The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 7 October 2017

South Ayrshire Councillors agree way forward and renewed people focus

South Ayrshire Councillors have agreed the strategic objectives that will be used to create a new Council Plan, and establish a clear and ambitious direction future for the Council over the next five years.


[Pictured: Councillor Douglas Campbell, 
Leader of South Ayrshire Council.]

The objectives – agreed at a meeting of South Ayrshire Council – are designed to make a difference for people and communities and provide a focus for how Council services will be delivered, based on the needs of individual people.

The ambitious objectives include taking direct and sustained actions that reduce poverty and disadvantage, creating a better health and care system to suit local people’s needs, making the most of the local economy, and increasing the profile and reputation of the Council and South Ayrshire.

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of the Council, said the agreed objectives will ensure the Council makes a difference where its services are needed most – particularly in relation to supporting young people and the most vulnerable in our communities.

He added: “Our next Council Plan needs to ensure that we’re focused, fit for purpose and a force to be reckoned with in making a positive difference in people’s lives.

“To ensure we achieve this, we need to take a look at why we do what we do – not just how we do it – so that we genuinely transform services and make a positive impact where it’s needed most. Regardless of what service we are talking about, our most important job is looking after people and that’s what we need to focus on – helping people, but in a different way.

“While these are high-level objectives at this stage, they provide a definitive road-map for where we want to go. For example, in taking action to reduce poverty and disadvantage, we want to close the poverty attainment gap by 2030 and adopt the use of schools as real community hubs that aren’t just a place for learning, but provide partnership-based community services that support children and families in need.

“We also want to invest in infrastructure and make a long-lasting impact on our towns and villages, dealing with some of the long-standing issues they have raised over a number of years. This will help ensure our towns are vibrant and inviting centres that offer a variety of retail, leisure and visitor opportunities and are supported by strong and viable villages.

“However, it’s not just about what we will do – it’s also about what our communities can do to help and support themselves and a big part of our job is helping them to realise that.

“The backbone of all of this will be a strong and productive workforce, working day in and day out to deliver quality services that really do make life better, and I look forward to seeing all of this come together in the new Council Plan.”

At the meeting, Councillors also reviewed the Council’s performance in 2016/17 towards achieving the strategic objectives and outcomes within the current Council Plan.

Highlights included an increase in visitor spend; a positive trend in exam results; more adults and older people receiving intensive care at home; an increase in the number of people using the Council’s pools and indoor sports facilities; positive trends in the percentage of roads requiring maintenance treatment and street cleanliness; and improvements in the condition of the Council’s operational buildings and staff absence.

Areas for improvement included supporting children and young people living in areas of relatively high deprivation to do as well as those in more affluent areas; increasing the percentage of unpaid carers feeling supported to continue in their caring role; ensuring adults have the opportunity to influence decisions affecting their local area; increasing household waste recycling; and improving the Council’s buildings and ICT infrastructure and systems.

Councillor Campbell concluded: “This latest performance report shows that significant progress continues to be made across the Council; however, we are very clear about where we need to do more and where we need to do better – and that will very much be the focus of our next Council Plan, which is a life-changing opportunity to better shape how our Council works for our people and communities for years to come.”

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



Thursday, 5 October 2017

Community focus as Deputy First Minister and Lord Lieutenant open the new Ayr Academy

Communities have given their seal of approval to the new Ayr Academy. South Ayrshire Council hosted the building’s official opening on Monday 2 October, with young people and parents among the 180 guests on the night.


The building was officially opened by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, and John Duncan, Lord Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, in what was one of his final public appearances before retiring.


Construction of the £25million school began at Ayr's Craigie Estate in January 2016. With a history dating back to 1233, the last incarnation was built in 1880 and closed earlier this year. Its eye-catching replacement has space for up to 1,000 pupils, and features two learning plazas, a multi-use hall, two gyms, fitness/movement room, and sports pitches.

