The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 1 February 2008

Ayr United Football Club gets planning permission for new stadium

By: Murdoch MacDonald

AYR UNITED Football Club has been awarded planning permission to build its new stadium.

The facility, to be developed at Heathfield, will mean fans can enjoy a 7,650 capacity stadium on the northern part of the site.

The Ayr United Stadium, Sports and Business Campus will also include indoor training and parking facilities. While these will be built within the southern stand, the north and west stands will contain 8,775 square metres of rentable office accommodation.

The commercial office space is expected to provide the club with the finances to complete the construction and ensure the club’s long-term future.

The project will also include 106 residential units comprising 54 flats and a mix of 52 semi-detached and terraced houses. At the same time, South Ayrshire Council approved the redevelopment of the club’s Somerset Park ground to create 155 flats.

Councillor Nan McFarlane, Chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel said: “I welcome the development of a new football stadium for Ayr United, offices and parking. Importantly the development includes the construction of two residential housing developments that will have 24.9% of socially affordable housing within it. A higher level of socially affordable housing would have been welcome, but this percentage will have a very positive impact on the demand for housing in the area. This is particularly important as South Ayrshire is a pressurised area for housing and this will help to provide additional homes for people.

“The development will bring a welcome boost to the South Ayrshire economy, creating jobs within the building industry when construction is going on. Afterwards the local economy will continue to thrive with more people living and working in the area in and around the new development.”

The development has taken a long while to come to fruition with the applicant and Officers from the Council’s Planning section working together to ensure that the stadium and housing are fit for purpose and suitable for their location.

Ayr United Football & Athletic Club Limited Lachlan Cameron, managing director said, “This morning the Club and our supporters took a major step forward to realising modern purpose built 21st century facilities at our new home at Heathfield.

“It became apparent to everyone at the meeting this morning the amount of detailed work and submissions that have been undertaken by our Development Consultants and Project Managers, Rockwood as well as various consultants engaged by Barratt West of Scotland. Indeed it was extremely pleasing that the Councillors at this mornings meeting commended the hard work of the Planning Officers as well as that of the Applicants and in particular made reference to the careful design of the affordable housing to ensure that it is fully integrated into the proposed housing developments.

“The approval of these applications bring us to the start of our new beginning. The club can progress from here and be a competitive force. We look forward to agreeing the relevant planning agreements with the Council in early course. Until these are resolved we are unable to confirm a timetable for the stadium but continue to strive to open Phase 1 in time for the 2009/10 centenary season.”
Science brought to Ayrshire pupils - on a lorry!

LAB IN A LORRY, a mobile science lab for young people, will visit several Ayrshire schools to try and connect young people in the region to science.

Local school groups will take part in organised visits to the Lab which will be based at the following locations:

Wednesday 12th March 2008 – Carrick Academy, Maybole
Thursday 13th March 2008 – Grange Academy, Kilmarnock
Friday 14th March 2008 - Ayr Academy, Ayr
Tuesday 18th March 2008 - Doon Academy, Dalmellington
Wednesday 19th March 2008 - Auchinleck Academy, Auchinleck
Thursday 20th March 2008 – Cumnock Academy, Cumnock

Volunteers are key to the success of Lab in a Lorry. Further information on Lab in a Lorry is available at

If you would like to assist as a volunteer on any of the above dates, please contact Alison Tait, Business Liaison Officer at Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce on 01292 678666 or email

Designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, Lab in a Lorry offers 11-14 year olds the opportunity to explore science through specially created interactive experiments.

The Lab in a Lorry programme consists of three 44ft lorries that have been visiting schools, youth organisations, major events, and communities free-of-charge across the UK and Ireland from early 2005.

Each lorry is fitted with three distinct lab areas where groups of up to six young people can take part in each of the fun and informative experiments. The programme is delivered by volunteers – all practising scientists and engineers – and with at least one volunteer mentor to every six students, everyone gets to try their hand at experimental science and think about the surprises and questions that arise.

