The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Classic cars and other vehicles head
for Culzean Autoclassica in Ayrshire

By: Les Hannah

CLASSIC and prestigious vehicles from all corners of the UK will gather together at Culzean Castle in South Ayrshire for the first Culzean Autoclassica International Concours d’Elegance, which will be held during the 23rd – 24th August bank holiday weekend.


“Octane”, the international publication for enthusiasts and owners of classic and supercars, has announced its sponsorship of the event, and competing for its prestigious trophy will be 25 of the country’s top show vehicles, with judging being held in a specially designated area on the lawns surrounding the castle.

To open the concours to the many classic and prestigious vehicles that will be on show, a street concours will be held on the Saturday, with the top three vehicles going forward to join the international event on the Sunday.

Destined to become a five-star event, the Culzean 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, single entrants and vehicle clubs.

Veteran, vintage, historic, classic 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 50’s 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 1970s 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 theme and help create a surreal spectacle that will be unique to a classic vehicle gathering in Scotland, and spot prizes will be awarded over the weekend to the best “Retro” dressed entrants and visitors.

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 a Soap Box Grand Prix driving challenge, auto art display, vehicle sales enclosure, memorabilia and vehicle 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 visit the website at:


E-mail :

Telephone: 01655 880045 or 01563 811151.

[Pictured: Cobra 289 Mk2 slabside model year 1969.]

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Provost Winifred Sloan welcomes
Tom Watson to Royal Troon in Ayrshire

SOUTH AYRSHIRE COUNCIL Provost Winifred Sloan welcomed Tom Watson to South Ayrshire at the 2008 Senior Open Championship that is taking place at the world famous Royal Troon links golf course.

To mark the occasion Provost Sloan presented Tom Watson with a framed picture of the famous ‘Postage Stamp’, that is situated on the eighth hole at Royal Troon. This is a very tricky hole with a very small putting surface, hence the name the ‘Postage Stamp’.

[Pictured: Provost Winifred Sloan presenting Tom Watson with a picture of the ‘Postage Stamp’ as a reminder of his visit to South Ayrshire. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Tom Watson made time during his Senior Open preparations and very busy schedule to talk to a group of over 100 South Ayrshire children (see images below). The aspiring young golfers all attend ‘clubgolf’ coaching as part of the South Ayrshire Junior Golf Action Plan.

Tom Watson

In the 1970s and 1980s Tom Watson was one of the leading players in the world, winning eight major championships and heading the PGA Tour money list five times. According to McCormack’s World Golf Rankings, he was the number one player in the world from 1978 until 1982, and in both 1983 and 1984 was second in those rankings behind Seve Ballesteros by only the barest of margins. He spent 32 weeks in the top 10 of the successor Sony Rankings in their debut in 1986. Several of his major victories during this period came at the expense of Jack Nicklaus, the man he replaced as number one, but their continuing rivalry and friendship served to increase golf’s popularity during that time.

His 1977 British Open victory at Turnberry in Ayrshire, Scotland was especially memorable. After two rounds, he and Jack Nicklaus were one shot off the lead and paired for the third round. Both shot 65, ending the third round three shots clear of the field. Watson and Nicklaus were again paired for the final round. On the last day, the two were tied after 16 holes. Nicklaus missed a makeable birdie putt on 17, losing his share of the lead to Watson, who birdied 17. On the 18th, Nicklaus drove into the rough, while Watson drove into the fairway. Watson’s approach landed three feet from the flag, while Nicklaus, after a drive into deep rough, managed to get his approach 50 feet away. Nicklaus sank his birdie putt to finish with a 66, but Watson followed suit with his own birdie, finishing with a second straight 65 and his second Open, with a record score of 268. The two players finished well ahead of the other challengers. They shot the same score every day except for Sunday.

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Ayrshire farmers urged to apply for new funding now available

By: Murdoch MacDonald

FARMERS and other land users in Ayrshire are being encouraged to join the rush for a share of the £1.6 billion Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP).

Since the SRDP’s Rural Priorities scheme was launched in April, more than 1,500 ideas to improve rural communities have been submitted.

At the Scottish Agricultural College at Auchincruive this week, farmers learned more about how to access the funding.

The open day was set to form the basis of future events around Scotland for potential applicants.

Ahead of the event, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment Richard Lochhead (pictured above) said: “The Scotland Rural Development Programme is worth a total of £1.6 billion up to 2013 and will transform rural communities and the industries that support them.

“As part of the Programme, earlier this year we launched the £800 million Rural Priorities scheme. And with more than 1,500 ‘Statements of Intent’ having been submitted, it is already attracting huge interest.

“However, we must not sit on our laurels, and I want to ensure potential applicants are aware of how to apply and the benefits they could reap.

“The Ayr open day will give rural businesses and communities in the area the chance to hear more and access advice on their applications.

“There will be the chance to informally discuss their ideas, speak to specialists and see demonstrations of good practice, all of which will help them take advantage of what SRDP offers.

“I hope all attendees enjoy the day and find it interesting and informative.”

SRDP is a historic programme which will deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to Scotland’s rural communities. Rural Priorities is part of SRDP and covers five themes:

* business viability and competitiveness
* water quality
* adaptations to mitigate climate change
* biodiversity and landscapes
* thriving rural communities

To find out more about SRDP funding and to apply, visit:

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Scottish economy demonstrates its resilience

By: Murdoch MacDonald

Scottish GDP matched the UK growth rate in the first quarter of 2008 but still lags behind over the year, according to the latest figures.

The new GDP figures show that Scottish GDP rose by 2.1 per cent over the year and by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2008.

In comparison, UK GDP rose by 2.8 per cent over the year and by 0.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2008.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney (pictured above) said: “Scotland’s recent growth record, relative to that of the UK, gives cause for continued confidence in our economic performance.

“Growth in the Scottish economy has matched or surpassed that of the UK in each of the past three quarters - the first time that has happened for many years.

“These figures provide further evidence of continuing resilience in the Scottish economy. Last week’s labour market statistics showed rising employment, record low unemployment and higher activity rates.

“Retail sales continue to grow at a faster rate in Scotland compared to the UK, while recent energy announcements highlight bright prospects for the Scottish economy.

“Scotland's largest ever coal supply contract between ScottishPower and Scottish Goal and this Government’s approval of the Clyde wind farm - Europe’s largest onshore wind farm - will create new jobs and help increase sustainable economic growth.

“This Government remains committed to reversing the historic trend of underperformance in the Scottish economy, by focusing all our efforts on increasing sustainable economic growth.

“The international financial climate is causing uncertainty across all economies, and we cannot afford to be complacent about the impact that can have on the real economy in Scotland.

“Scotland benefits from a highly skilled workforce and internationally recognised expertise in a number of key sectors including financial services. While confident Scotland’s economy is well placed to address these challenges, this Government will not just sit back and wait for conditions to improve.

“The recent Global Financial Services Week focused world attention on what Scotland has to offer, providing a tremendous opportunity for inward investment and the development of the Scottish financial services industry.

“We have already reduced business rates for 150,000 small businesses at a time of rising costs. We have refocused our enterprise agencies and our Government Economic Strategy has put increasing sustainable growth at the heart of everything we do.

“And we will use all the levers available to us to give Scotland a competitive edge to create the more successful country we all want to see.”

Visit the Scottish Government website:

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