two coastal apartments new to the lettings market with CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office.

The Grade B listed Dunure House is a traditional stone building consisting of two apartments, each of which are currently on the lettings market for £925 per calendar month.  Both the upper and lower flats of Dunure House offer a well-proportioned living space with formal lounge, sitting room, dining/breakfasting kitchen and four double bedrooms. 

The upper flat enjoys some art deco features in its bathrooms and a charming fireplace; while both have private parking and private garden grounds. Truly outstanding sea views to the Clyde of Firth and towards Arran and Aisla Craig are there to be enjoyed, particularly from the sitting rooms with their bowed projections.

Located in the pretty fishing village of Dunure, the house is believed to have been built in the early nineteenth century. At around the same time in 1811 the village’s sheltered harbour was improved by the Kennedy Family. The Kennedys are also closely associated with the nearby and now ruined Dunure Castle (once their main fortress) and Culzean Castle, now a popular visitor attraction in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Joyce Smart, handling the letting of both properties for CKD Galbraith, said: “Both the Dunure House apartments are delightful with excellent sea views. Only a stone’s throw from the shoreline, the beach is literally seconds from the front door of these two excellent homes!”

The upper and lower flats of Dunure House are both available to rent, each priced at £925 per calendar month. More information can be found at or by telephoning the firm’s Ayr office on 01292 268181.

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, 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 sales and lettings, 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.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Jockey David Allan sets his sights on Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

A record crowd of 6,883 at Ayr Racecourse’s Scottish Sun Raceday saw jockey David Allan land the feature race - the £40,000 Scottish Sun British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes - on board 33/1 shot Katawi for Newmarket trainer Chris Wall.

David, (pictured above with Katawi and winning connections after Saturday’s feature race), and who was born just 12 miles from the track in Irvine, immediately set his sights on Scotland’s biggest flat race of the season the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup.

He said: “I’ve won the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes in the past and now this Listed Race so the Ayr Gold Cup is next on my hit list. I would dearly love to win it being an Ayrshire man.”

Another jockey with reason to celebrate was David Nolan who rode a treble. His first success came courtesy of a Stewards Inquiry in the Scottish Sun On Sunday Handicap. Nolan’s mount Intiwin, trained by Richard Fahey, was beaten a short head by Little Lady Katie, ridden by Jordan Vaughan but the stewards reversed the placings after ruling that Vaughan’s horse had carried Intiwin across the track inside the final furlong. The young jockey received a four day ban.

Win number two for Nolan came in the mile handicap on the aptly named Two For Two, trained by David O’Meara and winning the race for the second year in succession. The 9/2 chance went clear inside the last and despite the best efforts of Santefisio won by a length.

And Nolan’s hat trick came on another horse that could have been named for the occasion – Hit The Jackpot, trained by David O’Meara who prevailed by a short head in a thrilling finish from Mica Mika.

The elated jockey said: “I’ve ridden a treble in the dim and distant past but that was at a small meeting at Brighton today’s was special coming on a Saturday at a course like Ayr.”

The day finished on a high for trainer Ruth Carr who saddled the winner in each of the last two races, both ridden by James Sullivan.

First up was Lexington Place in the Arnold Clark Handicap which won in a three way photograph from Indescribable and Rothesay Chancer. In the unsaddling enclosure afterwards  Ruth said she thought her next runner Vallarta would also win – and she was proved right when the top weight won by three quarters of a length from Subversive.

Ayr’s next meeting is totepool Family Raceday on Sunday 5 July. For more information on racing at Ayr or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at

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

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

Monday, 22 June 2015

Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors sponsor Royal Highland Show

Leading Ayr-based legal firm Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors were delighted by the support received for their first sponsorship venture at the Royal Highland Show which has just ended at Ingliston near Edinburgh, and which attracted a record number of visitors. 

[Pictured: Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors directors 
Norman Geddes (left) and Peter McNamara (right).]

This year the Show was attended by HRH The Princess Anne who was welcomed to the Show by this year’s President, Lord Forsyth. 

Frazer Coogans became the first sponsors of the new Livestock Ring Hospitality Marquee situated between the two Cattle Competition Rings.  

Senior director Norman Geddes said, “We were very pleased to have this opportunity to support the Royal Highland Show and delighted by the interest shown in the new facility which we sponsored. It was visited by many Sponsors, Directors, Judges and Officials. We also enjoyed visits by many of our own clients, from as far afield as Moray, Perthshire, Dumfries, Galloway, and of course our many friends from Ayrshire. The location of the venue was first class with a marvellous outlook to the Cattle Judging and we enjoyed a very busy time.” 

