Saturday, 30 August 2008
The hunt is on to find Scotland’s best young entrepreneurs
THE Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) has launched a nationwide search for Scotland’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008.
Recognised as one of the country’s most prestigious business awards, the winner is selected from over 700 of Scotland’s most ambitious young people who set up their businesses with support from PSYBT.
Over the last 12 months, PSYBT has assisted 579 new businesses across Scotland by awarding £2.1 million in loans and grants.
[Pictured: Louise McDonald, Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.]
Last year’s winner Louise McDonald, 27, set up her first women-only health and fitness club, Curves, in Motherwell in 2004. Since then she has opened 3 new franchises and has over 2000 members. In addition to her Curves business, Louise is also growing her property portfolio and pursuing opportunities in other business sectors.
Commenting on what winning the award has meant to her, Louise said: “Winning the award was so overwhelming. It has created so much brand awareness for the businesses and has really helped Curves go from strength to strength. The publicity generated from winning the award has opened so many doors for me in my professional life and has given me confidence to move forward into new areas of business. The last year has been so exciting and I look forward to the future and the challenges that lie ahead.”
Launching the new countrywide search, Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust chief executive Mark Strudwick said: “These awards are our opportunity to congratulate and celebrate the young entrepreneurs we are able to support each year. They represent some of Scotland’s most talented and dedicated young people and are a great inspiration. Despite today’s difficult economic climate, many young people across Scotland are taking up the challenge and committing themselves to managing and building their own businesses. As a result, they are responsible for creating some of Scotland’s most successful companies and are contributing not only to their local communities but the nation as a whole.”
Eighteen regional events to select six coveted finalists will take place across Scotland throughout September. The Ayrshire regional awards, which are being sponsored by The Barcapel Foundation are taking place on Monday 8 September. Those winners will be considered for the national final of the PSYBT Business Awards which take place on 17 November at the Barony Hall in Glasgow.
PSYBT was launched in January 1989 and is a national organisation with offices in 18 Regions across Scotland. To date 8620 (10,209 proprietors) businesses have been assisted with £31.2m awarded - £27.8m in loans (89%) and £3.4m in grants (11%).
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Friday, 29 August 2008
South Ayrshire Council Leadership Panel
reports a year of achievement
THE members of South Ayrshire Council’s Leadership Panel have produced their first ever Annual Report for 2007/08. The report looks back on the achievements of the past year and recognises the firm foundations that have been laid for the future.
[Pictured: Councillor Hugh Hunter, Leader of the Council
and Chair of the Leadership Panel.]
Each member of the Leadership Panel is a Portfolio Carrier - this means that they have particular responsibility for certain areas. they are:
Councillor Hugh Hunter - Leader of the Council, Chair of the Panel and Portfolio Carrier for Corporate, Strategic and Community Planning.
Councillor Bill McIntosh - Portfolio Carrier for Resources and Performance.
Councillor Margaret Toner - Depute Leader of the Council and Portfolio Carrier for Community Services.
Councillor Hywel Davies - Portfolio Carrier for Learning and Prosperity.
Councillor Peter Convery - Portfolio Carrier for Sustainability and Environment.
The Annual Report includes contributions from each of the Portfolio Carriers on their own areas of responsibility.
Speaking about the report, Councillor Hugh Hunter, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Leadership Panel said: “Since the elections in May 2007 there have been major changes in the way the Council goes about its business. In particular it has marked the start of a new style of leadership within the Council.
“Since the formation of the new Council we have re-examined the Council’s foundations, and where necessary, rebuilt them. We have radically changed the Council’s decision-making process and introduced a cabinet style system, focused around a Leadership Panel and a strong scrutiny process. This has been supported by a unique move towards cross-party consensus decision-taking, resulting in less contentious and more consistent leadership of the authority. Like never before, all elected members can now influence the running of the Council.
“The last year has been a good one. We have made great progress and a lot has been achieved, thanks to the close working relationship between Councillors and Officers. There is now an energy within the Council like never before, we are driving our vision forward and these are truly exciting times. We have achieved a lot, but we must keep focused and continue to word hard for the people of South Ayrshire.
“The Leadership Panel is tackling things head on, members make decisions and act on them. In the current financial climate we are facing significant challenges, but decisions have to be made and we do not flinch from them. The decisions reflect the Council’s commitment to the whole of South Ayrshire, residents, businesses and visitors to make it the best place it possibly can be to live, work or spend leisure time.
“There have also been significant changes in the Council’s Chief Officers. There is a new Chief Executive and a new Director of Social Work, Housing and Health, who together with other Chief Officers make up the Corporate Management Team.
“As a Council we now aspire to be ‘the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community in Scotland’. This is an ambitious goal, but based on the current rate of improvement, it is by no means an unrealistic one.