The project is part of a £94million pipeline of works being delivered across South Ayrshire in the next year, with the aim of enhancing standards through targeted investment.


[Pictured left to right: Council leader, Douglas Campbell tours the 
new building with Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, and 
Executive Headteacher, Lyndsay McRoberts.]

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, said, “At the outset of our £1.8bn Schools for the Future programme in 2009, we originally aimed to build or refurbish 55 schools across Scotland – we have now more than doubled that commitment and it is fantastic to see so many of these wonderful buildings, like this one here in Ayr, now coming into use.

“More widely, since 2007 we have completed 651 school building projects, which is almost double the amount completed over the preceding eight years.

“This is part of our aim to provide our children and young people with inspiring environments which enable all of them to engage with their learning and, which in turn, help to raise attainment. It is great to hear the positive reaction of staff and pupils at Ayr Academy to their new school and I wish them all the best for the future.”

John Duncan, Lord Lord-Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran said, “This magnificent new campus, with its outstanding cutting-edge facilities, will hugely facilitate attainment across the board.

“It will afford both staff and students immense opportunity as they take the ancient name of Ayr Academy into the future, building on the long legacy that name carries. They will shape its future and it will shape their lives.”

The school was built by Kier Construction and delivered by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with SWHub.

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said the event was a unique opportunity to showcase the building, “This fantastic new building has been warmly welcomed by the community, with many of them invited as special guests to celebrate the start of a new era.

“You can see that young people have been energised by their new surroundings, with staff now looking to deliver a step-change in the way lessons are delivered.

“The official opening was a great night with a lot of pride on display as pupils performed for the invited guests. And as the fanfare subsides, teachers are now focusing on the important task of enhancing education standards and delivering better results for the community.”

Lyndsay McRoberts, Executive Headteacher at Ayr Academy said, “It’s taken a lot of hard work to get the building up and running, but we’re already seeing a change in the way our young people respond.

“With a custom made building we are now able to deliver lessons in a modern environment, open up the way we learn in sessions from our break-out learning plazas, and importantly improve access to sports and physical activity.

“Taken as a whole we now have the building blocks in place to engage with young people much better than we could in the old building, which is something that we’ll use to help drive higher attainment in the years ahead.”

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


Thursday, 14 September 2017

An evening with Chris Eubank

By: Iain Ferguson

BOXING legend Chris Eubank is making a very special appearance at Ayr Racecourse on 24 November for “An Evening With Chris Eubank”.


A world champion for more than five years and undefeated in his first ten years as a professional, Chris remained undefeated at middleweight.

He held the WBO middleweight and super-middleweight titles, scoring victories over six world champions.

One of the most recognisable celebrities of the 1990s Chris had many high profile fights against the likes of Steve Collins, Joe Calzaghe and Nigel Benn. He fought 52 times, winning 45, 23 by knockout.

His visit to Ayr will see fans treated to two 45 minute presentations in the Ayrshire Suite at the Racecourse with Chris thrilling the audience with many tales from his illustrious career in the ring.

There are three packages – silver, gold and platinum - available on the evening with the platinum, which has limited availability, including a photo opportunity with Chris and a VIP drinks reception with the superstar. For more information or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk

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.


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Smiles and sighs of relief as Red Arrows close fantastic Scottish International Airshow 2017

It was smiles all round as 80,000 people came along to the first-ever two-day flying display at the Scottish International Airshow in Ayr on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September.


15,000 people braved the wind and the rain on Sunday to come to the Low Green and the surrounding area, after 65,000 people soaked up the sun on the Saturday; however, the crowds were treated to tantalising displays on both days.

Tens of thousands more enjoyed the show right along the South Ayrshire coastline and beyond.

Displays included an exclusive – and breathtaking – appearance by the RAF’s Red Arrows on Sunday after the world-famous display team had to pull out of the Airshow in Portrush due to the weather and the Bournemouth Air Festival was cancelled for the same reason.