Lab in a Lorry in Scotland is a partnership between the Institute of Physics, the Offshore Training Foundation and the Scottish Government. The Schlumberger Foundation is a founding partner. The aim of Lab in a Lorry is to encourage positive attitudes towards science and to make science and engineering more attractive to 11-14 year olds.

Institute of Physics spokesperson Ian Cuthbert said: “Lab in a Lorry is a fantastic experience for young people. It generates excitement and curiosity in science by letting them explore experimental science for themselves with the help of expert mentors.”

Schlumberger Foundation spokesperson Johana Dunlop said: “Lab in a Lorry offers young people a captivating experience. It brings science to life through experiments that demonstrate the rules governing everyday events. We hope Lab in a Lorry will help to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Offshore Training Foundation spokesperson John Ramsay OBE said: “Much has been written about the lack of interest young people have in science and technology and how the number of young people taking up these subjects at secondary school and university has fallen over the years. This means that industries, like oil and gas, which depend on science, engineering and technology skills are now finding it difficult to find the talented people they need. In an effort to reverse this trend the oil and gas industry in partnership with the Offshore Training Foundation is supporting Lab in a Lorry when it visits schools throughout Scotland.”

Schools, youth organisations and communities can invite Lab in a Lorry to visit them through the website which also contains information on how to become a volunteer.

Lab in a Lorry is actively recruiting additional partners to ensure the programme expands and continues to be a free experience for all. For more information on partnerships, please visit the Lab in a Lorry website.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Klin Group development gives new
boost to regeneration of Kilmarnock

SCOTLAND’S First Minister Alex Salmond has opened Kilmarnock’s Barclay House Heritage Centre, which is set to play a key role in the regeneration of the area.

The museum is part of a larger development by local company Klin Group which includes a new housing scheme and the Encore Project - a £65million hotel-based project incorporating shops, restaurant and tourism facilities.

[Picture shows: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond opening Kilmarnock’s Barclay House Heritage Centre with (left) East Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Reid and (right) Klin Group’s managing director Marie Macklin. Click on image to view larger version.]

The scheme will also create spaces for independent retailers, promoting local producers and artists.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Alex Salmond said: “Today we are celebrating the opening of this ambitious development which pays tribute to the work of Andrew Barclay and the pivotal role the town played in driving Scotland’s economy during the industrial revolution.

“The restoration of this historic landmark pays tribute to these achievements and is clearly another regeneration success story for Kilmarnock.”

He added: “This project has created more jobs, more homes and more opportunities for the local community, boosting the economy and its sense of civic pride.”

The heritage centre is the retirement home of the Drake 2086, a locomotive built at Barclays in 1940 for the war effort, and a giant two centuries old 30-ton crane which is set in the garden.

The centre is at the heart of a £95m completed development of luxury apartments by local company Klin Group.

Klin’s managing director Marie Macklin said: “Drake may be retired and the Barclay House project may be at an end, but it’s too early yet to close the book on regeneration of Kilmarnock.

“Another chapter is beginning with the exciting Encore Project, a £65m hotel-based development which will incorporate shops restaurants and tourism facilities in and around the old, derelict opera house buildings in John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock.”

East Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Reid praised the Klin group’s vision for Kilmarnock.

He said: “Marie is an inspirational chief executive who has brought real change to Kilmarnock. She has and will continue to challenge the conventional to help breathe life back into our town centre.”

After the opening ceremony, the First Minister chatted with guests and was also given a full tour of the development.

Local artist Ryan Mutter presented Mr Salmond with one of his paintings sponsored by the Klin Group, which will now be installed at Bute House, the First Minister's official residence.


The Klin Group

East Ayrshire Council
Ryanair doubles daily flights between
Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Bournemouth

RYANAIR will operate two daily flights between Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Bournemouth for the summer 2008 season, starting on Thursday 3 April.

The move provides both business and leisure travellers with greater flexibility when moving between Scotland and the south coast of England, while also providing direct competition to services operating out of Glasgow Abbotsinch.