“I would encourage everyone to read the Annual Report. It gives an illuminating insight into how the Council operates and the successes achieved over the past year.”
“I would like to thank the elected members of all political parties and the dedicated employees of the Council for the way in which, through hard work and co-operation, they are making real changes within the Council that will bring many benefits to the people of South Ayrshire.”
The Leadership Panel report can be viewed on South Ayrshire Council’s website by logging on to www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk
The report will also be formally presented at the next South Ayrshire Council, by which time copies of the report will have been printed and will be made available within libraries across South Ayrshire.
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Thursday, 28 August 2008
Former Glasgow Prestwick Airport worker
qualifies as Captain with Ryanair
By: Neil Richardson
A FORMER Glasgow Prestwick Airport worker who started out as a check-in agent is now flying passengers all over Europe as a Captain with Ryanair.
[Pictured: Jonathan McCoy shows off the four stripes worn by airline Captains. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Jonathan McCoy was promoted to the rank of Captain earlier this month and took control of his first flight as aircraft commander on Monday 25 August when he made the return journey from Prestwick to Murcia in southern Spain.
It was a double celebration for the 27-year-old, as the day also marked his first wedding anniversary. Jonathan’s wife Pauline works for Ryanair as a senior flight attendant.
Born in Belfast, Jonathan moved to Troon when he was four and has lived there ever since, attending Struthers Primary and Marr College before joining the airport.
[Pictured: Jonathan, second on the left, with former Prestwick Airport Dispatch colleagues Kenny Bryden, Alan Blackwood and Scott Burnside.]
He is believed to be the first person to achieve Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) qualifications and subsequently achieve the rank of Captain while in continuous employment at Prestwick, first for the airport itself and then Ryanair.
Starting as a check-in agent in the year 2000, Jonathan moved to the dispatch team a couple of years later and describes the airport as “an excellent way in”.
He continued: “The reason I joined was basically to get some money together to pay for my flying. It worked out really well.”
During this period he worked huge amounts of overtime in order to pay for the necessary flying hours, done through Prestwick Flying Club, and examinations which took place in Bristol.
Jonathan joined Ryanair in May 2005 as a First Officer and a year later was promoted to Senior First Officer. More in-house command training followed and he was formally appointed as a Captain on 11 August.
His new status means he is charged with the safety of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Ryanair, as well as the safety of his crew and passengers during flights.
It is rare for pilots to be immediately stationed at their ‘home’ base, but Jonathan is delighted he is working close to home at Prestwick.
He said: “It’s great being based here at Prestwick because I know everyone here and it’s obviously handy for me living in Troon. Getting to visit other airports is also very enjoyable and every day in this job throws up a new challenge.”
Jonathan says he enjoys working for Ryanair and likes their ‘home every night’ policy: “A lot of pilots choose to work for long haul airlines and effectively spend their whole life living out of a suitcase.
“We always come back to home base at night and it’s very rare that we might have to stay overnight somewhere because of a technical problem as the aircraft Ryanair use are very reliable.”
Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell commented: “This is a great success story, and Jonathan deserves a lot of credit for reaching this stage of his career in such a short space of time and at a relatively young age.
“Jonathan is one of many former Glasgow Prestwick employees who have
successfully made the move into other sectors of the industry, and we are pleased that his connection with the airport will remain while he is based here.”
• Ryanair currently bases five Boeing 737-800 aircraft at Glasgow Prestwick Airport and offers low cost flights to more than 25 European destinations.
• Later this year they will launch new ‘winter sun’ services to Faro, Malaga and Tenerife.
• The airport handled 2.4 million passengers and 32,000 tonnes of freight in the last financial year.
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Office accommodation to let in Ayr Town Centre
PRIME office accommodation at 53 Beresford Terrace in Ayr’s town centre is available to let.
Set within a well-established office area, the property is close to Ayr railway station and various bus routes.
A spokesman for the letting agents said: “This 94 square metre property comprises an upper floor office unit forming part of an office and retail complex.
“The internal layout of the office can readily be altered to suit the requirements of individual users, broadening its appeal to a variety of prospective tenants.”
Rental offers in excess of £8,500 per annum are invited.
E-mail enquiries: email@example.com
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Scottish house prices buck the trend and continue to rise
By: Murdoch MacDonald
THE average price of a residential property in Scotland increased by 3.6% in the second quarter (April to June) of 2008 and is now £155,691, according to figures published by Registers of Scotland.
The average house price for this quarter has increased by 4.6% since the same quarter in 2007.
One leading property expert commented that the increase in prices was “surprisingly high”, but the surest evidence yet that Scotland is to avoid a much-hyped crash.
The volume of sales showed a decrease of 19.4% compared to the same quarter last year. There was an increase of 12.8% on the previous quarter, reflecting an expected seasonal increase.
