The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 29 May 2008

Glasgow Prestwick Airport introduces
four new sunshine holiday air routes

By: Neil Richardson

RYANAIR has today (Thursday 29 May) announced three new destinations from Glasgow Prestwick Airport in Ayrshire.

From the end of October Ryanair will operate flights to the popular sunshine destinations of Malaga, Tenerife and Faro. Seats are already on sale at

The announcement further strengthens Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s route network, bringing the total number of scheduled destinations operated by Ryanair to 29 following several new route announcements in the last year.

Ryanair will also introduce an additional daily flight on their Belfast service, which currently operates once a day.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell (pictured above) commented: “Today’s announcement once again demonstrates Ryanair’s commitment to expand and offer the best choice of European routes from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

“These new destinations have always been popular among Scots holidaymakers, and it is great news that they will now be available throughout winter, with Ryanair’s low fares making them even more attractive.

“The Belfast service has performed well in the business and leisure markets since its introduction last year, and the additional daily flight offers passengers on that route more flexibility.”

Ryanair’s sales and marketing manager for the UK and Ireland Bridget Dowling said: “Over two million passengers travelling from Glasgow Prestwick Airport this year will save over £100 million by choosing Ryanair’s guaranteed lowest fares over our competitors.

“This latest route expansion will deliver low fares to Faro, Malaga and Tenerife. Our existing routes will meanwhile provide passengers with lower fares and better punctuality compared to the high fares levied by British Airways and Easyjet in Scotland.

“To celebrate these new routes, we are giving away seats from £10 one-way for travel in June and July, and we recommend passengers to book these £10 seats immediately on as demand for these guaranteed lowest fares will ensure that they're snapped up quickly.”

Holiday flights to Turkey from Scottravel

And holiday flights from Glasgow Prestwick Airport to Turkey started up this week, with the first sunseekers flying out on Monday 26 May.

[Pictured from left: Glasgow Prestwick Airport staff Louise Muir, John Kennedy, Gillian McPherson and (far right) Nicola Clark with Robert and Freda Sweeny from Winton Street, Ardrossan, passengers on the first Scottravel flight to Dalaman in Turkey. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

And the people behind the flights to Dalaman, Scottravel Holidays, have some great offers for passengers looking to travel in June.

[Pictured: early passengers to Dalaman - sisters Jessica and Jasmin Bradford from Barbieston Road, Auchinleck, with their grandmother Grace Bradford.]

The Lanarkshire-based firm will fly once a week over the summer season to Dalaman, which serves the popular and lively resort of Marmaris, its laid-back sister resort Icmeler, and also the Fethiye region which includes Olu Deniz and Ovacik/Hisaronu.

[Pictured: early Dalaman passengers Helen and Calum Keenan from Marina Road, Prestwick, with Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s Gillian McPherson (centre). This is the first trip to Turkey for the Keenans. Calum is a human resources officer with South Ayrshire Council and Helen is a lecturer at Strathclyde University.]

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell commented: “It’s great news that we can add Turkey to our growing range of summer holiday options for 2008.

“Many holidaymakers are now turning their attention away from the more traditional European destinations due to a very unfavourable exchange rate from the pound to the Euro.

“This makes Turkey a more attractive proposition to visit, not to mention the soaring summer temperatures it gets. We have worked with Scottravel Holidays before, and look forward to working with them over the summer.”

Scottravel Holidays managing director Serkan Aydin added: “Turkey is a vast country which is steeped in history and culture. The hospitality is also exceptional, and provides visitors with the warm Turkish welcome that our clients enjoy so much.

“We have extensive knowledge of the best holiday resorts, accommodation and facilities which means we can create the perfect Turkish adventure to suit all tastes and budgets.”

Scottravel is online at or call 01698 745522 seven days a week, Monday - Saturday 9am to 6pm; and Sunday
11am to 4pm.

* * *

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Visimetrics CCTV systems secure
Virgin Trains west coast main line

By: Craig Howie

AYRSHIRE-based CCTV surveillance and security company Visimetrics has recently provided the digital recording solution for the CCTV upgrade of the West Coast Main Line’s 17 stations operated by Virgin Trains.

The recording solution for the project is based upon the integration of FASTAR, VADER and OCTAR DVR systems tailored specifically to meet the recording profiles required at each station on the line.

The national rail network effectively categorises each station depending on its use, footfall and importance to the network. With a variety of recording profiles required across the network, a fully flexible system design to optimise the image quality, recording rates and storage periods of each station was necessary.

Visimetrics business development director Tim Wood explained: “The key requirement from the outset was to provide very high quality video content at variable frame rates across the network based on station category and scene type. Through network integration of FASTAR, VADER and OCTAR DVR systems we were able to deliver an extremely efficient recording solution in terms of solution performance and cost.”

The flexibility of Visimetrics recording solution enables the three recording systems (and compression types) to be simultaneously and seamlessly accessed, viewed and managed by Visimetrics CONTROL Station to delivering a single solution interface to security operators.

Now fully integrated within Virgin Trains national security operation, the management and quality of evidence from Visimetrics systems has come firmly under the spotlight of operator Virgin Trains.

Virgin Trains senior project manager Richard Hands commented: “We are delighted with the quality of evidence we are now passing on to the police. Our security staff has swiftly adopted Visimetrics digital recording system, utilising it as an essential tool in reducing crime and the fear of crime in and around our stations.”

About Visimetrics (UK) Ltd

Visimetrics (UK) Ltd specialises in the development, manufacture, distribution and marketing of high-performance digital systems for CCTV and video surveillance. Visimetrics has gained a significant reputation for providing leading edge security solutions backed by a world class quality and service culture.