Ryanair’s head of sales and marketing Caroline Baldwin commented: “We are delighted with the extra daily flight between Glasgow Prestwick and Bournemouth as it will make life a lot easier, particularly for the business travellers in both regions, who will have the opportunity to travel out and back in the same day.

“It is also an added incentive for people in the south of England to make the most of the fantastic shopping Glasgow has to offer with easy access to the city centre, and with Ryanair’s low fares it becomes cheaper than travelling to London!”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell added: “Ryanair are well-known for their ability to spot gaps in the market, and by making the Bournemouth service double daily they are making it a viable route for day trippers and business travellers.”

Ayrshire Scotland Business News -
where Ayrshire business news breaks first!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Green savings on show at Sustainable Ayrshire Business events

AYRSHIRE is to recognise its commitment to going green with a number of events to help businesses be more environmentally friendly.

The sustainable business events are managed by Scottish Enterprise and will take place in February 2008. They aim to highlight the environmental and cost savings that companies can make by changing the way they work. More than 150 companies are expected to participate in the events.

Celebrity chef Nick Nairn will join a number of top business personalities to demonstrate the benefits of a sustainable business.

Ayrshire is already home to one of the UK’s longest running efficiency networks. Now in its tenth year, the Ayrshire Environmental Management Initiative has helped Ayrshire businesses to save more than £4 million of direct savings plus immeasurable benefits to the environment.

Key events are:

Ayrshire Environmental Management Initiative -
10th Anniversary Event

5 February 2008
The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock

Representatives of local, national and Scottish based global companies are secured as speakers to share their organisations’ experiences of making environmental and financial savings.

Proven Energy: Andrew McMullan, Managing Director
Rolls Royce: Ian Martin, Environmental Manager
Spirit AeroSystems: Allan Brown, Business Assurance Compliance Director
Robert Wiseman Dairies: David Douglass, Group Environmental Manager

Sustainable tourism in Ayrshire
6 February 2008
Turnberry Golf Club - a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme

Nick Nairn will speak on green tourism and the importance of local produce. This event will demonstrate how a sustainable future for the tourism industry brings business opportunities and benefits. Aimed at tourism businesses, it will focus on the themes of winning business, saving money and protecting the environment.

Nick will be joined by a number of entrepreneurs who have experienced success in their sustainable tourism businesses:

AA Food Services: Andrew Ford, Area Manager
Taylor Nelson Sofres: Jim Eccleson, Director Tourism and Travel
Langside Farm B&B: Nick Quick, Proprietor

Later that month, on 15 February, GlaxoSmithKline will host a Best Practice Day at its facility in Irvine. This is a rare opportunity to access and learn from a world-leading company.

Scottish Enterprise operations director Jim Reid said: “The sustainable Ayrshire business events aim to encourage local businesses to make environmental savings that will reap bottom-line benefits to ensure future growth and success. The events are an excellent opportunity for Ayrshire companies and organisations to learn from the experiences of successful, sustainable businesses. It is clear that the Ayrshire business community can play a significant role in creating a greener Scotland.”

There are still some available tickets for these free events. For more information contact Leanne Saffer on 0141 331 2991.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Excellent prize money on offer at
Ayr Racecourse’s February meeting

By: Murdoch MacDonald

AYR Racecourse's next meeting takes place on Saturday 9 February with the seven race card offering a healthy £51,000 in prize money.

The Valentine's Raceday will be the first of two held in February (there is also a meeting on 21 February) and there is some great racing in prospect.

Feature race is the Book Now For The Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase at 4.25pm with £16,500 in prize money and a first prize of £10,333.

This Class 2 event is run over three miles one furlong and is sure to attract some top chasers.

First race is at 1.45pm, The Dawn Developments Handicap Hurdle over two miles, and the last race, the Princess Royal Suite For Parties Handicap Chase is due off at 4.55pm.

Advance bookings can be made online at or by calling 0870-8505666. Discounts are available on bookings made seven or more days in advance.