The Red Arrows undoubtedly stole the show on Sunday, but weekend crowds enjoyed some amazing first-time displays from the Belgian Air Force’s F16 fighter jet as well as a spectacular ‘50s wartime display’ between a MiG and two US Mustangs.

The hugely popular RAF Typhoon also made sure to #BringTheNoise2017 and had lots of younger spectators covering their ears with its sound-barrier breaking display!

The Low Green in Ayr was packed with people enjoying not only the some of the best flying around, but a massive funfair, stalls selling an array of goodies, vintage car display, armed forces village and a state-of-the-art flight simulator.

The stunning Kelpie Maquettes also caused quite a stir, and proved a huge ‘selfie’ hit. The 3m high models were created to help to promote Scotland as a visitor destination and there was no better place to be than Ayr as tens of thousands of people from all over the world flocked to the prestigious event.

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “As main sponsor and funding partner for the Airshow, it was great to see so many people coming along and getting the chance to experience all that South Ayrshire has to offer.

“We are very proud to be a venue for a number of world-class events such as the Scottish International Airshow and The Open Golf Championship, and I have no doubt visitors to the Airshow will have been impressed by our scenery, our coastline, our history and our heritage and come back for more.

“Over the last three years, the Airshow has generated around £17 million for the local economy, and we hope to see a significant boost from this year’s event for our accommodation providers, retailers, restaurants and other businesses across South Ayrshire.

“We also hope the event, especially the exciting FutureZone, inspired those interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects to become tomorrow’s pilots, engineers and scientists.

“All in all, it was a terrific event and we were proud to be a part of it.”

The Airshow was also supported by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “The Scottish International Airshow has once again proven to be a successful event, attracting impressive crowds eager to catch a glimpse of the stunning aerial action. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and this spectacular show will no doubt deliver strong benefits for the area.”

Doug Maclean, a Director of the Scottish International Airshow, added: “What another fantastic event. We estimate we had record-breaking crowds of around 110,000 watching the Airshow from across south-west Scotland on Saturday,

“The Airshow pilots said it was an amazing and astonishing sight to see from the air and a joy to take part. The crowd, especially with the poorer weather on Sunday, were delightful, patient and – as always – full of admiration for the pilots.

“We thank everyone for their support and planning is already underway for 2018.”  

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


Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Record prize money for William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

THE 2017 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse from Thursday 21 September to Saturday 23 September carries a record amount of prize money with £715,500 up for grabs.


[Pictured: Brando, trained by Kevin Ryan and ridden by 
Tom Eaves, wins last year’s Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse.]

The £200,000 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup run on the Saturday has attracted a stellar entry of leading sprinters with a maximum field of 25 runners expected to go to post.

Among those likely to contest the race are Saturday’s Goodwood winner Johnny Barnes, trained by John Gosden, who is currently 14-1 clear second favourite with William Hill with Charlie Hills’s Shanghai Glory, third in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon earlier in the month, the favourite at 12-1.

A new Class 1 Listed race, The Al Maktoum Cup Arran Scottish Fillies’ Sprint Stakes (Listed Race) over five and a half furlongs for three year olds and upwards will be run on William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival Ladies Day on Friday 22 September – the middle day of the three day meeting.

Other Friday highlights include the Shadwell Studs/EBF Stallions Harry Rosebery Stakes, a Class 1 Listed Race and the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup.

The £65,000 William Hill Doonside Cup, another Class 1 Listed contest, run over one mile two furlongs is the feature race on Thursday while Scotland’s only Group race – the Group 3 Firth Of Clyde Stakes is run on Saturday along with the William Hill Ayr Silver Cup.

All the leading trainers including John Gosden, Willie Haggas, Saeed bin Suroor, Richard Fahey and Roger Varian are likely to have runners and many of the country’s top jockeys will be in action over the three days. Tickets are selling fast and for more information go online at www.ayrgoldcup.co.uk 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.


