The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Girvan leisure and community facility gets the green light

Planning permission has been granted today (Wednesday) for the new Girvan and South Carrick leisure and community facility – marking another significant milestone towards work getting underway in January 2016.


[Pictured: To celebrate the news about planning permission, Councillor McIntosh and Andrew Sinclair were joined at Girvan Harbour by Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Bill Grant; local Councillors Alec Clark and Alec Oattes; and pupils from Girvan Academy.]

The new £5 million building – a partnership project between South Ayrshire Council and South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) – will be sited at Girvan Harbour and will transform leisure and community facilities for local people and communities as well as visitors to the area.

The much-anticipated facility will include a 25 metre swimming pool, soft play area, superb fitness gym, flexible multi-purpose studio/community space, changing facilities and café.

The formal site building works will get underway in January 2016, with the facility open by March 2017. In the meantime, work will progress on the detailed designs for the building and proposals for the operating model.


Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is really exciting news for the new facility and marks a major step forward in turning our plans and vision into a reality for the people of Girvan and South Carrick. I’m delighted this project is now progressing at such a swift pace and it’s testament to all the hard work and effort that has gone in to make this happen. 

“In less than two years, we’re going to see people swimming, getting active and enjoying a state-of-the-art facility that I’m sure it will become a real community hub. This will provide local people with the quality services and facilities they deserve – and that’s something we can all be proud of.”

Andrew Sinclair, Chair of SCCL, added: “This is a true milestone for the people of Girvan and South Carrick and I want to thank everyone who has supported us in getting to this point. We all want this new facility to be a huge success and continued buy-in and support from local communities is going to be a key element in helping us achieve that. 

“It’s fantastic to think we’re just a few months away from seeing the new building start to take shape and a massive step closer to these great facilities being available for use.”

Local traders and businesses will also have the chance to benefit – and play their part – in the construction of the new leisure and community facility.

Morrison Construction – the design and build contractor for the project – is holding a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event, in conjunction with the Council and SCCL, at the Town House, 25 Knockcushan Street, Girvan between 9am and 12 noon on Tuesday 8 September 2015.

The purpose of the event is to give potential subcontractors, suppliers and tradespeople the chance to find out more about the specific elements of the construction project, identify possible business opportunities, and to understand how they can bid for work.

Businesses interested in taking part in this event can register HERE  

Full details of the planning permission, application and responses are available HERE  

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


Wednesday, 19 August 2015

CKD Galbraith offers for sale secluded Ayrshire country house in its own grounds with views over Carrick Hills

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Knoweholm, a secluded Ayrshire country house situated within its own grounds of some 21 acres with far reaching views towards the Carrick Hills.


The property lies about one mile from the village of Minishant – a small yet thriving village formed along the A77. The village was known historically for its blanket weaving factories but is now a popular base for commuters to both Ayr and Glasgow. There is a general store and post office in the village as well as a small primary school and two well regarded family run restaurants. 


The property was built in the mid-sixties and is a sprawling ranch style country house designed with light and space in mind. The driveway winds upwards towards the house and the elevation is sufficient to afford wonderful views across the countryside to the Carrick Hills. The stables are located adjacent to the house and were originally built for thoroughbred racehorses. There are six good sized loose boxes and two larger boxes of approximately 16 foot square. The stables are currently being used as a cattery and the current owners run a profitable business with a license to house 26 cats. 


Internally the accommodation is well planned and predominantly on ground level.  There are three good sized bedrooms with the fourth bedroom or home office being the only room upstairs.  


The drawing room is of particular note with its open beamed ceiling and wall of windows looking over the garden.  


The kitchen was recently replaced and the adjacent dining room is also a bright room with a large picture window. There is a cosy sitting room with patio doors which open to the courtyard and joined to the house by a covered portico is a laundry room. 

The gardens of Knoweholm are mature and provide natural seclusion and shelter.  A well tended lawn lies on either side of a tarmac drive and an area of mixed woodland marks the southern boundary. The lands of Knoweholm extend to about 21 acres with the grazing in two large well fenced fields.  There is also a double garage. 

