The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 6 March 2009


Western House Hotel wins SIX major hospitality awards

AN Ayr hotel has become the Slumdog Millionaire of the Scottish hospitality industry.

The four-star Western House Hotel at Ayr Racecourse scooped an astonishing six awards at two recent hotel industry ceremonies, and is now firmly established as one of Scotland’s must visit hotels.


[Pictured: Western House Hotel general manager Geoff Green (centre left), Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol (centre right) and team celebrate their six new awards. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

At the Hotel Review Scotland Awards Western House won:

1. Hotel of the Year

2. Wedding Hotel of the Year

3. Customer Care Hotel of the Year

And Ayr Racecourse general manager William Gorol won Hotelier of the Year.

This was followed by the Scottish Hotel Awards, where Western House lifted the premier prize – the Hotel of the Year. And William Gorol lifted the Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In winning all the awards Western House also created a record by becoming the first hotel to win Wedding Hotel of the Year for three years running.

Speaking after the Scottish Hotel Awards at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Glasgow, William Gorol said: “What a great achievement this is for everyone connected with Western House Hotel. It’s not the norm for one hotel to win so many awards, and so this is really remarkable.

“We pride ourselves on customer care, so to win that award is very satisfying, and to land the Wedding Hotel of the Year three years on the trot is a truly magnificent achievement.

“I can’t speak highly enough of Western House General Manager Geoff Green and his staff. They deserve all the credit.”

LINK:

eliteayrshire

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Thursday, 5 March 2009


Lifesaving champions are looking for sponsorship

Iain Wilson of Kilmarnock, an architect working for Ayr-based ARP Lorimer & Associates, is a Scottish Lifesaving Champion and part of the Scottish Lifesaving squad that is currently busy training and fundraising for the Commonwealth Lifesaving Championships that take place in Edmonton, Canada in June.


[Pictured: members of the Scottish Lifesaving squad. Front row, left to right: Alison Wilson, Louisa Petta, Isobell Miller, Susan Miller. Middle Row: Dawn Fraser, Nicky Gray, Becky McGuire, James Miller, David Lamb, Andrew McAlister. Back Row: Kenneth MacDermid, Joanne Finn, Iain Wilson, Iain McEwan, Calumn MacDermid. Others not in the photo include: Michele Weedy (Team Manager/Coach), Ben Witz, Claire Ormiston, Stacey McAlister, Drew Leitch, Gavin Morrison, Jody Boyes, Chis Harper, Simon Deane, Scott Burnett, David McGuire. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL -SIZE VERSION.]

In previous years the championships have been held in locations such as England, South Africa and Australia. Scotland has sent a team to this event regularly, with various successes including a number of gold medals over the years.

Scotland’s current squad, including Iain, are all young and full of enthusiasm but it will be costing each competitor around £1500 to travel to Canada, train and buy the necessary kit. The majority of the expense will have to be personally financed, as the Royal Lifesaving Society Scotland Branch has very little money available to support the athletes.

So the squad are looking for sponsors for the trip, and raffle prizes for a fundraising dance.

Companies willing to help should contact:

Iain Wilson
ARP Lorimer & Associates
Architects and Quantity Surveyors
11 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Tel: 01292 289777
Fax: 01292 288896
E-mail: iwilson@arpl.co.uk
Web: www.arpl.co.uk

LINKS:

The Royal Life Saving Society UK

allmediascotland eliteayrshire

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Ayrshire task force to help companies in the credit crunch

AN Ayrshire Employment Task Force has been formed with the remit to gather and share information about companies which are experiencing particular trading difficulties and to ensure that effective, co-ordinated support is made available to sustain the businesses and support the employees affected.


[Pictured: Members of the Ayrshire Employment Taskforce.]

Established initially within East Ayrshire, the Employment Task Force has now been extended to cover both North Ayrshire and South Ayrshire. In addition to the three Councils, members of the Task Force include JobcentrePlus, Scottish Enterprise, Business Gateway, Ayrshire Chamber, the Federation of Small Businesses and Kilmarnock College.

Commenting on the establishment of the Task Force, Councillor Hugh Hunter, the Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “It is very important that during the current economic climate, where everyone is feeling the pinch we do everything that we can to support people, particularly those in the manufacturing and retail sectors.

“The Ayrshire Employment Task Force is working across Ayrshire in a
co-ordinated way to support and assist businesses and people who are affected by the economic down turn. A Business Summit will be held in the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock on Tuesday 24 March 2009 that will play an important role in helping and assisting people.”