The Royal Highland Show is Scotland’s largest outdoor event, contributing £47.1m to the Scottish economy in 2014. The 2015 show attracted a record crowd of 188,419 over the four days of the Show. 

As well as Norman Geddes, in attendance from Frazer Coogans were Director Peter McNamara and Solicitor Craig Currie from the firm’s busy Agricultural and Commercial Law team, supported by Clare Geddes.  

Peter McNamara said “We were particularly proud to be the first sponsors of this marvellous new facility and delighted to meet so many friends, old and new. We look forward to supporting this venue again next year.”  

Frazer Coogans Solicitors supports a large number of farming clients throughout Scotland. They provide a prompt and cost-effective service in relation to all aspects of agricultural and country property including sale, purchase and leasing of farms and farmland, wind turbine agreements, access and water issues, partnerships and family business re-arrangement including Wills, Trusts, Tax Advice and Succession Planning. 

Senior Director Norman Geddes has been in practice since 1976 and has spent many years advising clients on all legal aspects of farms, farming business and country property. He has an extensive knowledge of the property market and regularly visits farming clients to provide advice. He has a particular interest in advising on issues affecting farming partnerships, and on matters of business succession and inheritance. 

Peter McNamara is a director in the Commercial Property Department. He has extensive experience in all aspects of Agricultural and Commercial Property including Development Land, Farms and Country Properties and Caravan and Leisure Parks. He is also a Chartered Tax Adviser, advising on Tax Planning and is an associate of the Association of Taxation Technicians and a qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. 

Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, of which Norman Geddes is the Executive Chairman.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

OBE for Ayrshire head teacher

It was cheers all round at Alloway Primary this week after the school’s Head Teacher, Karen Butler, was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to education.

A teacher for 30 years, Karen (pictured above) started her teaching career in Glasgow, working in Easterhouse, the Gorbals and Balornock before taking up her first teaching post in Ayrshire – at Onthank Primary in Kilmarnock. She then taught in Hampshire before returning to Scotland. 

At the age of 26, Karen was promoted to Senior Teacher at Tarbolton Primary, where she taught for nine years before becoming the school’s Head Teacher – a post she held for ten years. During her time at Tarbolton, Karen helped the nursery become the first in Scotland to achieve six ‘excellent’ ratings from inspectors.  

In 2010, she was appointed Head Teacher of Alloway Primary. 

Karen said she was overwhelmed to be included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She added: “It really hasn’t sunk in yet and I’m both very humbled and extremely proud to be recognised in this way. I love teaching and working with children and young people to help them become the best they can be and reach their full potential - that’s what matters most of all.

“For me, teaching is about ensuring we focus on the whole child – not just on academic achievements – and providing the right support to meet the individual child’s needs and that’s what I always work to deliver. To help our pupils be their best, I also believe it’s vitally important that staff get the same support and opportunities to develop, and I’m committed to providing that for my teachers and support staff.

“I’ve been lucky to work with some fantastic colleagues throughout my career and it’s been a privilege to see the difference we can make to a young person’s life. That’s the best reward of all for any teacher and this fabulous honour is just the icing on the cake!”

Congratulating Karen on her OBE, Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: “Karen is a true inspiration to all of us and this honour is very well-deserved. She has helped transform learning and teaching for thousands of pupils throughout her career and it’s a pleasure to see these efforts recognised at the highest level. Karen’s OBE is for services to education, but it’s really for services to people – pupils, parents, carers, colleagues – and we are all very proud of what she has achieved.”

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie added: “My warmest congratulations to Karen on this wonderful achievement, which is testament to her passion and commitment to delivering positive outcomes for every single child. She is a very worthy recipient of this esteemed honour and I have no doubt the whole school is celebrating with her today.”

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

Top trainers head to Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

THE first Saturday meeting of the 2015 Flat season at Ayr Racecourse – Scottish Sun Raceday - takes place this weekend, and the entries read like a who’s who of the training ranks.

[Pictured: The veteran sprinter Borderlescott is likely 
to be in action at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday.] 

Sir Michael Stoute, Charlie Appleby, Mark Johnston, Charles Hills, Richard Fahey and Mick Channon all have horses entered for the seven-race card that boasts a healthy £135,000 in prize money. 

There are 21 entered for the showpiece of the day, the £40,000 Scottish Sun/British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed Race over five furlongs. 

The ultra-consistent Spinatrix from the Michael Dods yard is the one that stands out here. Rated 108 this is one of the best sprinters in the country while other useful horses with entries include the Godolphin owned Wanting and Newmarket raider Iffranesia. 

