Friday, 10 October 2008
Turnberry Hotel gets £30 million makeover
for Open Golf Championship
A DELEGATION from Leisurecorp, the Dubai-based new owners of the Turnberry Golf resort, visited Ayrshire this week to reveal details of their £30 million plans to renovate and refurbish the Turnberry Hotel.
Internationally acclaimed designer Mary Fox Linton has been chosen to mastermind the makeover.
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One of the first things Ms Fox Linton said she wanted to do, apart from ripping up the carpet, was to uncover the windows in the reception area to bring back the astonishing views of Ailsa Craig and the Turnberry Lighthouse.
She said her aim was to peel back the many refurbishments of the hotel and return it to how its architect, Glaswegian James Miller, had intended it.
The designer stressed that heritage and preservation were more her thing than the rush of shimmer and bling.
In three weeks, Leisurecorp, the development firm owned by the Dubai government, will officially receive ownership of Turnberry Hotel and Golf Course. Its investment will bring Turnberry into the same family as some of the world’s most exclusive courses, such as Dubai’s Jumeirah resort.
But Leisurecorp is keen to stress that the true links course, which is split by deep coastal shelves and is open to non-members, will not merely become another playground for the rich and famous.
“People think that you have come from Dubai and it will all be about these very flamboyant skyscrapers, but that is of course not what Turnberry is about,” said Alan Rogers, chief executive of the firm.
“There is something so magical about Turnberry. Turnberry Hotel has always been one of the great icons of Scottish tourism, and I just adore the place. There is an amazing serenity here, and that is what Turnberry is about.”
The hotel was built by Miller, an architect who had found a niche in designing railway stations, including Prestwick and Troon.
Turnberry Hotel will close at the beginning of November, as will the golf course, and reopen at the start of July 2009 - ready for the 138th Open Golf Championship which will draw thousands of spectators and millions of pounds to the Ayrshire coast next summer. The drive by Leisurecorp is to make sure that the style of redevelopment is “indigenous” to its surroundings. Scottish suppliers will be used where possible.
Historic Scotland and South Ayrshire Council have already been involved in hitting the right tone, and getting the approval of local people would appear to be important.
Ms Fox Linton said: “I would hate people to think that the hotel was pompous. We want everyone to be able to come in an enjoy it.”
Mr Rogers said he wanted the community to be involved in the resort as much as possible: “Turnberry is an integral part of the south Ayrshire economy, and tourism is the leader of the economy. It is a mainstay of Scottish golf tourism.”
Revealed: How Dubai Got Turnberry CLICK HERE
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£3.8 million boost to rural economy in Ayrshire
RURAL economies across the whole of Ayrshire have received a massive financial boost this week, thanks to a £3.38 million award to be administered by South Ayrshire Council.
The money comes from LEADER, a European funding programme aimed at promoting economic and community development within rural areas and is delivered through a local partnership known as a Local Action Group, made up of partners from many public and private organisations.
It aims to develop rural business networks that will build knowledge, improve skills, encourage innovation and co-operation in order to positively tackle the challenges of rural living.
The Ayrshire Local Action Group will encourage small scale projects that will develop opportunities for keeping or attracting young people to rural areas or initiatives aimed at the creation of nature based projects.
Other project examples could include community organisations that need assistance with training members, rural development and giving support to the local area.
Councillor Hugh Hunter, Leader of South Ayrshire Council (pictured above) said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to drive forward a truly community centred approach to rural development across East, North and South Ayrshire.
“Administered by South Ayrshire Council, LEADER will encourage innovative and sustainable projects that will directly benefit rural communities and we have worked hard to create opportunities for those who live in rural areas. This is another sign that our commitment is bearing fruit.”
Chair of South Ayrshire Council’s Rural Panel, Alec Oattes said: “I’m delighted that rural areas are hitting the headlines with such positive news. This funding will allow small scale projects to make a valuable and sustainable difference to community development in the widest possible sense.”