Offers Over £590,000 are being sought. 

PDF available on www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

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.


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle websites pass major milestones for visitor numbers

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is delighted to report that two of its websites have each passed important milestones in terms of visitor numbers.


[Pictured left to right: Norman Geddes, executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and senior director of Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors; together with Murdoch MacDonald, managing director of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and editor of its websites.]

The Circle’s news blog Ayrshire Scotland Business News recently passed the one million mark, and the visitor total currently stands at 1,009,833.


Visitors come from all over the world to read the 1,634 archived news stories, and the top ten countries of origin, together with the number of page views are as follows:

Country / Page views

United States 304,775
United Kingdom 192,456
France 66,008
Germany 63,525
Ukraine 41,541
China 38,711
Russia 24,616
Spain 16,231
Norway 13,583
Canada 6,953

However, pictures would appear to speak even louder than words, as visitor numbers for Elite Ayrshire Business Circle’s online photograph library on Flickr recently passed the 2.5 million mark, and currently stand at 2,618,864. The archive contains nearly 3,000 images illustrating Ayrshire business successes and achievements over the past 7 years.


Murdoch MacDonald is managing director of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and editor of its websites.

Murdoch explained: “On Ayrshire Scotland Business News, we have adopted a front page rolling news format. Each new story goes to the top of the page, then drops down as newer stories are published. When it leaves the front page, it is then permanently archived on its own unique page, and additionally on a page also containing other stories published in the same week.

“A similar format operates on our Flickr photo library.”

Norman Geddes is executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and senior director of Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors.

Commenting on the latest website visitor number statistics, Norman concluded: “We are delighted to host and operate these major online platforms on which we celebrate and publicise the business successes and achievements of our members,

“We might perhaps have foreseen that our websites would be popular in the United States, but to get so many visitors from major EU countries like France and Germany, as well as China and eastern European countries like Russia and Ukraine is particularly gratifying.

“We look forward to providing this worldwide publicity service for many years to come, and urge members old and new to take maximum advantage of it.”

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle also operates its own corporate website and a weekly online magazine featuring business news from home and abroad.




Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Danny at the double at QTS Ladies Night

By: Iain Ferguson

IRVINE born jockey Danny Tudhope was in double winning form at QTS Ladies Night at Ayr Racecourse after making a three and a half hour dash from the afternoon meeting at Haydock.


[Pictured: Blue Sonic and Danny Tudhope (far side) just 
edge out Goninodaethat at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday.]

He teamed up with Blue Sonic from the Linda Perratt yard to win the Gas Sure & James Frew at odds of 5/1 for Coylton owner Ben Holohan and his Jolly Beggars Syndicate.


And Danny (pictured above) completed his double on Asian Wing for Irish trainer John James Feane in the JW Grant Builders Merchant Handicap over one mile seven furlongs.

The Irish raider was heavily backed into 3/1 and was the easiest winner of the night with the jockey actually looking round from a long way out.

Galston trainer Mike Smith kept his good form at his local track by saddling Haymarket, ridden by Garry Whillans, to win the QTS Group Handicap by a short head from Bahamian Desert denying Danny Tudhope a treble.

The feature event of the night the QTS Ladies’ Night Grand Spectacular Handicap was won by Gowanharry (6/4 fav) ridden by Paul Mulrennan.

Scottish trainers hit the bookies for six

Scottish trainers were in sparkling form at Ayr Racecourse on Monday, saddling six out of the seven winners.


And leading the way was Jackton-based Linda Perrat (pictured above) who cheered home three winners and also had two seconds.

Her first win came with Dark Crystal, ridden by David Nolan, in the mile handicap. A winner at Musselburgh 10 days ago and third there on Friday the filly swept to the front inside the final furlong to win at odds of 12/1 from Normandy Knight.

Course specialist Jinky (8/1) then made it two for Perratt with Joe Fanning in the plate in the six furlong handicap holding off stable mate Rock Canyon by a neck.