The City of Edinburgh local authority area has again recorded the highest average residential price at £221,209. This has increased by 6.2% since the last quarter and is up 5.9% compared to the same quarter last year.
The highest year on year increase, at 14.3%, is in the West Dunbartonshire local authority area, where the average house price is now £119,120. This is up 3.4% from the last quarter.
Orkney Islands local authority area has recorded the largest year on year decrease, at 11.7%, with the average residential price at £112,984 although this has increased 10.4% since the last quarter.
The City of Edinburgh local authority area is the largest market with sales of just over £665 million for the quarter, which is a decrease of 21% over the same quarter last year.
The total value of sales across Scotland registered during the quarter was £4.8 billion which is an increase of 16.9% over the previous quarter and a decrease of 15.9% over the same quarter last year.
These figures cover all residential sales, including sales for cash not involving a mortgage.
Registers of Scotland
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Wednesday, 27 August 2008
SafeAyr’s second birthday celebrates keeping Ayr Town Centre safe
TWO years ago the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership launched the SafeAyr project in Ayr Town Centre, with the aim of making the town a safer and more pleasant place to enjoy a night out.
[Pictured with a SafeAyr branded taxi are (standing left to right) Martin Wilkinson, Private Hire Association, Francis Berthaud, Secretary of South Ayrshire Taxi Owners Association, Depute Provost Mary Kilpatrick, James Glackin, Security Scotland Limited, John McGuire, Chairman of South Ayrshire Taxi Owners Association, Councillor Margaret Toner, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, Willie Melon, Taxi Driver and (kneeling left to right) Police Constable Pitt and Police Constable Barrowman.]
South Ayrshire has always been a safe and pleasant place to live, work and socialise. The area has a low crime rate compared to other areas in Ayrshire, particularly in relation to serious and violent crimes.
Councillor Margaret Toner, Depute Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership said: “Over the last two years the SafeAyr initiative has been more successful than any of us could have imagined.
“Ayr town centre remains one of the safest places for people to enjoy the pubs, clubs and restaurants. The vast majority of people come to enjoy themselves, with only the very small minority being involved in antisocial behaviour. The aim of the SafeAyr is to ensure the town centre area is an even safer and more pleasant place to enjoy a night out.
“This has been achieved by the hard work and dedication of all the partners, and in particular Strathclyde Police and the Council. I would like to congratulate the local licensees, shopkeepers, taxis and private hire operators who have all enthusiastically embraced SafeAyr. Together we have made a real difference.”
SafeAyr is funded by the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership, Council Civic Pride funding and with support from Strathclyde Police. During the last two years SafeAyr has seen the introduction of:
* Taxi marshals for better management of taxi ranks, who direct people to the appropriate taxi ranks and advise people on the etiquette when using taxis and private hires.
* Extra high profile policing.
* Additional emptying of rubbish bins in the town centre.
* Traffic restrictions around Boswell Park in Ayr.
* Public information campaigns with distinctive SafeAyr branding.
* SafeAyr branding on some taxis and buses.
* Posters, cards, advertising in the media in a range of locations have all raised the profile of SafeAyr.
* Gobo light projections of messages with community safety messages on to the wall of the Gaiety Theatre in Ayr.
* Liaison with ALTA the Ayr Licence Trade Alliance.
Superintendent John Hazlett, Strathclyde Police said: “This project has proven to be an excellent example of the success that can be achieved through partnership working.
“Ayr town centre can be a very busy place right into the early hours of the morning over weekend periods. There are certain key weekends over the year where local planned events bring large numbers of visitors to the town centre. These weekends can be very challenging times for the Police, with extra demands made on our resources.
“The previous success of the project leaves no room for complacency, and the challenge remains to build on this level of success and aim for continuous improvement with the aim of addressing local issues and making Ayr town centre safer.
“In partnership with South Ayrshire Council I will continue to commit extra Police Officers into Ayr town centre, providing high visibility policing and traditional enforcement to ensure public reassurance for the majority of people who are there for a good night out and also to target those responsible for intimidating and antisocial behaviour.”
Tourism is very important to the local economy, so making Ayr a safe place where visitors can enjoy a care free social evening is crucial to getting them to return to the area. This is why, for their safety and the safety of local residents six monthly evaluations are being carried out to find out what people who are in Ayr town centre at night think of the level of safety.
Anyone who would like further information about the SafeAyr project, is interested in placing SafeAyr branding in their premises, or having a public message projected from the Gobo on to the Gaiety should e-mail
Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01292 616626.
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Record prize money for Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse
By: Iain Ferguson
THE richest flat horse race meeting in Scotland - the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse - has been given a huge cash boost with prize money for the meeting next month topping £600,000 - a £100,000 increase on last year.
[Pictured: Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond with last year’s Ayr Gold Cup winning jockey Jamie Spencer. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL -SIZE VERSION.]