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Smallholdings and equestrian properties lead the Ayrshire market

The Ayrshire property market is holding steady and is experiencing an increase in the supply of high quality housing coming to the market, according to figures compiled by Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy, Galbraith.

During the second quarter, ending 30 June 2017, the Ayr office recorded an increase of 58% in properties coming on the market, compared with the previous quarter. There was also an increase of 30% compared with the same quarter in 2016.


Bob Cherry (pictured above), a partner with Galbraith, said: “We have been pleased to see an increase in instructions and buyers are relatively confident, particularly for properties priced between £250,000 and £400,000. Country houses with nice views, land or equestrian facilities are particularly desirable. Smallholdings with up to 30 acres of land are also sought-after and any which come on the market will often sell very quickly. Recently, we sold Lochingerroch Farm at its closing date for 27% above the asking price, with eight buyers competing to obtain the farm. Galbraith is a national firm with eleven regional offices and we are in a good position for those looking for maximum exposure when bringing a property to the market.”

Bob Cherry continued: “We have noticed an increase in buyers in Ayrshire coming from England, which may be due in part to the price differential between property in England and Scotland. For those who have just sold a property in Yorkshire, for example, they have often built up equity and this means property in Ayrshire may be relatively affordable for English buyers.

Across Scotland as a whole Galbraith has seen a healthy 10% increase in sales for the quarter ending 30 June 2017, compared to the same period in 2016. The firm handled over £42 million worth of property sales over the past quarter alone.


Currently on the market with Galbraith in Ayrshire are properties including Drumfork Farm (pictured above), a productive commercial dairy farm in good order in an accessible location, with a three-bedroom farmhouse and a range of modern and traditional farm buildings. Offers over £1 million.

About Galbraith

Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 236 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.  Galbraith provides the full range of property consulting services across the residential, commercial, rural and renewable energy sectors throughout Scotland and northern England.

To find out more about Galbraith visit www.galbraithgroup.com


Saturday, 26 August 2017

Start of a new era as the ‘amazing’ Ayr Academy opens for classes

Education for young people at South Ayrshire’s oldest school has been transformed following the relocation of Ayr Academy. South Ayrshire Council has now welcomed the first generation of young people to the new building, which fully opened on Monday 21 August.


[Pictured at the official opening, left to right: Cllr Iain Campbell, Cllr Laura Brennan-Whitefield, Executive Headteacher, Lyndsay McRoberts, Head Girl, Maia Wilson, Council Leader, Douglas Campbell, Director of Educational Services, Douglas Hutchison, Head Boy, Mathew Field, Cllr Ian Davis, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, William Grant, Head of Property and Risk, Donald Gillies, Cllr Ian Cavana, Cllr Martin Dowey.]

Construction of the £25million school began at Ayr's Craigie Estate in January 2016. With a history dating back to 1233, the last incarnation was built in 1880 and closed earlier this year. Its eye-catching replacement has space for up to 1,000 pupils, and also features two learning plazas, a multi-use hall, two gyms and a fitness/movement room, and sports pitches.

The school was built by Kier Construction and delivered by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with SWHub.

Councillor William Grant, South Ayrshire Council's Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said, "Looking around you can see that young people and staff are already making the most of an amazing new building that will transform education for generations of families.

“Based in the Craigie Campus, the new school will forge close links with the University of the West of Scotland and Ayrshire College, with young people being coached and encouraged to go on to positive destinations when they leave.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in helping to deliver this project on time and on budget, and wish all the young people, families, and staff the best of luck as we move into an exciting new era for this evolving educational success story.”

The intention is that the school will also become a hub for the local community.  It is much more than a school and will be a great venue for sporting activities, community meetings and other activities. The development is intended as an investment in North Ayr as a community and not only an investment in education.

Lyndsay McRoberts, Executive Headteacher at Ayr Academy said she was sure the new school provided an inspiring learning environment, “While we were sorry to leave our old home, the new building delivers a step change in the way we teach, a factor that will leave a long and lasting impact on the lives of young people.