Blue Sonic (2/1 jt fav) made it three course wins on the bounce in the five furlong handicap under an inspired ride from Danny Tudhope who weaved the grey through horses to win by a head from another Perratt trained horse Saxonette.

Linda said afterwards: “The next target for Blue Sonic is a six furlong race for greys only at Newmarket on Saturday. There’s £20,000 in prize-money so it’s well worth going for.”

Another trainer in fine form is Mike Smith who made the short trip from his Galston stables to Ayr and saddled Gworn to win the feature race, the one mile two furlong handicap with PJ McDonald riding.

The horse returned at 4/1 and Mike said: “I bought him at the sales a few months ago for just under £5000 and that’s £13,000 we’ve won in two races here. I’ll be looking at a race at the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival next month.”

Keith Dalgleish, who trains at Carluke, saw his Forever A Lady land the opening seven furlong maiden and Alistair Whillans sent Henpecked from his Hawick base to win the finale.

Ayr’s next meeting is the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival from 17 – 19 September.

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, 11 August 2015

CKD Galbraith reports Ayrshire property market continuing to prosper

The Ayrshire property market continues to prosper after a healthy start to the year, according to leading Scottish property consultants, CKD Galbraith.

The firm in Ayr has experienced an increase in the number of property sales over the second quarter of the year (period April - June 2015) compared to the first quarter, with more properties coming onto the sales market.

Research conducted by CKD Galbraith over the Q2 period of 2015 presents an encouraging picture for the Scottish property market as a whole which has witnessed steady growth over the first half of 2015. The firm’s overall sales were up 4.65% during quarter two of this year compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The number of properties sold during this period in the Ayrshire area was up 38% compared to the first quarter of 2015 whilst the supply of properties coming onto the market increased by 22%.

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr statistics from the second quarter also show:-

* 82% of sales were completed by local buyers, 18% national.

* Average property sales value was £356,704.

* 27% of purchases were made by cash buyers.


Bob Cherry (pictured), partner and head of residential at CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “The Ayrshire property market is continuing to show healthy results, with our team handling an increase in property sales over the last three months. This is partly due to a high number of local buyers looking to move up the property ladder, as well as people moving into the area to take advantage of the value for money offered by the Ayrshire property market whilst also being an easy commute to Glasgow.”

The Ayrshire lettings department has also had a successful second quarter with a 66% increase in the number of properties let out this period compared to the first quarter of the year and 30% more properties becoming available.


Joyce Smart (pictured), head of lettings at CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “The number of lets successfully secured in the second quarter of this year has risen considerably compared to the previous quarter. We have also taken on a far greater number of applicants seeking rental accommodation in Ayrshire, being up 95% on the previous quarter of this year.

“Average rental prices also increased over the period from £596 to £682 as a consequence of demand rising significantly.    

“Competition remains strong for family sized rental properties and we have witnessed an increase in the number of locals renting who now see it as a way of life offering them greater flexibility for futures moves, up or downsizing, and with the added attraction of high quality properties becoming available, renting  has become an attractive long term option.”

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, 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.

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

Tel: 01292 268181   
Fax: 01292 292300 
E-mail: ayr@ckdgalbraith.co.uk    

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


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Trump Turnberry invests in sales team as refurbishment takes shape

Three new appointments have been announced in corporate sales at Trump Turnberry as the team prepare for the relaunch of the iconic luxury resort currently undergoing a lavish renovation.

Following the opening of the £6m clubhouse and the refurbishment of The Caledonia Ballroom, three new positions have been filled to assist the sales and marketing team with their plans for relaunch in June 2016.


Ms Paulomi Debnath (pictured above) joins the resort as an account director and will be based in the London office of the Starwood sales team.  Paulomi joins from The Corinthia Hotel in London and brings 13 years’ experience gained through operators such as Radisson Hotels and Hilton Hotels Worldwide.  

Reporting into director of sales, Gillian McNeilly, Paulomi’s remit will focus on building awareness of Trump Turnberry within the London MICE market (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), as the resort repositions itself as the premier destination for incentive groups, conferences and events. 