Contact: Barry Rooney
Managing Director
Visimetrics (UK) Ltd
Skye House
Skye Road
Prestwick KA9 2TA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Tel: +44 (0)1292 673770
Fax: +44 (0)1292 677990

* * *

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Culzean Autoclassica will feature a Soap Box Grand Prix

By: Les Hannah

A SOAP BOX Grand Prix will feature as one of the main events during the 23–24 August Bank Holiday Weekend when the National Trust for Scotland’s five-star property Culzean Castle in Ayrshire will host the 1st international heritage vehicle gathering - the Culzean Autoclassica.

After a successful trial at the Autoclassica launch in September 2007, the Soap Box Grand Prix promises to be a great spectator attraction with trial runs being held on the Saturday and the competition runs on Sunday.

Teams will consist of a driver and four mechanics, and the carts, designed and manufactured by several of the attending clubs, will be driven over a specially selected track incorporating a pit stop area within the castle grounds.

Destined to become a five-star event, the Autoclassica has been created by Autospirit Ltd in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland and will feature displays from top and significant prestigious marques.

Veteran, vintage, historic, classic cars and today’s high performance modern exotic road and racing machines will be represented, and will be joined by product, service providing companies, and associated lifestyle exhibitors - all reflecting the heritage of the motorised vehicle.

To celebrate the association with the race days of the 1950s at the disused Turnberry airfield nearby, many of the single vehicle and club entrants will be dressed in the appropriate apparel to reflect the age of their vehicle.

For entrants with post-1970’s vehicles they will be asked to arrive in period dress of the 40s to 60s.

Visitors to the event are also being invited to join in with the retro theme and help create a surreal spectacle that will be unique to a classic vehicle gathering in Scotland.

Entrants and exhibitors already lined up for the event include “The Caledonian Classic & Historic Motor Sports Club” with demonstration runs as part of their Scottish championship weekend events, and “The Sporting Bears,” a UK-wide charity group of motoring enthusiasts who will be hosting a Teddy Bears Picnic. They also hope to allow visitors to experience the thrill of being a passenger in their sports and super cars with a short drive around the estate roads as a mini version of their “Dream Rides” programme.

Fashion shows, live jazz and 50s style bands accompanied by appropriately dressed dancers will also entertain visitors relaxing in the castle’s magnificent courtyard.

With an international concours d'elegance, driving challenge, auto art display, vehicle sales enclosure, memorabilia auction and auto jumble amongst the many other attractions over the weekend, the Autoclassica promises to be a great day out for all the family.

For further information please check out the website at

Open Press PR-GB I-Newswire FreePress 24/7 PressBox

* * *

Turnberry golf resort and hotel’s
new owners plan £28m refurbishment

By: Murdoch MacDonald

TURNBERRY, the historic Ayrshire golf resort that will host next year’s Open Championship, has been purchased by one of the Middle East’s biggest sovereign wealth funds.

[Pictured: Ayrshire's Turnberry Golf Resort and Hotel. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Dubai World, the state-controlled investment firm that owns the QE2 and Tilbury and Southampton docks, has announced that it has agreed to acquire the Scottish venue from its present American owners Starwood Hotels & Resorts for £55 million.

It is buying Turnberry through Leisurecorp, which was set up two years ago as an offshoot of Dubai World to acquire and develop a portfolio of investments in the sports and leisure sector.

Leisurecorp expects to complete the deal by the end of October and plans to close the hotel for an upgrade costing around £28 million. The reopening is scheduled for next May, in time for the Open Championship in July.

Under the terms of the sale, Starwood will continue to run the resort under a 30-year-plus management contract, although the investment programme will lead the hotel to be rebranded from Westin to Starwood’s Luxury Collection.

Turnberry boasts two 18-hole Championship courses – the Ailsa, which has hosted the Open Championship three times, and the Kintyre. There is also the nine-hole Arran Course and the Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy.

Leisurecorp’s chief executive of golf David Spencer said the firm was aware how important the resort was to Scotland, and pledged to maintain and improve its high standards.

“I think that anyone who has an understanding of the history of golf sees Turnberry as a must-play destination at some stage in their life. It holds a very special place in the history of golf and also the history of Scotland.

“Our agreement with Starwood to acquire Turnberry is something we have been working on for a long time.

“In our investment in the game of golf, we are very patient about it and very respectful of the role Turnberry has played in the heritage of golf.”

He said he was aware of Donald Trump’s proposed golf course in Aberdeenshire, but expected the two resorts to be very different. He added that the firm would be liaising with the locals and the acquisition was likely to create a number of jobs.

Leisurecorp’s chief executive Alan Rogers said that he saw an opportunity to “create something really special and extraordinary” and to transform Turnberry into “the ultimate golf resort”.

He said that there was an opportunity to profit from the “huge untapped potential of Scotland as a tourist destination” and to broaden the site’s facilities so that it is not reliant solely on golf. “Gleneagles is a good model,” he said.

Mr Rogers said that the refurbishment of the main 130-room hotel - it has a further 79 rooms in cottages and lodges - would be the first phase of a five-year redevelopment of the 800-acre resort.

Starwood has previously highlighted the potential of 300 acres of undeveloped land, which could be used for construction of exclusive villas.

Dubai World chairman Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said he was “delighted” at the acquisition of the “world-class destination”.

The parent group owns a vast and varied portfolio which is split into transport and logistics; dry docks and maritime; urban development; and investment and financial services.




Starwood Hotels

* * *