Invitations to promotional events in East, North and South Ayrshire will be advertised in local papers and it is expected that a senior Scottish Government figure will launch the Ayrshire LEADER programme soon.
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Thursday, 9 October 2008
Office accommodation to let at Hannah Business Park in Ayr
MODERN office accommodation at Hannah Business Park in Ayr is now available to let.
A low density office campus set in a rural location around two miles east of Ayr town centre, Hannah Business Park is only two minutes drive time from the A77 at the Whitletts Roundabout.
A spokesman for the letting agents said: “Hannah Business park offers modern office space with ample car parking set in a pleasant rural location on favourable lease terms.
“Comprising a detached office building with a series of cellular office rooms, our clients are seeking to dispose of their leasehold interest in this property by assignation or sub lease.”
Rental offers are invited for the 1000 sq ft property.
E-mail enquiries: CLICK HERE
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Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Great Ayrshire golfer honoured with memorial
IN golfing circles, Andrew Strath’s name might not be as well known as Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie or Sam Torrance’s, but in career terms he’s up there on a par with them all.
[Pictured at the memorial for Andrew Strath, left to tight: Lesley Cannon (South Ayrshire Council) Councillor Hywel Davies, Donald Turner (Prestwick Golf Club) Councillor Hugh Hunter, Ian Bunch (Prestwick Golf Club) and Philip Ewing (South Ayrshire Council). CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Now, 143 years after he won the most prestigious tournament of them all, Andrew Strath is being honoured as an unsung hero of the professional circuit.
Born in 1836, Strath won the Open Championship at Prestwick in 1865, having been the runner-up the previous year, third in 1860, fourth in 1863 and fourth again in 1867.
Today, this record alone would make for a golfing superstar, but Strath’s achievement is truly remarkable, given that he was an apprentice clubmaker and not a full-time professional. Not only that, he was competing in a sport that was heavily dominated by the likes of Willie Park Senior, Tom Morris Senior and his son Tom Morris Junior.
Having partnered ‘Old’ Tom Morris in a number of challenges matches that were a feature of golf at the time, Andrew eventually succeeded him as the Greenkeeper at Prestwick Golf Club in 1865.
Sadly though, his career was cut short by tuberculosis and he died just three years later in 1868 aged just 32.
That’s where the story might have ended, but for the tenacity of several members of Prestwick Golf Club, whose historical research flagged up the news that Strath’s remains lie in the town’s St Nicholas’ Church.
Appropriately enough it’s barely a couple of shots and a short putt away from the Prestwick Club itself and, after a ceremony on Monday 6 October 2008, a plaque commemorating and remembering Andrew Strath’s life and career was unveiled by Councillor Hywel Davies.
Even though his success may lie in a bygone era, it’s a grandstand finish and a fitting tribute for a local and national golfing champion.
[FOOTNOTE: Andrew Strath’s brother David was runner-up in the Open both in 1872 and 1876 and another brother, George, was the first golf professional at Troon. He later emigrated to the USA.
The family name lives on by way of the Strath bunker which stands in front of the 11th green on the St Andrews Old Course.]
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Monday, 6 October 2008
Kyle Academy annexe is nominated for Best Building award
THE new Kyle Academy annexe has been nominated for the Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2008.
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The company which designed the annexe, Ryder Architecture, has nominated the annexe to The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
The £2 million pound annexe, which was part of South Ayrshire Council’s Public Private Partnership project, was completed in October 2007.
Councillor Hywel Davies is South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Learning and Prosperity and officially opened the new annexe. He said: “The Kyle Academy annexe is a very distinctive design, housing a very functional building.
“I watched the annexe being built, and I knew that it was going to be an asset, but I could not have known what a positive impact it would have on the school and the local community.
“Everyone involved in the project should be proud that it has been nominated for such a prestigious award.”
