The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 1 November 2008


Ayrshire’s giant coastal regeneration plans
get Scottish Government funding guarantee


By: Kirsty Innes

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has expressed delight at the support of the Scottish Government for its plans, and with it guaranteed funding till 2011 of £6 million.


Irvine Bay Regeneration Company chief executive Patrick Wiggins (pictured above) said: “The funding reinforces the Government’s long-term backing for our regeneration company’s plans to work with our partners, including the other funders Scottish Enterprise and North Ayrshire Council, to transform the coastal area of North Ayrshire over the next 10-15 years.”

Baroness Ford, who is Chair of the Board of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, said: “I am really pleased that the Scottish Government has backed Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and invested £6 million into Irvine Bay. The economy is getting tough again, and so we need to work even harder to make sure our area keeps improving and that our developments protect jobs and create new opportunities for local people.”

Stewart Maxwell, the Minister for Communities & Sport, said: “This funding demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to the ongoing regeneration of North Ayrshire. We see Irvine Bay Regeneration Company as having a unique opportunity to deliver real and lasting change for the area and its people. The organisation is developing a number of exciting projects which will improve the attractiveness of Irvine Bay as a place to live ,work and invest; and, most importantly, will improve the lives of local people, allowing them to take advantage of these new opportunities.”

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company is one of Scotland’s largest regeneration companies, helping to revitalise an area of outstanding natural beauty spanning 14 miles of sandy coastline.

Their aim is to develop the built environment of the four seaside towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston and Irvine and the abbey town of Kilwinning to engineer new investment and sustainable employment for the area.

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Friday, 31 October 2008


Ayrshire’s new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is one step closer

THERE is more to celebrate than Halloween in Ayrshire today when the Robert Burns birthplace cottage, other heritage assets and all the land where they are located, are donated to the National Trust for Scotland.

This milestone enables the conservation charity to begin work to create the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum which is due for completion in 2010.


[Artist's impression of the planned Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.]

The cottage, an irreplaceable collection of artefacts and original manuscripts, and other assets including the iconic Burns monument, are being generously donated by the Burns Monument Trust.

The land and the Tam O’Shanter Experience is valued at £2.8 million and is South Ayrshire Council’s considerable contribution to the National Trust for Scotland’s ambitious £21 million Burns project.

These newly acquired assets will now form the core of plans to develop the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

National Trust for Scotland chairman Shonaig Macpherson said: “The Trust is thrilled to accept this very generous donation of land and property from both the Burns Monument Trust and South Ayrshire Council, which will allow us to progress our plans for the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

“We are confident that the new museum will attract people from across the globe as well as from Scotland to Alloway, helping to boost tourism locally and to promote the many other benefits of a visit to South Ayrshire. The fans of Robert Burns will undoubtedly be grateful to the Burns Monument Trust and South Ayrshire Council for their role in bringing the new museum into being.

“We are grateful to the many people who have played a part in enabling this transfer to take place. This enables us to begin the next phase of our fundraising activities to deliver the new museum. We look forward to achieving our ambitious vision in Alloway and creating the Museum and welcoming the thousands of visitors who flock there every year to learn more about one of our most iconic writers.”

South Ayrshire Council Leader Hugh Hunter said: “Over the last few years, we have worked closely with the National Trust for Scotland to progress these plans and it has been a very positive working experience.

“I have absolute confidence that the Trust will make this museum one of the UK’s most culturally significant and impressive visitor destinations, celebrating the life and times of one of the world’s most influential cultural and literary figures.

“I am delighted we have played a pivotal role in helping develop something truly extraordinary that will, for generations to come, be inspiring and educational, as well as attracting people from across the globe.

“South Ayrshire Council is committed to continuing our positive working relationship with the Trust to make these fabulous plans into a world class facility.

“Tourism is one of the largest income generators for this area and Burns is going to be a major factor in influencing how we market and promote South Ayrshire in the future.”

The chairman of the Burns Monument Trust, the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and Arran, Mr John L Duncan, QPM, said: “Today marks the end of almost 200 years of work. The Burns Monument Trust has, since its inception in 1814, shouldered the responsibility of preserving the heritage of Burns and building the finest collection of Burns documents and artefacts in the world.

“It is thanks to early trustees’ work that today we, the current trustees of the Monument Trust, are able to pass that responsibility over to the National Trust for Scotland. No safer hands could be found. We are confident that everything that the Burns Monument Trust has preserved, built up and cared for over many years is secure.”

Ayr MSP John Scott has welcomed the progress made this week towards the creation of a £21m Robert Burns Birthplace Museum at Alloway, which has seen the transfer this week of the Tam o’ Shanter Experience, Burns Cottage, its artefacts and original manuscripts to the National Trust for Scotland.

John Scott said: “The transfer of these assets from South Ayrshire Council and the Burns Monument Trust to the National Trust for Scotland paves the way for the creation of what will be an ambitious and exciting new museum.

