The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 14 March 2008

Ayr Racecourse hosts Saw Doctors
at Scottish Grand National Festival

THE worlds of music and horse racing will meet at Ayr Racecourse next month when Irish folk rockers the Saw Doctors play after racing on the first day of the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival.


The band, who last month were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 Meteor Ireland Music Awards in Dublin, will play on Friday 18 April in the new £4.5 million Grandstand Bar which opens at the course that day.

The Saw Doctors are due on stage approximately 20 minutes after the last race which is at 5.45pm. Entry to the gig is by race tickets only, which are £25 for Club and £15 for Grandstand.

It is expected the large numbers of owners, trainers and jockeys who will be at Ayr for racing will stay on to see the group affectionately known as “racing’s band”. They have a great affinity with the racing world, and have already played a string of racecourse dates throughout the UK.

Last year the Saw Doctors appeared with Deacon Blue at Rock At The Racecourse at Ayr, and racecourse PRO Iain Ferguson said: “It should be a very good night. There is usually a decent crowd at the Friday meeting before the Scottish Grand National, and the Saw Doctors will add to that.

“I know by talking to the jump jockeys who regularly ride here that they are looking forward to seeing the band.”

Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 0870-8505666. There is a £2 discount available on Club tickets if these are booked seven or more days in advance, and £4 discount for quantities of 20 or more. Grandstand discounts are £1 per ticket on bookings up to 20 and £2 per ticket for 20 or more.

The Saw Doctors concert will be the first of several at Ayr Racecourse in 2008. Status Quo headline this year’s Burns Rock At The Racecourse on Saturday 24 May and Abba tribute band Bjorn Again appear after racing on Saints and Sinners Night on 20 June.

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Thursday, 13 March 2008

Major multi-million pound development
will lead transformation of Irvine

IRVINE BAY Regeneration Company has announced Urban Splash, one of the UK’s leading developers, as its preferred partner to deliver a £70 million development which is set to lead the regeneration of Irvine on the west coast of Scotland.

[Picture shows: artist's impression of the new development]

The announcement was made at MIPIM, the international property expo in Cannes, France, as part of Scotland’s showcase of investment opportunities for property development.

[Picture shows an aerial view of Irvine and the site of the new development project.]

The development is on an 11 acre site at the harbourside of the former Scottish New Town. A new community is planned consisting of some 300 homes, many affordable for first time buyers, shops, leisure facilities and commercial workspaces.

[Picture shows: Irvine beach.]

Minister for Communities and Sport Stewart Maxwell said: “I would like to congratulate Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and Urban Splash on this announcement, and I very much look forward to seeing the ambitious plans for Irvine’s harbourside becoming a reality.

“The Scottish Government is absolutely committed to regeneration in our most disadvantaged communities, which is why we have supported the urban regeneration company from the outset. We will continue to work closely with all the partners to bring about positive and lasting improvements for the people of the five towns at the heart of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s efforts.”

Irvine Bay chief executive Patrick Wiggins said: “We are delighted that Urban Splash, one of the UK’s leading regeneration companies have become our preferred development partner on this ground-breaking project.

“Urban Splash brings a proven record for delivering projects of a high standard of quality of design and construction combined with environmental efficiency and sustainability.”

Urban Splash chairman Tom Bloxham said: “Urban Splash is very excited to have been selected as Irvine Bay’s development partners for the delivery of Irvine Harbourside. We think the site has amazing potential given its location on the harbourside, the views out to the island of Arran and the beaches running north and south from the tip of the site.

“We think by focussing on quality architecture, creating a strong sense of place and by working in partnership with Irvine Bay and North Ayrshire Council, we can deliver a mixed-use scheme that will help transform Irvine into a great place where people will want to live and work.

“Being our first site in Scotland, the development is very special for us, and hopefully it will be the start of a very long-term and successful business for Urban Splash in Scotland.”

It is expected that the development will create some 100 construction jobs and on completion around 160 permanent and part-time jobs.

This project is the first major development to be brought to the area by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, just over a year since it was established.

The Company, one of six URCs set up by the Scottish Government, has an ambitious ten-year plan to breathe new life into the Ayrshire coastal towns of Irvine, Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and the Abbey town of Kilwinning.

All five towns lie just 30 minutes drive from Glasgow, and fringe 14 miles of the stunning west coast of Scotland. All towns have railway stations and lie just 30 minutes from Glasgow and 15 minutes from Prestwick airports. Ardrossan is the ferry port to the island of Arran and other west coast islands.

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Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Ayrshire’s Glasgow Prestwick Airport accounts for 3,000 Scottish jobs

SCOTLAND'S First Minister Alex Salmond today (Tuesday March 11) visited Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire, where he was presented with a new study which reveals that the airport accounts for nearly 3,000 jobs in Scotland.

[Scotland's First Minister is welcomed by Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell.]

The study also shows that total expenditure associated with the airport is well in excess of £200 million per annum, with £173 million generated by inbound visitors to Scotland who use it.

The First Minister expressed an interest in visiting Glasgow Prestwick Airport after it responded effectively to the attempted terrorist attack on Glasgow Abbotsinch Airport in June 2007. Security was quickly tightened and numerous additional passenger flights were handled when Glasgow Abbotsinch closed.