“This stylish and flexible building allows us to continue doing what we did best before, while also leaving room to deliver classes in ways that just weren’t possible before.

“Better laid out, and using the latest technology, this fabulous new resource still has plenty of space to evolve as our school grows in the years ahead.”

Head Girl, Maia Wilson (16) said she loved the new building, “It’s a huge change from the old building and a fantastic place to come to school.”

Head Boy, Mathew Field (16) said they were still getting used to their new surroundings, “I think it will be a few weeks before we really get into our routine but it’s great to be here.”

The project is part of a £94million pipeline of works being delivered across South Ayrshire in the next year, with the aim of enhancing standards through targeted investment.

Michael McBrearty, Chief Executive of hub South West, said, “Ayr Academy Campus is a wonderful state-of-the-art facility that I’m sure all students and teachers will enjoy.

“It is the latest project we’ve delivered on behalf of South Ayrshire Council in the past twelve months and is great tribute to partnership working that we can now celebrate the finished result. The new campus will be a great asset.”

Brian McQuade, Managing Director of Kier Construction’s Scotland and North-East England business, said, “We’re pleased to have delivered this leading, modern Academy with fantastic new sports facilities for students and the wider community to enjoy, building on our track record of delivering quality schools throughout Scotland.

“Through hub South West, we have worked with local suppliers and SME’s to ensure that the project boosts the local economy of Ayr and the surrounding area, including training and employment opportunities. During the construction of Ayr Academy we’ve created 17 work placements, 16 apprenticeships and two graduated traineeships, giving local young people valuable experience of working in this thriving and rewarding industry.”

A set of 12 images from the official opening of the new Ayr Academy is available on the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle’s Flickr website CLICK HERE.

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


Monday, 21 August 2017

Ladies Night fun at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

OH what a night! QTS Ladies Night at Ayr Racecourse recently was a resounding success, with more than 5,000 people enjoying a night of glamour, fun, entertainment and racing.


The weather held up, allowing many to enjoy the Champagne Lawns, and there was a tremendous atmosphere during the evening.


From gates opening just before four o’clock until DJ Colin McArdle played the last song just before midnight there was one big party.


Several ladies won a coin and a place in William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day on Friday 22 September when the prizes include a fabulous five night holiday for two courtesy of Stewart Travel and Jet2 Holidays to New York flying form Glasgow on 23 November and staying in a fantastic hotel. The winner will also receive £750 worth of House of Fraser vouchers and a VIP Personal Shopping experience in the Glasgow store plus some pampering beauty treatments from Beauty Spot.


There was terrific entertainment during the night with Emily Middlemas and Craig Ward and dance act Psycho Stylez on the PR stage, while after racing X Factor finalists 5 After Midnight wowed the huge crowd in the Ayrshire Suite.

STV’s Jennifer Reoch compered the whole evening which was voted an outstanding success by the huge crowd.

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, 22 July 2017

National Trust for Scotland’s new Ayrshire and Arran team enjoying a busy summer

The National Trust for Scotland’s new Ayrshire and Arran team are enjoying a busy summer.

General Manager Stuart Maxwell, who took up the role with Scotland’s largest conservation charity earlier this year, has now completed recruiting his team of heritage and business specialists.

Together they will play a key role in caring for some of the treasures of Scotland, including Culzean Castle and Country Park, Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, as well as Souter Johnnie’s Cottage and the Bachelors’ Club.

Based at Culzean Castle, they were soon geared up for a busy summer, as Culzean Castle and Brodick Castle both benefit from major investment.

General Manager Stuart Maxwell said: “We’ve got lots going on in Ayrshire and Arran this summer – our newly opened and expanded playpark, The Wild Woodland and Adventure Cove at Culzean is going down very well with younger visitors, we have Pirates of Culzean, a flagship event in July, and there’s lots of outdoor theatre and rangers’ events too. We’ve also enhanced our catering and retail offer typified with the opening of our new Aviary CafĂ©.