Shalane Breen has been appointed as an account executive and joins the resort from Elior. Previously based at Ibrox stadium in Glasgow, she was sales manager for corporate and private events.   With a Scotland and Ireland remit, Shalane will be engaging with a number of local businesses keen to learn about the new multi-million facilities at Trump Turnberry.

The appointments also follow the recent hire of Laura Findlay as business development executive. The new team join existing leisure account manager, Angus Watson, who joined from the Fairmont St Andrews in 2014.

Stephen Walker, director of sales and marketing for Trump Turnberry commented: “We’re delighted to welcome Paulomi, Shalane and Laura to the team.

“Supporting The Trump Organisation's multi-million dollar investment in both our existing, and the creation of additional meeting and function space, we recognised at an early stage the requirement to expand the sales force both locally and nationally.

“Alongside the bedroom renovation which starts late September, this allows us to entirely reposition the resort in the MICE market, win market share and encourage customers old and new to look at Trump Turnberry in an entirely new light.

“As the renovation unfolds we will constantly review the deployment of the sales & marketing team to support the biggest investment in the resort's 109 year history.”

The ongoing refurbishment at Trump Turnberry continues with the hotel’s signature venue, The Caledonia Ballroom recently unveiled following a lavish refurbishment.  In addition three adjoining meeting spaces have also been created offering perfect break out rooms.  Two additional function rooms have been redesigned The Old Tom Morris Suite perfect for pre-dinner drinks and The Ailsa Craig Suite which can accommodate up to 140. 

Meanwhile, The Trump Turnberry Clubhouse opened in June has launched a new restaurant named ‘The Duel in the Sun’ which commands exceptional views over the golf course.  The unrivalled golfing history of the resort has also been acknowledged with the creation of new clubhouse meeting rooms, including the new Champions Suite and The Tom Watson Boardroom.  A new business centre is also in operation while the professional shop has almost doubled in size and now offers 3,600sq ft of retail space.  

An extensive and phased refurbishment of the hotel bedrooms commences in October with accommodation provided throughout the winter via selected hotel rooms, Trump Villas and Lands of Turnberry apartments.  The golf courses are also redesigned during this time culminating in a grand re-opening of the resort in June 2016.

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


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra complete successful tour of South Africa

By: Euan Terras

The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra (AFO) was formed back in 1982 by Wallace Galbraith MBE and his then wife to encourage and develop traditional Scottish fiddle music among young musicians in Ayrshire. 


The Orchestra has steadily matured and grown since those early days and now boasts over 100 members from all parts of Ayrshire (and Arran!), ranging from 10 - 20 years of age and includes violins, cellos, double basses, guitars, accordions, percussion and bagpipes. 

Although the Orchestra has just two main concerts each year, Summer and Christmas, both in Ayr Town Hall, they have a very busy schedule, performing at many local and community events such as Ayr Flower Show, Prestwick Promenade, Troon’s Wintertainment, Septembayr, West Sound Burns Supper and Hogmanay Show as well as events for Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Cancer Research and the Ayrshire Hospice, Ayr Gaiety, Town Twinning events and contributing to various Christmas Fayres, school and church events, concerts in rural communities and other charity based events across Ayrshire and beyond. 

AFO has earned an enviable reputation over the years for providing entertainment to many and for enabling young Ayrshire musicians some wonderful opportunities and experiences for performing, not only locally, but across the globe. In doing so, they have proved themselves fine ambassadors for Ayrshire and for Scots music and culture. 


Every two years the Orchestra embarks on a major international concert tour and since the 1980s has travelled to USA, Canada, Scandinavia and mainland Europe, Australia, New Zealand and China. They have performed in prestigious venues such as Sydney Opera House, the White House lawn, the European Parliament and at CERN in Geneva. 

The Orchestra have, in fact, just returned from South Africa following a 16 day visit in July which has been their most exciting, and most successful Tour ever and their first visit to Africa.