The First Minister Alex Salmond said: “My visit to Prestwick today is a reflection of my Government’s gratitude to the airport for its excellent support and help during last year’s terror attacks on Glasgow Airport.

“It was a testing time for Scotland, most notably for our airports and emergency services. Glasgow Prestwick played a key role in enabling Scotland to remain open for business with minimum disruption to travellers.

“The importance and value of Glasgow Prestwick Airport as a gateway to Scotland was again highlighted during this period. I would like to thank all staff for extending their welcome and first class service to the many redirected passengers and visitors from around the world throughout the terror attacks.

“I have been presented today with an economic report prepared by the airport which I will read with great interest. We are clear that our number one priority as a Government is to increase sustainable economic growth.

“Airports are a key driver in this – in terms of securing and growing business and tourism links as well as job creation in the aviation and customer service industries.”

[Mark Rodwell, left, and Alex Salmond, right, meet Glasgow Prestwick Airport Skillseeker Charmaine Taggart, centre.]

The First Minister met with airport management before attending the launch of the economic benefits study, which was carried out by Edinburgh-based SQW Consulting.

[Piture shows left to right: John Scott, MSP for Ayr, Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell, First Minister Alex Salmond, Leader of South Ayrshire Council Hugh Hunter and Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council.]

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell commented: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Salmond to the airport for the first time as First Minister, as we release the results of this economic study.

“Along with our partners South Ayrshire Council and Scottish Enterprise, we felt the timing was right to commission the study as a prelude to the launch of our draft Master Plan, that will see us enter into a period of public consultation about the airport’s future.

“The findings of the study show how important the airport has become, particularly to Ayrshire but also to Scotland as a whole, in terms of generating employment, tourism, expenditure and investment, as well as providing valuable connectivity around Europe.”

Glasgow Prestwick employs 480 staff, while activity at the airport is responsible for 1,733 jobs in Ayrshire and 2,941 jobs in Scotland (this total includes Ayrshire).

In 2007 Glasgow Prestwick handled 2.4 million passengers but if the airport was not here, the study estimates that approximately 240,000 incoming passengers would have been lost to Scotland and approximately 780,000 lost to Ayrshire.

Under this scenario, some of the activity and therefore economic value would be transferred elsewhere in Scotland and Europe and therefore not lost to the wider economy, although most of it would be lost to Ayrshire.

Economic value is often measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) rather than the total expenditure generated by a business. GVA is the value of wages and profits generated; it does not take into account the value of goods and services brought in and consumed in production, making it lower than expenditure.

It is estimated that GPA creates £48 million GVA in Ayrshire and £79 million GVA in Scotland.

Councillor Hugh Hunter, the Leader of South Ayrshire Council, commented: “South Ayrshire Council values the strong contribution that Prestwick Airport makes to the Scottish economy, supporting jobs and aerospace innovation.

“Tourism is an economic growth sector in Scotland, and I welcome the opportunity the airport provides in linking South Ayrshire to business and visitor centres in the United Kingdom, Europe and beyond.

“The airport will be a great asset in welcoming visitors to South Ayrshire in 2009 to enjoy the Homecoming celebrations, to discover Burns country, play golf and enjoy the many facilities and outstanding scenery that we have to offer."

Scottish Enterprise operations director Evelyn McCann added: “A fundamental part of any country’s ambitions for economic growth is the need for high quality physical infrastructure. Glasgow Prestwick Airport (GPA) plays a significant role in ensuring that Scotland is a globally attractive location.

“The importance of the airport as a tourist gateway and a hub for the aerospace industry is clear. New routes through GPA and its continuing expansion have had a significant and positive impact on overseas visitor numbers to Ayrshire and Scotland and it has also played a key role in developing our cluster of successful aerospace businesses.”

As part of the study a survey of 1,000 Ayrshire businesses was taken. This survey showed:

* More than half of all respondents feel the airport is important to their business performance and nearly a fifth think it very important or critical.

* Among businesses that have moved to the area from elsewhere, the airport’s presence is important to 18%.

* Without the airport 20% of respondents would make fewer trips, meaning trips still made would be at greater cost in terms of time and money.

* 8% would face major problems without the freight service.

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

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Sunday, 9 March 2008

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle debates Alistair Darling’s first Budget

By: Murdoch MacDonald

THE next breakfast meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle will take place at 8.30am on Friday 14 March 2008.

It will be an up-to-the-minute and extremely topical symposium on the implications of Alistair Darling’s first Budget, presented by Andrew Sinclair (pictured below) of Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants.

Budget Day is just two days earlier on Wednesday 12 March, so Andrew’s analysis of what promises to be the most interesting Budget for some time will be literally hot from the press.

The meeting will be held in the Board Room of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre, Alloway Street in Ayr, and Managing Partner Willie Mackie (pictured below) will also briefly enlighten members about the current economic situation in general. (Credit crunch? What credit crunch?).

Sustenance and refreshment will be provided in the form of the Clydesdale’s unbeatable bacon butties, and ample tea and coffee will be on tap to keep intellects at full throttle.

The meeting is scheduled to end at 10am.

Guests of honour include John Scott, MSP for Ayr, South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan and South Ayrshire Council deputy leader Margaret Toner.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is now on Facebook. Visit:

Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants
3 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Andrew Sinclair
Tel: 01292 288999
Fax: 01292 272150

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