“In the stunning grounds of Brodick Castle, we’ve opened Isle Be Wild Adventure Playpark – a fantastic play experience, inspired by Arran’s wonderful natural heritage. This new addition to the island adds another great reason to make a visit to Arran for families for a short break or a day trip from the mainland.”


The team is (left to right in photograph):

Sarah Beattie, Curator - Sarah studied History of Art and History at the University of Glasgow before completing a master’s degree in nineteenth century art and design. She is currently working on a second masters on the history of the Country House with the University of Leicester. Sarah has worked with a broad selection of collections from social history to fine art in both documentation and curatorial roles.

Kevin MacGillivary, Catering and Hospitality Manager – Kevin has more than 30 years’ experience in the catering industry and has won many prestigious awards including Scottish Chef of the Year, Winner of Flavour of Scotland Award, and the Scottish Hotel Chef of the Year. He has been on the board of the Federation of Chefs Scotland since 1999 and took up the office of President in June 2009. Before joining the Trust, he was the Regional Executive Chef for MacDonald Hotels looking after 5 of the company’s flagship properties, The Holyrood Edinburgh, Inchyra Grange, Grangemouth, The Crutherland Hotel in East Kilbride and Houston House Hotel and the Grange Manor.

Ashley Connolly, Retail Development Manager – Ashley has worked in retail for 25 years – 20 of which have been in buying and product development with retail giants like Tesco and Next. Ashley's career growth has come from being able to match products to people, with the customer being at the heart of every decision she makes. Innovative, pioneering and a keen negotiator, Ashley can spot a trend coming from a mile away.

Gareth Clingan, Operations Manager, Culzean Castle – Gareth has worked with NTS since 2009 having held positions at Crathes Castle, Brodie Castle and Culloden amongst others. Previously, Dumfries born Gareth, was Visitor Experience Manager at The Royal Yacht Britannia after working at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Stuart Maxwell, General Manager – Stuart is no stranger to Ayrshire having managed Fairfield House Hotel and The Marine Hotel, Troon and lived in Alloway for 10 years. Having spent over 25 years in hospitality he is looking to transform the visitor experience at all of the Ayrshire and Arran properties whilst also opening up opportunities for commercial businesses.

Caroline Smith, Operations Manager, Robert Burns Birthplace Museum - Caroline has worked in the Ayrshire tourism sector since 2000, taking on the role of Commercial Manager and then Property Manager at Burns National Heritage Park (now the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum). Caroline was a key part of the project team for the HLF funded Robert Burns Birthplace Museum which opened in 2010. She then spent 3 years at Culzean Castle & Country Park, during which time she completed several large capital projects including the new play area – Adventure Cove as well as several property renovations and refurbishments, increasing visitor numbers and income, paving the way for further developments such as the extension to the play area and landscape and infrastructure improvements.

Andrea Brown, Business Manager – Andrea began her career in the banking sector during which time she qualified as an Associate member of the Chartered Institute of bankers in Scotland. She then worked in finance roles in the construction and road haulage industries. She has a particular interest in working for the charity sector, and worked with the Ayrshire Hospice for 13 years, latterly as Corporate & Management Accountant, where she headed up the finance department. During this role, she completed a BSC (Honours) in Applied Accountancy and is a qualified Chartered Certified Accountant.

Tim Keyworth, Gardens and Designed Landscapes Manager – Tim started his career with National Trust for Scotland at Threave Garden where he completed his craftsman gardener award, before moving to Leith Hall to take up a permanent gardening role. At 22, he became the youngest head gardener in the Trust and led a number of important renovations. He then moved to Brodick Castle in 2014, attracted before taking up his current role.

Jenny Dall, Finance Manager (Edinburgh-based).

The National Trust for Scotland is the charity that celebrates and protects Scotland’s heritage. It relies on the support of its members and donors to carry out its important work of caring for the natural and built heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy.