The Festival runs from Thursday 18 September until Saturday 20 September and features a Group 3 race, two Listed Races and the Gold and Silver Cups.
The prize fund for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup, run on Saturday September 20, rises by almost £30,000 to £150,000 with the winner taking home £93,465 while the Silver Cup run the day before is worth £50,000, a £15,000 hike from last year.
Two other major races on the Saturday – The Laundry Cottage Stud Firth Of Clyde Stakes, a Group 3 event, and the Doonside Cup, a Listed Race, have cash pots of £80,000 and £60,000 respectively. In total over the three days there will be £606,000 in prize money.
Ayr Racecourse managing director Richard Johnstone said: “Last year we hit the £500,000 mark in prize money at the Gold Cup Festival for the first time, so to jump over £100,000 in a year is a very significant rise.
”We have attracted an early entry of 171 horses for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup with around 25 of them rated 100 or higher so there is no doubt that top prizes attract top horses.
“The Doonside Cup also benefited last year from a cash boost, and we saw a race featuring some outstanding horses with Anna Pavlova winning. I think we are in for another treat this year.”
Advance bookings are being taken for the John Smith’s Ayr Gold Cup Festival and there are discounts available on bookings made seven or more days in advance. Book online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk or call 0870-8505666.
Open Press I-Newswire PR-GB 24/7
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Monday, 25 August 2008
Ayr Hospitals Radio names Jamie Hamill as top Kilmarnock player
THE FOOTBALL commentary team for Ayr Hospitals Radio and KillieWorld have named midfielder Jamie Hamill the Kilmarnock Football Club Player of the Year for 2007-08.
[Pictured left to right: Kilmarnock Football Club’s representative Ray Montgomery, Ayr Hospital Radio’s Ryan Hunter, Jamie Hamill, Ayr Hospital Radio’s Mike Manley and Ian Sanders.]
The commentary team of Mike Manley, Ryan Hunter and Ian Sanders broadcast all of Kilmarnock’s home and away games to patients at Ayr, Ailsa and Biggart Hospitals. Fans from around the world can also listen in by logging into Killieworld on the internet.
At the end of each season Ayr Hospitals Radio commentary team name a footballer Player of the Year. This year’s presentation was made just before a friendly match with Coventry City earlier this month.
Hospital Radio chairman Mike Manley commented: “Jamie Hamill has had a fantastic season with Killie, turning out for his club 31 times, and absolutely deserves this award. We would also like to thank Electrical Network, Bonnyton Industrial Estate, Kilmarnock, who sponsor this award.”
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Residential development site for sale in Lugar Ayrshire Scotland
A 2.5 acre residential development site is available for sale in the popular East Ayrshire village of Lugar, adjacent to Cumnock and around 20 miles south east of Kilmarnock.
A spokesman for the selling agents said: “Lugar is mainly residential in character and this site is located in the centre of the village, on Muirkirk Road, with extensive frontage to the A70 and mature trees to the perimeter. Its proximity to the transportation network and village amenities makes the site an attractive proposition to residential property developers.”
The site has detailed planning consent for a 19 unit development.
Enquiries by e-mail to email@example.com
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Former licensed snooker club for sale
in Stewarton, Ayrshire Scotland
A FORMER licensed snooker club in Stewarton, East Ayrshire is available for sale.
Located at 3 New Street in Stewarton town centre, around 10 miles north of Kilmarnock, the premises are located in an area of mainly residential use, close by the local railway station.
A spokesman for the selling agents said: “This attractive three storey property has traded for a number of years as a licensed snooker club. Although offered for sale with a licence and partly fitted, the subjects offer scope for alternative use, possibly residential redevelopment, subject to Local Authority consents being obtained.”
The accommodation comprises a lounge bar, office and cellarage on the ground floor, a function room on the first floor and a snooker room on the second floor, extending in total to 360 square metres.
Offers over £120,000 are invited.
Enquiries by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sunday, 24 August 2008
Ayr Black Taxis take Biggart Hospital patients to Ayrshire coast
PATIENTS from Biggart Hospital in Prestwick have been on the road again thanks to the drivers from Ayr Black Taxis.
[CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
The kind-hearted cabbies gave up their time to take the patients for their annual outing along the Ayrshire coast.
Ten taxis and an escort of staff, relatives and friends made sure the 30 patients and staff taking part travelled in style. The taxis, decorated with bunting, took the day trippers along the Ayrshire coast, stopping off for cakes and light refreshments, before heading to Laigh Coylton for a three course slap-up meal.
Mary McGinn, Associate Nurse Director, commented: “We want to thank Ayr Black Taxis for their continued support for Biggart Hospital. This was the seventh annual outing, and our patients really enjoyed their trip along the coast. Some of our patients don’t manage to get out and about very often, and an outing like this can really make their day. Our patients are already looking forward to next year’s trip!”
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