The architectural design team worked closely with the various project stakeholders to understand their needs and aspirations for the annexe. The aim of the design was to provide the local community with a modern and adaptable additional school facility, equipped with the latest technology to help the school meet the demands of the rapidly changing curriculum and national school contexts.
By providing much needed assembly and e-learning facilities, the annexe acts as a symbol for continued educational progress and civic pride as well as representing the opportunity for strengthened partnership and community learning within the local area.
The new building is a composition of three interlocking circular forms, the large drum accommodates the main volume of the assembly hall, stage and associated storage, while the smaller drums either side of the main volume accommodate the new e-learning, general workbase, meeting rooms and plant room.
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Ayrshire Chamber Business Forum appoints
Willie Mackie as Executive Chair
WILLIE MACKIE, managing partner at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr and a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle has been elected to the Chair of the Executive of the newly formed Ayrshire Chamber Business Forum.
[Pictured: Willie Mackie, managing partner at the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr.]
Ayrshire Chamber chief executive Bob Leitch commented: “We are pleased that Willie has agreed to take on this important task. Willie has been involved in the Ayrshire business community for a number of years and sat on the Chamber Strategy and Economic Development Committee of which he recently took over the Chair. He was also a member of the Board at Scottish Enterprise Ayrshire before its demise in March of this year. So he is well qualified for the task.”
Willie Mackie said: “I am looking forward to the challenge of this new post, and am absolutely committed to ensuring the voice of Ayrshire is not lost as a result of the recent changes in the delivery of economic development and tourism. Whilst it is important the Forum is driven by the private sector led by the Chamber it is also important to involve our partners in the Local Authorities. By working together we can make sure Ayrshire retains and grows its rightful place on the economic map of Scotland and the UK.”
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Sunday, 5 October 2008
Ayrshire businesses can and will triumph
over world economic downturn
AYRSHIRE’S small and medium-sized businesses can beat down the current worldwide economic situation and return the region to full prosperity.
So says Elite Ayrshire Business Circle managing director Murdoch MacDonald.
[Pictured: Founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION. FOR DETAILED CAPTION CLICK HERE]
Murdoch MacDonald said today: “Ayrshire has a well diversified spread of excellent, innovative and hard-working businesses who can and will, not only survive the current economic downturn, but also emerge at the end of it stronger and more successful than ever.
“Journalists are quite understandably wary of clichés, but clichés become clichés because they are true. And an old cliché that is true and particularly apt at the moment is that when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
“And now that the going is undeniably tough, Ayrshire businesses will not only get going, but raise their game yet another gear or two in order to successfully weather the storms ahead.
“It is all to easy to make difficult times an excuse for indifferent performance, or to imagine that setting up more think tanks or talking shops will somehow improve the situation.
“But Ayrshire businesses will take the proper, responsible path, and adopt Churchill’s famous phrase - K.B.O. - keep buggering on.
“Keep buggering on doing what Ayrshire businesses do best - identifying, producing and selling a wide range of different goods and services that would be a credit to any region of the world.”
And the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle will continue to help them do just that.
The Circle was set up last year by Fame Publicity Services chief executive Murdoch MacDonald and Frazer Coogans Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of business activity and entrepreneurial talent that abounds in Ayrshire.
One of the ways in which it does that is through its website Ayrshire Scotland Business News, which has already accumulated more than 360 permanently archived articles about successful Ayrshire businesses.
The website has already achieved a high ranking on Google and other search engines, and attracts visitors not only from Ayrshire, but throughout the UK, and around 50% come from elsewhere in different countries around the globe. Around 20% come from the United States and Canada.
Murdoch MacDonald concluded: “The Ayrshire business brand is essentially the collective efforts of the innovative and diligent people who live and work here.
“The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle will continue to promote that brand throughout the world.
“Together we can and will triumph over current adversities, as Scotland always has throughout its history.”
OpenPress PR-GB Ecademy 24/7
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