“The preservation of the Burns legacy and its promotion as one of our principle tourist attractions is vital and congratulations are due to all involved in driving the project forward to this stage.”

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John Scott urges action as agricultural census shows livestock slump

NEW Scottish Government figures have revealed a further steep fall in cattle, sheep and pig stock in Scotland, and the news has prompted Ayrshire MSP John Scott to renew his call to Ministers to take action to halt the decline in agriculture and the rural economy in South Ayrshire and across Scotland.


John Scott (pictured above), who is the Conservatives’ spokesman on rural affairs, was reacting to the publication this week of the final results of the June agricultural census.

He said: “The provisional figures published in September were bad enough, but the finalised census figures revealed this week show a decline in stock even worse than first thought.

“The results show that sheep numbers fell by 403,000 between June 2007 and June 2008, with cattle numbers falling by 46,000 and pig numbers by 21,000 over the same period.

“This drop in stock is matched by an equally alarming decrease in the total number of occupiers and regular staff working on agricultural holdings of some 2,750.

“With livestock numbers continuing to plummet and self-sufficiency in UK food production down 20% in the last ten years, there is a very real danger that we are on the edge of losing the critical mass necessary to sustain a viable livestock industry.

“I therefore urge the Scottish Government to take the steps needed to restore livestock to our hills, starting with a list of agricultural regulations ready for repeal and a revised rural development programme which recognises food production as the principal public benefit of land use.

“A continued failure to face up to the need for action will only cause further long-term damage to the rural economy both here in South Ayrshire and across the rest of Scotland.”

LINK:

John Scott’s Scottish Parliament web page

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Wednesday, 29 October 2008


Glasgow Prestwick Airport unveils its exciting vision for growth

By: Neil Richardson

Glasgow Prestwick Airport has today (Wednesday 29 October) laid out an exciting vision for growth and development spanning the next 25 years.


The Ayrshire airport’s draft Master Plan outlines passenger and freight growth forecasts and trends, infrastructure development and transport requirements.

It also examines the impact of growth in terms of economic, environmental, social and sustainability issues.


The draft Master Plan predicts that Glasgow Prestwick will more than double its passenger throughput in the next decade, handling 5.7 million passengers in 2018 and approximately 12 million in 2033.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell explained: “We expect to gain a greater share of the Scottish market, and our growth will provide more travel opportunities, deliver more visitors, and create more business opportunities and jobs.

“Our growth predictions are based on the greater of three possible growth scenarios, and it assumes that a number of business opportunities come to fruition, as well as new developments in the domestic, European and long haul markets.

“The need for future infrastructure development is also a factor in choosing the high growth scenario, as we do not wish to be constrained in future by forecasts we make today.”

In order to meet predicted passenger growth, the airport will develop the main terminal building and provide more car parking spaces.


The draft Master Plan also predicts that freight volume will grow at an average of 4% per year over the same period. Under this scenario the airport will handle approximately 50,000 tonnes of freight in 2018 and 100,000 tonnes in 2033.

While it is certain there will be a need to upgrade the existing apron and taxiway facilities as the number of aircraft movements increases, the current runway infrastructure will be sufficient to handle the growth referred to in the draft Master Plan.

Better transport links to the airport, particularly road and rail, will be needed as passenger usage grows, and these issues are thoroughly examined in the document.

Mark Rodwell added: “At the moment more than 20% of our passengers travel to and from the airport by rail, but we believe that with improvements to the service this can rise to more than 30%, and that is our aim.

“For that to happen we will need longer trains and platforms, more trains every hour, a full refurbishment of our railway station and an increase in operating hours to cover early morning and late night services not currently catered for by public transport.”

The draft Master Plan has been developed in the context of the policies and legislation that govern airport operations, security and design, as well as local and national planning and environmental frameworks.


Mark Rodwell concluded: “We are confident that the airport will continue to play a crucial part in the economic, tourism and business sectors of Ayrshire and Scotland.

“Environmental and planning issues are a major consideration for any business, and we believe this draft Master Plan not only lays out how we plan to grow, but also how we will minimise any adverse impacts of growth.”

“Environmental and planning issues are a major consideration for any business, and we believe this draft Master Plan not only lays out how we plan to grow, but also how we will minimise any adverse impacts of growth.”


[Hugh Hunter, Leader of South Ayrshire Council (left) and Mark Rodwell, chief executive of Glasgow Prestwick Airport, pictured at the launch of the Airport's Draft Master Plan.]

Hugh Hunter, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, commented: “We have a very strong relationship with the airport, which has been built on sound foundations over many years, and we share many of the same goals.

“This draft Master Plan clearly lays out the direction in which the airport wishes to go, and the goals it wants to achieve.”

