The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 5 February 2009

£8m plans for Cumnock Regeneration get underway

THE regeneration of Cumnock town centre moved a giant step forward this week as the planning application for a new £8m office development was lodged with East Ayrshire Council.

[Pictured from left: Cllr Billy Crawford; Cllr Kathy Morrice; Cllr Douglas Reid; Christopher Ross, of Ross Electricals, a member of the Cumnock Town Centre Liaison Forum; Cllr Jim Buchanan; and Alan Neish, Head of Planning and Economic Development at East Ayrshire Council. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

The new office development is the first phase of the Cumnock Town Centre Regeneration Project which aims to revitalise the town centre and re-establish Cumnock as the principal town in the southern part of East Ayrshire. The Project aims to provide more jobs in the town centre, expand and enhance the available retail provision, enhance public realm and town centre environment, and implement an improved traffic management and parking strategy.

The development on Greenholm Road will provide quality, modern accommodation for East Ayrshire Council and partner agencies, to provide a range of services on a co-location basis. The Council have confirmed that approximately 150 employees will relocate to the new offices as part of a review of its existing office accommodation provision.

Services moving to the Greenholm Road development include planning and building standards, community planning, libraries, roads, registrars, housing, social work and Community Learning & Development. They will be vacating a number of substandard buildings at Lugar and elsewhere in Cumnock.

Proposals contained within the office building application, which extends to 2990 square metres (32,185 sq ft), include:

• 3 storey “L” shaped building;
• Shared reception for all services;
• Civic square forming the principal entrance to the building;
• Registrars office with integrated marriage suite;
• New local library;
• Additional car parking for the office development.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “I am delighted to announce receipt of this planning application as it marks the start of an exciting period of regeneration and renewal for Cumnock Town Centre.

“When completed, the whole project will provide opportunities for shopping, education, leisure and recreation for the people of Cumnock and the surrounding communities. East Ayrshire Council is fully committed to the regeneration of Cumnock and the new office development is a key element of that.”

Councillor Jim Buchanan, Spokesperson for Environment & Regeneration added: ”This new office development will improve access to a number of local services, offering local people a one door approach in the heart of the local community. Following planning approval, construction could begin as early as summer 2009.

“We estimate that some 70 jobs will be created on the site throughout the construction period, giving the local economy a much needed boost. Approximately 30% will be local jobs employed by local sub-contractors or direct labour.”

The development is being delivered and managed as part of a joint venture partnership, with East Ayrshire Council having entered into a joint venture contract with Deanway Muir Ltd. Deanway Muir itself is the result of a partnership between Deanway Development and the Muir Group.

Alex Galbraith, a director of Deanway Muir Ltd said: “I am delighted that Deanway Muir is fulfilling the role of private sector partner to East Ayrshire Council in bringing forward the regeneration of Cumnock town centre. The planning application lodged this week is the first tangible step in that process and is a major milestone in bringing the project vision into reality.”

The joint venture company has appointed a full team of technical consultants, including architects, engineers and surveyors to develop the project. Davis Langdon is the appointed Project Manager.

Marion Gilliland, Chair of the Cumnock Town Centre Liaison Forum commented: “This is a very exciting time for Cumnock and the local business community. The new office development will bring much needed investment to the town and is a sign of a more positive future facing Cumnock.”

East Ayrshire Council

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Kenny MacAskill opens East Ayrshire Council’s
Risk Management Centre

SCOTTISH Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill has officially opened East Ayrshire Council’s Risk Management Centre.

[Pictured: Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill officially opens the Council’s Risk Management Centre. He is joined by Provost Stephanie Young, the Leader of the Council, Councillor Douglas Reid, Chief Executive Fiona Lees, elected members, senior Council officers and representatives from Strathclyde Police. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

This state of the art facility provides a range of services for the people of East Ayrshire, including CCTV surveillance and emergency response unit, all aimed at reducing crime levels, vandalism to property and improving community safety.

The centre monitors 49 public realm cameras which cover all the major towns and villages within East Ayrshire. CCTV cameras cover a large number of Council properties, including schools, and a further 26 properties are scheduled to come on line in the near future.