JobcentrePlus external relations manager Jim Burns added: “The sharing of information across a range of agencies has already paid dividends as we have been able to identify opportunities for early engagement with businesses which are considering workforce adjustments and we have been able to provide advice which has been crucial in the development of these proposals. Through the Task Force, we have been able to identify opportunities for the early engagement of the PACE Initiative team, in providing information and support to workers.”

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Bank of England reduces Bank Rate by 0.5 percentage points to 0.5%
and announces £75 billion asset purchase programme


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 0.5%, and to undertake a programme of asset purchases of £75 billion financed by the issuance of central bank reserves.


World activity continued to weaken, reflecting both depressed confidence and the persistent problems in international credit markets. In the United Kingdom, output dropped sharply in the fourth quarter of 2008. That reflected lower consumer spending, a further fall in business investment and a rapid run-down in stocks, in part offset by stronger net exports as the past depreciation of sterling began to take effect. Business surveys continue to point to a similar rate of contraction in the early part of this year. Unemployment has risen markedly. Credit conditions faced by companies and households remain tight.

CPI inflation declined to 3.0% in January. The depreciation of sterling is adding to imported cost pressures, but pay pressures continue to wane. Inflation is likely to fall below the 2% target by the second half of the year, reflecting diminishing contributions from retail energy and food prices and the impact of the temporary reduction in Value Added Tax.

At its March meeting, the Committee noted that the February Inflation Report had implied a substantial risk of undershooting the 2% CPI inflation target in the medium term and that a further easing in monetary policy was likely to be needed. Data released since the finalisation of the Report had not materially altered that prospect. Accordingly, the Committee concluded that a further easing in the stance of monetary policy was warranted. But the Committee also noted that a very low level of Bank Rate could have counter-productive effects on the operation of some financial markets and on the lending capacity of the banking system. On balance, the Committee decided to reduce Bank Rate by 0.5 percentage points, to 0.5%.

The Committee judged that this reduction in Bank Rate would by itself still leave a substantial risk of undershooting the 2% CPI inflation target in the medium term. Accordingly, the Committee also resolved to undertake further monetary actions, with the aim of boosting the supply of money and credit and thus raising the rate of growth of nominal spending to a level consistent with meeting the inflation target in the medium term.

To that end, and noting the recent exchange of letters between the Governor and the Chancellor of the Exchequer concerning the use of the Asset Purchase Facility for monetary policy purposes, the Committee agreed that the Bank should, in the first instance, finance £75 billion of asset purchases by the issuance of central bank reserves. The Committee recognised that it might take up to three months to carry out this programme of purchases. Part of that sum would finance the Bank of England’s programme of private sector asset purchases through the Asset Purchase Facility, intended to improve the functioning of corporate credit markets. But in order to meet the Committee’s objective of total purchases of £75 billion, the Bank would also buy medium- and long-maturity conventional gilts in the secondary market. It is likely that the majority of the overall purchases by value over the next three months will be of gilts.

At its future meetings, the Committee will monitor the effectiveness of this purchase programme in boosting the supply of money and credit and in due course raising the rate of growth of nominal spending, adjusting the speed and scale of purchases as appropriate.

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

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Tuesday, 3 March 2009


Nick Parsons returns to address the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

By: Murdoch MacDonald

EMINENT market analyst Nick Parsons (pictured below) returns to Ayr this month to update members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle about the current state of the international financial markets, and the Scottish, UK and world economies.


Members who were privileged to have been at the Circle meeting last July heard at first hand about the (then) oncoming recession, and will be relishing the opportunity of hearing Nick’s no-nonsense, no-holds-barred approach to economic realities once again.

Nick will be speaking at the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle meeting on Tuesday 17 March at 12.30pm. Kindly arranged and hosted by Willie Mackie, the meeting will be held in the board room of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Alloway Street, Ayr. A buffet lunch will be provided.

Nick Parsons joined nabCapital (like Clydesdale Bank, part of the National Australia Bank Group) in 2007 as Head of Markets Strategy, based in London.

He has 24 years experience in Foreign Exchange and Money Markets, having previously held posts as Global Head FX Research, Head of Macro Research and Group Economist.

He is a regular contributor to CNBC, BBC, Sky, and Bloomberg News, and is frequently quoted by major newspapers and news agencies.

LINKS:

www.cbonline.co.uk

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