Privileged to have been invited to perform at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, the largest cultural festival in the whole of the African continent (and similar in size to the Edinburgh Festival), AFO sold out their two scheduled concerts even before they had left the UK and a third additional concert which was hastily scheduled into their programme also rapidly sold out. 

Newspapers in South Africa commented: “The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra was one of the most talked about and remembered performances of the 2015 Festival.” . 

The AFO group, 95 in number, performed further concerts at George, Cape Town, Hout Bay and Johannesburg, all of which were met with standing ovations and shouts of ‘encore’ at every venue. Another reviewer raved: "It is fair comment to say that AFO have taken South Africa by storm!” 

The Orchestra were also honoured to be invited to perform during Sunday Mass at the famous Regina Mundi Cathedral in Soweto, in front of a 2,000 strong congregation. 


Even the flight to Johannesburg with Virgin Atlantic involved an impromptu performance, with some 30 AFO fiddlers performing mid-flight in the aisles for their fellow passengers at 36,000ft, to the delight of all on board, including the crew!  


Always ready for fun, the young musicians also held a ceilidh on the summit plateau of Table Mountain, 3,500ft above Cape Town, with the dancing soon involving onlookers and staff!  

During a visit to Robben Island, Nelson Mandela’s prison for some 18 years, one of the Orchestra’s senior players, Ciaran McHugh (20), produced his violin and performed in Mandela’s actual cell block an arrangement of Blair Douglas’s bagpipe tune “Nelson Mandela’s Welcome to the City of Glasgow” – an emotional occasion for all present. 

Meanwhile, some other senior players were in the studios of the South African Broadcasting Corporation playing live on national breakfast TV, whilst AFO Directors Kathleen Terras and David Moore were interviewed about the forthcoming concerts. 

One of the Orchestra's most memorable days was spent with the Hout Bay Music Project, which aims to develop the musical skills of children from townships in the Hout Bay area. After much fun playing football, frisbee and dancing games, the two groups of children from very different cultures and backgrounds rehearsed together and then performed an exciting joint concert that night, to thunderous applause and a standing ovation!  

The Tour was not just about music however, with the Orchestra spending two exciting days on safari at a game reserve and visits to the Apartheid Museum, the Cape of Good Hope and the Cradle of Humankind. 

AFO Director and Tour Manager, Euan Terras, commented: “Our tours are not only about showcasing Scots music abroad in different countries but also about giving our young talented members of the orchestra cultural and musical experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives." 

Plans are now underway for the next AFO tour – to North America in 2017! 

The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra prides itself on being accessible to all young musicians throughout Ayrshire regardless of financial background. 

All tuition is free for players and there are no membership fees. A registered charity, AFO has no paid staff, being run entirely by parents and volunteers with much of the orchestra's activities relying heavily on concert revenues, fundraising, grants and corporate advertising and support.  

Further details about the AFO can be found at www.fiddleorchestra.com or from Euan Terras at euan@fiddleorchestra.com

The Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Girvan’s tide of success continues with new harbour facilities

Dedicated modern rest facilities for harbour fishermen and pontoon users, a new harbour master’s office and public toilets, all created with an investment of £465,000, have been officially opened at Girvan Harbour.


[Pictured left to right: South Ayrshire Councillors Alec Oattes, John McDowall and Alec Clark celebrate the opening of Girvan Harbour Facilities.]

Known as the Girvan Harbour Facilities, this latest development enhances the pontoons that were installed in 2013, which have already brought a welcome boost for the town as a sailing destination. 

Since the pontoons were completed in 2013, they have been attracting around 500 vessels per year and there has been an increase in new visitors to the marina.  

Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “With the completion of this work, Girvan Harbour is fit for the 21st century. 

“In 2013 we completed the development of the marina pontoon and now with dedicated rest facilities for visiting yachts, it’s easier than ever to visit Girvan and South Carrick. Very importantly, fishermen − for the first time ever − have dedicated facilities at the harbour, the harbour master has a new office and there are modern public toilets for both local people and visitors to the area.