The centre manages the community alarms system which provides assistance to vulnerable people. Receiving an average of 7000 calls a month, the community alarms system currently has 3448 subscribers. Clients signed up to the system can place requests for home help visits or request assistance if, for example, they suffer a fall in their own home. Smoke detection within a property can also be reported to the centre for action. Operators in the centre also monitor the telecare equipment linked to community alarms.

The Risk Management Centre works very closely with the Council’s Emergency Planning Unit to provide additional support during emergency situations. In addition, the Council’s Helpline for out of hours enquiries, including housing repairs, and the Antisocial Behaviour Helpline are both managed by the centre.

All of the services provided by the Risk Management Centre are interlinked. Footage from the CCTV cameras can assist the Community Alarms team and can also provide valuable evidence for prosecution purposes. As a result the Centre has established close partnership links with Strathclyde Police, which has led to a decline in the level of crime within local towns.

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council said: “I was very pleased to welcome Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill to Kilmarnock to open the Risk Management Centre. The Centre provides much needed support to vulnerable members of our community through the Community Alarms team whilst our public realm cameras provide support to Community Alarms and our partners in Strathclyde Police. The Centre promotes partnership working while helping to protect our properties from vandalism. Our residents feel safe walking the streets and our shops protected from shop lifters. The Risk Management Centre will continue to grow and expand the service it provides to local residents making our communities ‘Safer and Stronger’.”


East Ayrshire Council

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Bank of England reduces Bank Rate
by 0.5 percentage points to 1.0%

THE Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to reduce the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves by 0.5 percentage points to 1.0%.

The global economy is in the throes of a severe and synchronised downturn. Output in the advanced economies fell sharply in the fourth quarter of 2008, and growth in the emerging market economies appears to have slowed markedly. Business and household sentiment in many countries has deteriorated. The weakness of the global banking and financial system means that the supply of credit remains constrained.

In the United Kingdom, output dropped sharply in the fourth quarter of 2008 and business surveys point to a similar rate of decline in the early part of this year. Credit conditions faced by companies and households have tightened further. The underlying picture for consumer spending appears weak. Businesses have responded to the worsening outlook by running down inventories, cutting production, scaling back investment plans and shedding labour. The Committee welcomed the Government’s latest measures to tackle the problems in the banking system, including the creation of an Asset Purchase Facility to buy high-quality corporate debt and similar assets.

CPI inflation fell to 3.1% in December. Pay pressures have diminished. But sterling has continued to depreciate, boosting the cost of imports. Inflation is expected to fall to below the 2% target by the second half of the year, reflecting waning contributions from retail energy and food prices and the direct impact of the temporary reduction in Value Added Tax. But the impact of changes in the rate of Value Added Tax, and the gradual pass-through of the depreciation in sterling, mean the path may be somewhat volatile.

At its February meeting, the Committee noted that, although the transmission mechanism of monetary policy was impaired, the past cuts in Bank Rate would in due course nevertheless have a significant impact. Together with the recent easing in fiscal policy, the substantial fall in sterling and past falls in commodity prices, that would provide a considerable stimulus to activity as the year progressed. Nevertheless, the Committee judged that there remained a substantial risk of undershooting the 2% CPI inflation target in the medium term at the existing level of Bank Rate. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that a further reduction in Bank Rate of 0.5 percentage points to 1.0% was warranted this month.

The Committee’s latest inflation and output projections will appear in the Inflation Report to be published on Wednesday 11 February.

The minutes of the meeting will be published at 9.30am on Wednesday 18 February.

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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Paligap relaunches Golf South Ayrshire website

THE Ayrshire-based full service creative marketing agency Paligap Brands announces the relaunch of the Golf South Ayrshire website.

Paligap has handled the Golf South Ayrshire account since 1999, and after rebranding the entity from South Ayrshire Golf, the agency launched its first website in 2000.

This site stayed fairly similar over the next eight years, but due to the mass influx of tourism anticipated in 2009 due to the Homecoming, it was decided that that the site should be revamped and relaunched.