There are also two tasty one mile handicaps on the card and in the first of these at 2.20pm Sir Michael Stoute has the Hamdan Al Maktoum owned Mukhayyam entered while in the second of these valuable races Sound Advice, trained by Keith Dalgleish and part owned by Ayr businessman David Savala could be an interesting runner. 

The veteran sprinter Borderlescott, now aged 13, winner of almost £800,000 in prize-money is down to run in the five furlong Arnold Clark Handicap at 4.50pm and with PJ McDonald in the saddle is sure to have his supporters. 

The afternoon’s action ends at 5.25pm with the Capital FM Handicap over six furlongs and another veteran in the shape of 12 year-old Barney McGrew, runner up in the 2009 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup is set to run in the hands of Connor Beasley. 

The first race is at 1.50pm with gates open at 11.50am. For more information on racing at Ayr call 01292 264179 or go online at 

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

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

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Ayr Concert Series celebrates its 29th year

This autumn sees the 29th annual Ayr Concert Series, arranged by volunteers from Ayr Arts Guild for South Ayrshire Council and it promises to be one of the best yet!

[Pictured: Councillor Bill Grant (seated) with (left to right) Michael Hitchon, Lorna Gourly, Jim Coutts, Sally Rennie, and Pat Crook.]

From Friday 30 October 2015 to Friday 18 March 2016, six professional orchestral concerts will be performed in Ayr Town Hall, and the line-up again promises to deliver the very best music, led by the cream of international conductors. 

The series features three visits by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, two by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and one by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra last heard in Ayr Town Hall six years ago. 

The opening concert on Friday 30 October 2015 features Martyn Brabbins conducting the BBC SSO to play Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes, followed by Bach’s sparkling Concerto for two Violins with soloists Laura Samuel, leader, and Kanako Ito, associate leader.  The evening ends with Schumann’s Fourth Symphony, one of the most exhilarating works in the Romantic repertoire.  The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

That’s followed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday 11 November, conducted by Joseph Swensen celebrating the 150th anniversaries of Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen.  The atmospheric Pelleas et Melisande Suite recounts a tale of doomed love through some of Sibelius’s most expressive music, whilst his seldom heard Third Symphony is a study in wit, melodiousness and musical economy.  In between, SCO principal flute Alison Mitchell is the soloist in the idyllic evocations of Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. 

On Thursday 17 December, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra returns for its much loved festive special Christmas Classics 2015 concert in the Town Hall.  It’s a mixture of traditional carols for all the family, favourite works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, Malcolm Arnold, Irving Berlin and many more orchestral classics led by conductor Richard Balcombe and presented by tenor Jamie MacDougall, who holds the whole affair together with wit and panache. 

New Year 2016 gets off to a flyer on Tuesday 5 January, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen.  New Year would not be complete without favourite Viennese waltzes and polkas.  The programme will be enhanced by Joseph Swensen playing 

Massenet’s gorgeous Meditation and his own arrangement of Three Romances by Clara Schumann, dreamy, characteristically noble and passionate.  The concert ends with The Blue Danube Waltz. 

Friday 29 January sees the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of the award-winning young German conductor Clemens Schuldt performing Ligeti’s roof-raising Concert Romanesc, Mozart’s delicious Bassoon Concerto with soloist David Hubbard and Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, which begins with a sigh and ends with a tempest.  Last heard in Ayr Town Hall in November 2009, it will be a treat to hear the RSNO play here once again. 

The Ayr Concert Series comes to a finale on Friday 18 March with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s leader Laura Samuel directing the strings in the Ouverture-Suite in C Major by Telemann before three more of the orchestra’s principal players join her for Haydn’s delightful Sinfonia Concertante.  Mozart’s Divertimento in F major for strings follows, then Beethoven’s First Symphony, premiered in 1800 and showing the influence of both Haydn and Mozart but also some characteristics of a new compositional style, bringing a perfect end to the 2015/16 season.  The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

Season tickets for the 29th Ayr Concert Series are now available by post from Ayr Gaiety Theatre, Carrick Street, AYR, Tel: 01292 288 235.  A season ticket for all six concerts costs £120 in the circle (reduced from £132) or £102 (reduced from £114) in the stalls, thus offering good savings.  Ayr Concert Series is a unique partnership between the local authority, the voluntary sector and the Scottish orchestras.  Individual tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 1 September. 

Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said:  “Music lovers will again be thrilled with the wide range of concerts to choose from and, better still, the superb value season ticket options now available, so make sure you don’t miss out on any of these orchestral gems in Ayr’s superb Town Hall. 

“It’s almost impossible to choose which concert to go to, as there really is something for everyone, so buy a season ticket now and make sure you hear them all! 

“Prices for all seats have been held steady for the last four years, making the Ayr Concert Series outstanding value for money.” 

Brochures containing details of all concerts in the Ayr Concert Series 2015/16 are available from all Ayrshire libraries, the Council Customer Service Centres, Ayr Town Hall and the Tourist Information Centre, Sandgate, Ayr. 

“Residents and visitors to South Ayrshire will be able to hear world class orchestras, internationally acclaimed musicians and globally successful performers, right here on their own doorstep.” 

Jim Coutts, Chairman of Ayr Arts Guild added:  “We’re proud to have been involved in this unique and productive partnership with the Council and Scottish orchestras, which is now approaching 30 years.  “In that time, we’ve hosted some of the most famous names in the business and the 29th series promises yet another impressive line-up of international musicians, all enhanced by the presence of some globally acclaimed conductors.” 

Councillor Grant concluded:  “It’s a magical medley of marvelous music, so please get your season ticket or season tickets soon, because it’s looking like another superb sell-out series for Ayr!”

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

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Scottish Sun Raceday offers top racing, entertainment and glamour at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson  

THE first Saturday Flat meeting of the 2015 season at Ayr Racecourse – Scottish Sun Raceday – takes place on 20 June, and promises to be a fantastic afternoon of racing, glamour and entertainment. 

The seven-race card features one of Scotland’s best known races - the £40,000 Scottish Sun/British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed Race over five furlongs. This contest has been won by some well-known horses over the years including the Alan Berry trained speedster Look Busy in 2008 and Margot Did, who was ridden to victory in 2011 by Hayley Turner.

[Pictured: Hay Chewed wins the Scottish Sun 
Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes last year.]

Other racing highlights include the Scottish Sun On Sunday Handicap over a mile, and the Scottish Sun Handicap also over a mile, both with £25,000 in prize-money. 

After racing, the fabulous James Honey Band plays in the Club Stand, with West FM disk jockey Colin McArdle in the Grandstand, with the fun continuing for three hours. 

And during the afternoon Ayr’s famous ladies competition will be launched, with several lucky ladies winning a bronze coin which guarantees them a place in William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day Final on Friday 18 September. 

That day there will be some fabulous prizes to be won, in keeping with the status of the Racecourse’s ladies competitions. 

There will be a total of 25 ladies in the final, and each will draw the name of a horse running in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup on 18September, with prizes awarded to the ladies who have drawn a horse that comes first, second or third. 

For more information on Scottish Sun Raceday or any other race days at Ayr call 01292 264179 or go online at 

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

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

CKD Galbraith offers for sale a lovely Ayrshire Georgian farmhouse with stables and land

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Midton of Balgay, by Kilmarnock, a traditional farmhouse built of white rendered stone under a pitched slate roof. 

It is thought to date from the late 1700s, but has been thoroughly modernised and extended to create a modern day family home with a sensible layout, well-proportioned rooms and an attention to detail throughout. 

The property overlooks its own grounds of some 9 acres and enjoys total seclusion and panoramic country views, yet is just a few miles from the main town of Kilmarnock. 

Internally the property is well equipped for country life with tiled floors and a shower room off the utility room.  

The kitchen is undoubtedly the hub of the house and is fitted with a range of soft cream units complemented by wooden worktops and a cream range. Natural light floods the room from two ceiling windows and an internal window draws light in from the hallway.  

The drawing room is also worthy of note. Almost 40 feet in length, the feeling of space is further enhanced with the wonderful high ceiling and triple aspect windows. There is an elevated seating area within the room with a polished oak floor.  

A conservatory and sitting room provide more informal living space and there is also a separate dining room.  

Three bedrooms are located on the first floor. The master bedroom has an ensuite shower room. There is a further bedroom and adjacent bathroom on the ground floor. 

The attention to detail continues outside and the grounds of Midton complement the house beautifully. A level lawn at the rear is interspersed with mature trees and is a haven for playing children.  

The tarmac courtyard at the front is a practical, easily maintained area with access to the large adjoining barn and garage. Additional outbuildings include stables, a general purpose shed and a hay shed - all are well maintained. The grazing land is well fenced and divided into 4 paddocks. 

Offers Over £520,000 are being sought.

PDF available on

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

Tel: 01292 268181   
Fax: 01292 292300 

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