The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 17 August 2007

Clydesdale Bank new sponsors of
Culzean Castle Horse Trials 2007

Clydesdale Bank are the new sponsors of this year’s Culzean Castle Horse Trials.

The Culzean Castle Horse Trials committee are delighted to announce the new event sponsor in this its 20th anniversary year. This British Eventing affiliated event, which began in 1987, will take place on Sunday 16 September 2007 in the grounds of Culzean Castle and Country Park, Maybole, Ayrshire.

Pictured left to right: Culzean Castle and Country Park property manager Mike Schafer, Culzean Castle Horse Trials organiser Katrina Geddes, Clydesdale Bank senior partner Marion Hamilton and Clydesdale Bank managing partner Willie Mackie.

Organiser Katrina Geddes said: “We are delighted that the Clydesdale Bank has agreed to become our event sponsor. Their support will be invaluable in the continuation and development of this popular event.”

William Mackie, managing partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Ayrshire Financial Solutions Centre said: “It is a pleasure to be involved with such a prestigious event. I am sure that 2007 will build upon the considerable success of last year.”

Culzean Castle and Country Park property manager Mike Schafer said: “We are very pleased to hold the Horse Trials at Culzean. The staff at Culzean in conjunction with all parties involved aim to make this another successful event. We look forward to welcoming everyone to the National Trust for Scotland’s flagship property.”

The Culzean Castle Horse Trials 2007 will feature a newly introduced class, the Open Intro, the winner of which will receive the Clydesdale Bank Trophy. The Open Intro is a new class introduced by British Eventing this year allowing inexperienced riders to compete on experienced horses.

The sport of One-Day Eventing is a challenging test of horse and rider over three different horse riding disciplines, all of which are completed in the same day.

The three phases of the event are dressage, show jumping and cross country riding.

Last year a redevelopment of the cross country phase of the event was begun which will be continued this year.

One-Day Eventing is a testing and inclusive sport open to members from the year of their 14th birthday upwards. See for further information on this and other British Eventing events.

The closing date for entries to the Culzean Castle Horse Trials 2007 is Thursday 6 September, but entries will be accepted up to a week later subject to availability of spaces.

For further information telephone Katrina Geddes on 01655 740345.

Culzean Horse Trials 2007
Openpress I-Newswire

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Clydesdale Bank announces new
integrated service for landed estates

CLYDESDALE Bank has appointed Marion Hamilton to the newly created post of landed estates partner for the west of Scotland.

Picture shows: Clydesdale Bank's newly appointed landed estates partner for the West of Scotland Marion Hamilton.

One of 12 UK partners selected by the Bank to head a new initiative for the landed estates sector, Marion becomes the region’s key point of contact for the integrated provision of Clydesdale’s services and support for this important part of the rural economy.

“Many landed estates draw income from a broad range of sources, a fact which means they require an equally broad provision of financial services and support if they’re to fulfil their potential,” Marion said.

“Typical activities for such businesses can include agricultural and land-use developments, residential and commercial projects, retail outlets, tourism and capital planning, plus additional aspects of asset management and personal finance.

“Being well supported in only some of these areas is clearly not enough. Modern businesses require a fully integrated financial structure in which all the boxes are ticked to the highest level of financial expertise. Having successfully delivered integrated financial solutions for many farming and rural businesses, we believe we can now bring similar ‘joined-up’ benefits to the landed estates sector.” 

Marion is already an established business partner, based at Clydesdale’s Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr. A farmer’s daughter with a good practical knowledge of farming and rural business requirements, she began her career with Clydesdale in Ayrshire in 1981, then spent seven years in the bank’s Glasgow headquarters (1994-2001) before returning to Ayrshire as a specialist business partner six years ago.
Premier Ayrshire estate agency Donald Ross
achieving another record year

So far, 2007 has been another record year for leading Ayrshire estate agents Donald Ross, with an impressive sales increase of 15% on 2006.

Picture shows: Donald Ross Estate Agents directors Steven and Jacqueline Miller.

Donald Ross Estate Agents managing director Steven Miller says: “This has been down to complete customer focus, with the team working harder than ever to achieve the very best results for our clients. Our robust sales management and analysis process ensures that all clients are kept well informed and up-to-date with all progress within the sale.”

Commenting on the housing market in Ayrshire and in Scotland and the UK generally, Steven Miller says: “Rising interest rates and affordability constraints for first-time buyers have combined to slow the market, but, despite recent rises, Scotland is still the most affordable part of the UK by a wide margin. The average house price in Scotland at £140,262 is 29% below the UK average.

“The Ayrshire market continues to go from strength to strength, with the average home in Ayr now costing £174,235 - an increase of 16% on the 2006 figure of £149,652.

“This is great news for the local market. Good quality family homes are still in high demand, with properties close to the schools currently being redeveloped achieving strong prices.

“High quality new builds are still attracting a premium.

“We expect the remainder of this year to be reasonably strong, albeit with a more moderate rate of growth.”


Unlike most estate agents who are part of a franchise, group or PLC, Donald Ross Estate Agents are privately owned and completely independent. This allows the firm to offer its clients a genuinely personal service geared solely towards the very best advice and assistance when selling their home. Donald Ross is also one of Ayrshire’s longest established estate agents, having been in business for over 25 years.

These days the business has a young energetic team who have a wealth of local knowledge and experience coupled with excellent business acumen and expertise. Donald Ross is proud to be members of the National Association of Estate Agents and The Ombudsman for Estate Agents.

A passion for property runs in the family as prior to taking over at Donald Ross Steven has successfully run a property development business with his surveyor brother. For 10 years, the business focused on development of residential property and new build properties. As well as this, Steven held a highly successful senior managerial position within the automotive industry operating some of the UK’s best known businesses, which under Steven’s leadership achieved award-winning national success. Steven’s emphasis is on an entrepreneurial approach to business, delivering first- class service and advice to all clients. His commercial awareness, highly successful track record and extensive experience operating at a top managerial level will ensure that the Donald Ross brand and level of service offered continues to go from strength to strength.

Married to Steven for 12 years, Jacqueline also has a passion for property, previously being involved within the development company for 10 years. As well as this, Jacqueline held a development officer role within the Environment, Land and Property section of South Ayrshire council.

Lauren has over 8 years experience within residential estate agency and has a vast knowledge of the local market, in particular country homes. Lauren has extensive knowledge around most areas of the business having worked through administration in her earlier years.

Julie has over 10 years experience with Donald Ross and is hugely experienced in most areas of the business, delivering first-class service to all clients and is a vital member of the team.

Karen started in estate agency at 17 and has extensive local knowledge and experience within the industry. Karen has a vital role within the business, successfully negotiating the best possible price for your home.

Fraser’s passion for property also runs in the family, having worked with his family’s construction company prior to joining Donald Ross. His exceptional attitude and interpersonal skills will be sure to delight all clients.

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