Paligap Brands managing director Stephen Cosh (pictured above) said: “This time it had to be big, look great, be easy to use and allow South Ayrshire Council staff to update portions of the content. It also had to cover all the courses in South Ayrshire, not just the municipal ones.

“The site went live last week after a two week build period, and it is one we are very proud of.

“Big, bold and very “golfy”, we feel we have created a modern portal to the ‘Golf Coast’.”

Visit the site at:


Paligap Brands

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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Green light for new Tesco supermarket in Kilmarnock

CONSTRUCTION work has commenced on the 95,000 sq ft Tesco supermarket with café in Kilmarnock.

The new store in Kilmarnock will provide not only an excellent shopping facility, including non-food and clothing, but also much needed new jobs for local people.

The planning consent also provides for a petrol station and public realm improvements to High Glencairn Street, West Netherton Street and Titchfield Street which will see real improvements to an area in need of investment and regeneration.

On site this week, East Ayrshire Council leader Douglas Reid (pictured above) and Councillor Jim Buchanan were advised that the foundations are been prepared to allow the steelwork to commence this week. The programme envisages the cladding commencing mid-February with an opening late summer. Tesco has agreed to keep the Council appraised of the work programme.

Councillor Douglas Reid said: “The new Tesco superstore is going to be a catalyst to the regeneration of the south of the town. I am delighted that works are proceeding with haste and that the store will be open at the end of the summer.”

Tesco corporate affairs manager Doug Wilson said: “We are delighted to be moving forward with the new store. There were a few issues that we have had to deal with, but now it’s full steam ahead and we look forward to opening our store in the summer of this year and bringing a great new offer to our customers in Kilmarnock.”

Councillor Jim Buchanan, spokesperson for Environment and Regeneration added: “The new store is a key part of the regeneration strategy for Kilmarnock, and I welcomed the opportunity to meet Tesco’s construction manager on site. Tesco are employing local contractors including AJ Clark Concreting and 55 local workers are employed in a variety of roles so already we are seeing some of the economic benefits of this development. More new jobs will be created when the store and new retail space are complete, helping to offset losses within other areas of the town.”


East Ayrshire Council


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Traditional village local pub for sale in Ayrshire

J&E SHEPHERD Chartered Surveyors has been appointed to sell The Green Shutters, a traditional village local pub set in the village of Ochiltree, around 12 miles east of Ayr.

Located in the centre of the village within a local conservation area, The Green Shutters has recently undergone a comprehensive refurbishment and offers scope for further business development.

The property comprises a bar, lounge and associated facilities plus a disused function room to the rear. The property has a full public house licence together with regular extensions with turnover 100% wet sale based.

Markus Kroner, surveyor at Shepherd’s, said: “The entire bar area has been fully upgraded to a contemporary modern standard by the vendors within the recent past with all fixtures and fittings included within the sale. There is scope to further develop the business through forming a further bar area and possibly restaurant within the disused former function suite.”

Offers in excess of £130,000 are invited.

Established 125 years ago in Scotland, J&E Shepherd delivers a valuation service throughout the UK, from a network of 32 offices throughout Scotland and over 75 locations in England, Wales and the Channel Islands. It offers a multi disciplinary property service to include valuation, commercial agency, building surveying, rent reviews, development and investment consultancy, rating and property management. J&E Shepherd is now one of the largest independent firms of chartered surveyors in the UK.

For further information please contact Markus Kroner tel 01292 267987.


J & E Shepherd

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Monday, 2 February 2009

No weather problems at Glasgow Prestwick Airport
as it welcomes diverted international flights

By: Murdoch MacDonald

ALL British Airways connections to Heathrow were cancelled today as the heaviest snowfall to hit the UK capital in 18 years brought the hub to a standstill.

Mark Rodwell, chief executive of Glasgow Prestwick Airport said Glasgow Prestwick expected to handle about 1,000 extra passengers as a number of long haul flights due to land at Heathrow were being diverted there because of the conditions south of the border.

Passengers on the services from the United States, the middle east and the far east were being put up in local hotels in Ayrshire overnight.

Flights diverted from Heathrow to Glasgow Prestwick Airport included:

* British Airways Boeing 747 from San Francisco to Heathrow with 198 passengers.