You can join the National Trust for Scotland for as little as £7.50 per month for a family. To become a member, CLICK HERE.

You can make a difference and help protect everything in  the National Trust for Scotland’s care. Donate online CLICK HERE.

National Trust for Scotland is a Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Thursday, 13 July 2017

Scottish International Airshow excitement soars

Extensive partnership working is underway to ensure that this year’s Scottish International Airshow which takes place at the Low Green, Ayr on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September is even bigger and better than ever before. 


In only its fourth year, the free to attend airshow has grown to become a major event with around 180,000 spectators expected over the weekend.

Organisers of the Scottish International Airshow have been working closely with main sponsor South Ayrshire Council and other key partners, including EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, to build the event into a family-friendly weekend. Not only will spectators be able to witness aerobatic displays of the highest quality, there will be some amazing ground entertainment too.

The fun fair will be back with exhilarating thrills for both young and old. There will be an array of stalls crammed with goodies and stands with all sorts of interesting information. Adding to the mix will be military vehicles and classic cars, and you could even have a go on a state-of-the-art flight simulator. All this and live entertainment will set the scene for a bumper weekend.

The Royal Marines have confirmed they will be back this year. Their exciting demonstration will feature a beach assault with a Type 23 Frigate, speeding inshore patrol craft, offshore raiding boat and a Merlin helicopter!

Breath-taking flying displays are the backbone of the Scottish International Airshow and 2017 will be no different with the return of the world famous Red Arrows, awe-inspiring Typhoon Fighter and the hotly anticipated Fighting Falcon flown by the Belgian Airforce. 

The airshow has also secured the appearance of one of the most spectacular close formation flying teams in Europe — Team Raven. They will be performing their unique brand of daredevil flying on both the Saturday and the Sunday.

Adding to the already amazing line-up will be the WWII Classic Catalina Flying Boat which wowed the crowds last year — check out http://www.tsia.scot/whats-on/  for the latest announcements or to buy tickets for family, enthusiast or VIP areas.

Councillor Douglas Campbell, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “A tremendous amount of work takes place behind the scenes to ensure the Scottish International Airshow is a success. Close partnership working is crucial, and I am sure these bonds will only get stronger in future years. 

“The advantage of an event of this magnitude for the local economy is clear and we are set to encourage even more people into Ayr town centre this year with a pipe band launching proceedings in the High Street and further town centre activities to be announced. Hopefully accommodation providers, retailers, restaurants and other businesses across South Ayrshire will feel the benefit. 

“The Scottish International Airshow has something for everyone, so even if flying displays are not your thing, come along and enjoy the other entertainment; there really is something for everyone.”

Doug Maclean, Director of Airshow Scotland Ltd who run the Scottish International Airshow said: “As we rapidly approach our 4th airshow based in Ayr we really feel that the support from South Ayrshire Council has been a major factor in us continuing to locate this incredible event in Ayr. We have been working since early last year on the 2017 airshow and we are well into planning for 2018 and beyond. We are keen the airshow continues to be supported by the Council,  and we look forward to sitting down very shortly to secure Ayr as the site for the Scottish International Airshow through to at least 2020.” 

Doug continued: “We raised our international ambitions last year, and are delighted to have secured the Belgian Air Force for the 2017 show. We are close to securing other international teams and believe we are approaching the point where the Scottish International Airshow will become a highly desired date on the international display calendar. The support of all of our private and public sector sponsors is vital to enable us to plan ahead and develop the airshow. We have brought tens of millions of pounds into the Scottish economy and we estimate we can raise that very considerably in a few short years.” 

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “We are delighted to be continuing our support of the Scottish International Airshow. Initially supported through our National Programme Fund, and now our Beacon Fund, the airshow has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2014. 

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the thrills of the air displays alongside the entertainment and exhibitions on the ground, will ensure a great weekend out for all the family.” 

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