He added: “South Ayrshire is a great place to live, and a fantastic tourist destination. Infratil’s investment in the airport has shown huge confidence in South Ayrshire, and this is further evidence of that.

“By working together, hopefully we can achieve even greater things for South Ayrshire.”

John Scott MSP for Ayr (pictured above) commented: “The draft Masterplan outlines a positive and exciting future for Prestwick Airport, and with predictions of a doubling of passenger numbers over the next decade it is clear that the airport will continue to be one of the lynchpins of our economy here in Ayrshire.”

“The view expressed in the draft Masterplan that improvements must be made to road and rail links to the airport is one that I am strongly supportive of, and indeed I have for many years been arguing that to support the airport, and to provide a better service to local commuters, a 20-minute rail service between Ayr and Glasgow is essential. I believe the case for such a service is strengthened by the release of the draft Masterplan, and I will be continuing to press for this improvement.”

The document is now subject to an eight week consultation period when members of the public and key stakeholders can have their say on the contents.

It can be viewed online at www.glasgowprestwick.com. CD copies and a limited number of hard copies are also available and a series of presentations will take place where the community can view the plans and meet the airport’s representatives.

The closing date for responses to the draft Master Plan is December 19. Following the consultation period, the airport will consider the responses before releasing the final Master Plan in early 2009.

LINKS:

www.glasgowprestwick.com

www.infratil.com

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

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Monday, 27 October 2008


Ayrshire welcomes our soldiers home from Afghanistan

FOUR HUNDRED officers and soldiers from the Royal Highland Fusiliers the Second Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland, Glasgow and Ayrshire’s local regiment, paraded through the town of Ayr today, Monday 27 October 2008, to mark their homecoming from active service in Afghanistan.


[CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

South Ayrshire Council Provost Winifred Sloan said: “I was extremely honoured and humbled to take part in the parade acknowledging and paying tribute to the soldiers who have served their country and selflessly put themselves at risk in order to protect others.

“Many people from South Ayrshire have a friend of relative who has served in the military in the past, is serving, or plans to do so in the future. I admire Forces personnel who are willing to risk their own life in order to protect us and others. Sadly, some soldiers return from active service injured, and some do not return, having paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“It is important to remember that the families of serving personnel need our support as well as the soldiers, as they are the ones left worrying at home. Support Our Soldiers is a relatively new project spearheaded by myself and Agnes Hunter to provide support for families of serving personnel, and I would encourage any military families to make contact with this group.”


[Pictured: Hundreds of people lined Ayr’s High Street to see Provost Winifred Sloan and Major General W. E. B. Loudon CBE take the salute. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The parade started at Pavilion Road in Ayr and finished at Ayr Town Hall, where a private medal presentation ceremony took place before the Regiment, their families and other guests, followed by a lunch hosted by Provost Sloan.

John Scott MSP for Ayr commented: “It was absolutely fantastic to see these men and women safely home. It was a very emotional moment for me, but far more importantly for their families who must be filled with pride at the sight of these soldiers who so proudly and bravely serve the interest of this country and protect us on the frontline from terrorism.”

“I’m full of admiration for the bravery of our armed forces, and it was great to see this parade happening in Ayr.”

The Royal Scots Fusiliers and Royal Highland Fusiliers

The regiment which would become the Royal Scots Fusiliers was raised by the Earl of Mar in 1678. During the course of its history it became closely associated with Ayrshire, and when the army’s regiments were assigned a particular recruiting area in 1873, the Royal North British Fusiliers, as it was then known, became Ayrshire’s county regiment, with its headquarters and depot at Ayr Barracks. In 1881 it was renamed the Royal Scots Fusiliers.

In 1942, at the height of the Second World War, Ayr Barracks was renamed the Churchill Barracks in honour of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had for a time commanded the 6th Battalion of the RSF during the First World War.

Several sets of the Regimental Colours, those carried from 1828 until 1950, hang in the Auld Kirk of Ayr.

In Burns Statue Square is a monument with statue commemorating those of the regiment who died in colonial campaigns, especially in South Africa, from 1879 to 1902.

In the gardens at the rear of the County Buildings is the Royal Scots Fusiliers War Memorial, with a statue commemorating those who died in the Second World War.

In 1946 the RSF were presented with the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of Ayr.

In 1959 The RSF and the Highland Light Infantry were amalgamated to form The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret’s Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment), continuing the traditions of both these regiments.

On 13 May 1959, the Royal Highland Fusiliers were presented with the Freedom of the Royal Burgh of Ayr, Princess Margaret being present to receive the Freedom Scroll on behalf of the regiment.

As the new regiment had its headquarters in Edinburgh, activity at the Churchill Barracks in Ayr was much reduced. Military use of the barracks finally ceased in 1965, and the buildings were demolished two years later.

On 28 September 1969, a Royal Highland Fusiliers tenth anniversary service was held in the Auld Kirk of Ayr.