* British Airways Boeing 777 from New York JFK to Heathrow with 210 passengers.

* British Airways Boeing 747 from Cairo to Heathrow with 192 passengers.

* British Airways Boeing 747 from San Francisco to Heathrow with 151 passengers

* British Airways Boeing 747 from Peking to Heathrow with 142 passengers

* British Airways Boeing 747 from Tokyo to Heathrow with 260 passengers

Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s own schedule has been largely unaffected, apart from the cancellation of one Ryanair flight to Stansted this morning due to the weather in London.

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell (pictured above) said: “This is an airport with an excellent weather record and plenty of space for aircraft to park, so we are delighted that we can accommodate these diverted flights today. We have mobilised all available employees to ensure we can handle hundreds of additional inbound passengers and make suitable arrangements for them.

“Our employees have handled large volumes of aircraft and passengers in the past for major events, and they have made a fantastic effort again today. By the end of the day we expect that approximately an additional 1500 passengers will have arrived at Prestwick, inbound from destinations like Tokyo, Peking, San Francisco, New York and Cairo.

“Hotel accommodation is being arranged on behalf of the airline for the disrupted passengers, with most being accommodated in the local area. Some passengers have elected to make their own alternative arrangements via hire cars or rail.

“We are waiting to hear from British Airways regarding flight arrangements for tomorrow.”

And John Scott MSP said the weather problems in London brought a welcome boost to the Ayrshire economy.

Mr Scott said: “While obviously I have the greatest sympathy for the people who have been diverted, I am sure others in Ayrshire are delighted to welcome the unexpected guests.

“They will provide a boost to the local hoteliers and the diversions will be a boost to Prestwick airport.

“I hope these people enjoy their time in this snow-free area and that they will come back again.

“This demonstrates that Prestwick Airport is of national strategic importance in terms of UK air infrastructure.

“We usually have a fog, ice and snow-free zone. The airport was built here in 1935 for these characteristics.”

Ayr Racecourse general manager Geoff Green said: “Around 800 passengers arrived at the racecourse on Monday afternoon. We gave them hot drinks and food.

“Some were able to stay overnight in the Western House Hotel while others headed to hotels in Glasgow.

“We utilised the Ayrshire suite, which can cater for 1000 people. The last passengers left at around 7.30pm.”


All passengers were back on board their flights and Heathrow bound by 3pm on Tuesday.

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Sunday, 1 February 2009

West Sound Radio hosts latest Elite Ayrshire Business Circle meeting

THE latest breakfast networking meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle was hosted by independent local radio station West Sound Radio in Ayr.

[Pictured: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes is welcomed to West Sound Radio by station director Brenda Ritchie. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

As well as a full complement of Circle members, the meeting was also attended by Ayr MSP John Scott and Margaret Toner, deputy leader of South Ayrshire Council, the Circle‘s most recent new member.

Special guests included Linda Lawson, general manager of Hourstons department store, Tracey Smith from Turnberry Hotel and Golf Resort, Margarette Bryan of Begg Scotland, James Hawkins and Stephen McGuire from Stewart Corporate Travel, Andrew Dickson of the West of Scotland Loan Fund, and clinical hypnotherapist Andrew Johnson.

West Sound Radio station director Brenda Ritchie and her team gave a detailed presentation about West Sound, and this was followed by a tour of the studio complex.

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle managing director Murdoch MacDonald said: “Having worked in radio myself, I particularly admired the professional manner with which the station presenters managed to cope with a studio full of guests while continuing to deliver their radio programme live on air.

“West Sound Radio is quite literally the voice of Ayrshire and South West Scotland. It is particularly impressive how it maintains its distinct local identity, being part of a giant international publishing and media group like Bauer.

“All our members and guests who attended and I are most grateful to Brenda Ritchie and everyone at West Sound Radio who worked so hard to make our visit so interesting, informative and enjoyable.”

West Sound Radio is part of the Bauer Publishing Group.

Under the management of four generations of the Bauer family, the Bauer Publishing Group has grown from its humble beginnings as a printing house into a worldwide publishing empire comprising 238 magazines worldwide in 15 countries, as well as its TV and radio stations.


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