“Between these new facilities and the new pontoons, over £1 million has been invested in Girvan Harbour. This shows our commitment to Girvan as a working harbour and promoting the town as a must sail to place, making the harbour much more pleasing for the people of Girvan and South Carrick and anyone visiting the area.

“Girvan and the surrounding Carrick area have so much to offer with magnificent scenery, wonderful walking, great water sports, a variety of places to eat, caring communities and a warm-hearted welcome for visitors. And with our great new facilities now open, I hope to see many more people coming to experience this for themselves.”

Speaking about the new facilities Tom McCrindle, Commodore of Carrick Sailing Club and harbour pontoon berth holder said: "Nowhere in the Clyde can compete with the new facilities newly opened at Girvan Harbour. Once the sailing community gets to know about them I am sure Girvan Harbour will be a priority destination." 

John Murdoch, ship chandler and retired fisherman said: “The new facilities have been a long time coming and are very welcomed by local fishermen and will be appreciated by fishermen calling in."

The project was led by South Ayrshire Council and was part funded with an award of £131,699 from the Argyll & Bute South Ayrshire Fisheries Local Action Group, financed by Axis 4 of the European Fisheries Fund 2007-2013 Programme.  

The new facility will be operated by Ayrshire Roads Alliance and South Ayrshire Council.  

Councillor McDowall concluded: “These terrific facilities really do help make Girvan a go-to place all year round for sailors, fishermen, local people and tourists.”

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

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Festival to showcase Scotland’s architecture

£400,000 funding for Festival of Architecture

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced £400,000 of funding to support the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Festival of Architecture.


The Festival will be an international celebration of design and creativity designed to highlight Scotland’s architecture and the quality of our built landscape.

The Festival of Architecture will take place from March to October 2016 and will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. 

The Festival will receive £300,000 from the Scottish Government and £100,000 from EventScotland, and is designed to boost appreciation and understanding of our built environment as well as highlighting the economic, social and cultural importance of good architecture. 

The programme, which will be announced in due course, will comprise hundreds of events throughout Scotland, including exhibitions, performances, talks, tours, competitions and community projects as well as educational initiatives and conferences. 

Announcing the funding Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The RIAS Festival of Architecture will highlight the richness and breadth of Scotland’s architecture and the world quality of our built landscape. 

“It will be a nationwide event, showing how architecture touches everyone’s lives and engaging with Scots and visitors to Scotland – whether they have a professional involvement in architecture, or a passing interest.

“Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture. This funding from the Scottish Government and VisitScotland will allow the Festival of Architecture to connect Scottish communities and visitors with our architecture through events & exhibitions, Scotland-wide.

“The 2016 Festival of Architecture will form a key part of the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations which will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s greatest assets, icons and hidden gems through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity to boost tourism in every corner of Scotland.”

David Dunbar PPRIAS, Chair of the Festival of Architecture 2016 said: “This support for the Festival of Architecture 2016 is an important recognition of the potential of this eight month-long event. The Royal Incorporation and our 62 other partner organisations are delighted that the Cabinet Secretary values Scottish Architecture so highly and that the Festival will be a key part of the themed Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design.

“This Festival is a national celebration, notably of great architecture, but also of how the work of architects improves people’s lives. It has the potential to transform Scotland’s relationship with its built environment, engaging local communities, young and old alike, with the art form which has been called “the mother of the arts”. By improving people’s appreciation and understanding of architecture we all have the potential to improve Scotland. It will also be great fun!”

Mike Cantlay OBE, Chairman of VisitScotland said: “Architecture is a pivotal part of Scotland’s culture and a major tourism asset, with an estimated £187m spent by visitors viewing architecture and buildings on trips to our inspirational country. This Festival is a key part of the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design in 2016 and we are really excited to see the activity and events planned. One of the big aims of the festival is to make architecture more accessible to both young and old, encouraging everyone from adventure-seeking families to seasoned design experts to engage with this artful science and discover exciting and innovative developments, buildings and structures across the country. Scotland is a nation of pioneers and it’s high time we shouted about it!” 

The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Festival of Architecture 2016, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.