In 2006 the Scottish infantry regiments were amalgamated to form the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and the Royal Highland Fusiliers now became the 2nd Battalion of that regiment, but retained their title, their pipe, drum and bugle band, and the white hackle on their caps.

LINKS:

Royal Highland Fusiliers

South Ayrshire Council

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Ryanair launch new sunshine flight routes
from Glasgow Prestwick Airport


By: Neil Richardson

RYANAIR today launched two of their three new destinations from Glasgow Prestwick Airport.

And the 178 passengers checking in for the 2.15pm flight from Ayrshire to Tenerife were treated to a carnival atmosphere in the terminal.


Ten Spanish dancers performed some routines while the passengers helped themselves to sangria and tapas - provided by duty free operator Nuance, and the airport’s bar and restaurant operator SSP.

Ryanair’s new sunshine destinations also include Malaga, which left this morning with 154 passengers on board, and Faro which starts on Wednesday. Nuance are providing passengers on all three flights with a discount voucher for their tax and duty free store.


These new services will further strengthen Glasgow Prestwick’s route network, bringing the total number of scheduled destinations operated by Ryanair to 29 following several new route announcements in the last year.

To celebrate, www.ryanair.com are offering fares from £1 on their Glasgow Prestwick services for bookings made between midnight tonight and midnight on Thursday 30 October. The offer applies to travel between 11 November and 31 January.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell commented: “These new services are a beacon of light in an industry which is facing a number of challenges at the moment.

“While many airlines are cutting back on services, this clearly shows how committed Ryanair is to their base here at Glasgow Prestwick Airport.”

He added: “Ryanair is an airline with a strong business model which allows them to keep fares as low as possible. We are delighted to be working with them at a time when cost is becoming more important for the traveller.

“These new destinations have always been popular among Scots holidaymakers. Advance sales have been very encouraging, and we expect that trend to continue throughout the winter.”

Ryanair’s sales and marketing manager for the UK and Ireland Bridget Dowling said: “As we anticipated, our flights to Tenerife, Malaga and Faro are proving extremely popular. With the best punctuality in Europe, the lowest fares guaranteed and no fuel surcharge ever, there has never been a better time to fly with Ryanair.

“To celebrate the success of our new routes from Glasgow Prestwick we are offering flights from just £1 bookable on www.ryanair.com from today. We advise passengers to book early, as these seats will be snapped up.”

www.glasgowprestwick.com

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PR helps companies to continue to prosper during the recession

By: Murdoch MacDonald
Fame Publicity Services

SO - it’s official.

The UK as a whole is teetering on the edge of a recession that some are saying might be deeper and last longer than at first thought likely.

But all is not doom and gloom. Even during a recession, many companies will continue to do well regardless, and countless others will carry on beavering away and manage to weather the storm.


[Pictured: Lilian and Murdoch MacDonald, the two co-founders of Fame Publicity Services.]

Commerce will go on, companies will still want to do business with you, and customers will still be out there wanting your products and services.

You might just have to work that bit harder at making sure your company’s name is prominently out there to the forefront when your potential customers are about to make their decision about where to place their order.

But that does not mean you have to allocate an expensive advertising budget, just when you can least afford it.

PR is a far more cost-effective and lasting way of putting and keeping your company name in the public eye, and (more important) in the eye of the key decision-makers who will decide whether or not to buy your company’s products and services.

I’m not talking about old-fashioned PR - the regular issue of a press release to the conventional media, in the hope of getting a few column inches in newspapers, magazines or the specialist trade press.

PR has moved on, and now takes advantage of all the opportunities that the Internet offers for telling the world about your company.

Of course, we still send press releases to the conventional media. A write-up in a newspaper or magazine is good for staff morale, and may even result in some new business.

But it is far more important to get a press release prominently displayed on the Internet, where it will stay indefinitely, easily searchable by all the leading search engines.

To this end, Fame Publicity Services will put your company’s press releases on all the major Internet newswire sites, and also flag them on the top bookmarking sites, all with hyperlinks to your company’s own website.

What we achieve for our clients is a top position on search engine results pages for all the search terms that potential new customers might use when looking for particular goods and services.

The techniques we use are at the cutting edge of modern PR practice, and we are constantly refining and improving them to ensure that our clients enjoy the greatest possible material benefits.

Even during a recession, there are still companies out there wanting to do business with you.

What modern PR as practised by Fame Publicity Services can do is to make sure that those companies find you, and give you their business.

That way, forward-looking companies can ride out the current downturn, and even continue to prosper in spite of it.

Fame Publicity Services
Telephone: 01292 281498
Mobile: 07833 667322
Website: www.famepublicity.co.uk
E-mail: Murdoch@famepublicity.co.uk

LINKS:

I-Newswire PR-GB UKPRWire ClickPress 24/7 PressBox

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