Thursday, 26 March 2009
John Scott urges French visitors to come to Ayrshire
‘Come to Ayrshire!’ That was the message delivered by John Scott, MSP for Ayr, when he recently spoke to representatives of thirty-two regions of France.
Along with South Ayrshire Council’s Enterprise Manager, Lesley Cannon, John Scott met the regional representatives and other key people drawn from across the travel and tourist industry at an event hosted by the French Government Tourist Office.
[Pictured left to right: Louise Muir, Marketing Group Manager with Infratil, Wilma Paterson, a travel writer, Jean-Pierre Courteau, Managing Director of the French Government Tourist Office, Lesley Cannon, Enterprise Manager at South Ayrshire Council and John Scott MSP.]
And John and Lesley took full advantage of the opportunity to press the case for Ayrshire’s tourism sector.
John Scott said: “The purpose of the event was to promote France to Scottish travel writers and journalists, which is why representatives of all thirty-two French regions, including their overseas collectives, were gathered together.
“However this seemed to us to be an excellent opportunity to turn the tables a little and to use the event to speak directly with the French representatives and officials from the French Government Tourist Office to sell to them the benefits of holidaying in Ayrshire.”
“I’m glad to say that we got a very positive reception, and I think that we managed to generate quite a bit of interest in Ayrshire amongst the representatives. Hopefully this interest, and the useful contacts that we made at the event, will be helpful in further promoting Ayrshire’s tourist industry over the months to come.”
Leader of South Ayrshire Council Hugh Hunter said: “We are very keen to engage with colleagues from other countries so that we can build the relationships needed to best promote the tourist potential of Ayrshire, and from that point of view the opportunity to get into a room with representatives of each of the French regions was invaluable.
“We see supporting Ayrshire’s tourist industry as being very much an exercise in partnership working, and we want to forge a strong and constructive relationship with as wide a group of agencies as possible, including the French Government Tourist Agency.”
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Provost Winifred Sloan officially opens Barassie Primary School
BARASSIE Primary School officially opened on Wednesday 25 March 2008 and marks the latest milestone in South Ayrshire’s £76 million schools programme.
[Pictured: Provost Winifred Sloan (centre) is pictured next to the plaque that she unveiled to mark the official opening of the new Barassie Primary School with Colin Purdie, P7 (left) and Rebekah Loy, P6 (right).
The new £8 million primary and nursery school, built on the site of the old primary, includes ICT provision, physical education facilities and environmental space, and was officially opened by Provost Winifred Sloan.
The Lifelong Learning facilities will also be available for use by all members of the community.
Provost Sloan said: “This is an exciting day for the 245 pupils, our teaching staff and members of the local community. It marks another milestone towards completion of our ambitious schools programme in South Ayrshire.
“We are focused on providing better and improved facilities to enable our young people to become successful, confident, responsible citizens as set out in Curriculum for Excellence, Scotland's new curriculum for children and young people aged 3 to 18. Central to this is to give them the best possible place to learn, and Barassie Primary now does that.
“The pupils and staff have a purpose-built, bright, modern building that meets their needs. The facilities are outstanding, not just for the children, but will also bring new services to the wider community.”
Barassie Primary is the 4th school building to be completed as part of South Ayrshire Council’s multi-million schools programmes.
During the last two years schools have been completed at Monkton, Alloway and Barassie, and a new annexe completed at Kyle Academy. A total of 3,896 primary and secondary children are now enjoying new school facilities.
Later this year the programme will be completed with the official opening of Belmont Academy in June and Prestwick Academy in the autumn.
Provost Sloan was joined by a number of guests at the official opening ceremony who enjoyed a full programme of entertainment which included Pipers and Drummers, the Barassie Choir, the mixed dance team, the school’s brass group, percussion group, choral speaking, a fiddle selection and Fitba’ Crazy.
[Pictured at the official opening of the new Barassie Primary School are Provost Winifred Sloan, Councillors, Officers, representatives of companies involved in the building and invited guests. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Head teacher Shendl Harvey said: “The facilities provided in the new Barassie Primary School are outstanding, and will enable the school to carry forward the excellent record of learning and teaching that the school has been recognised for over many years.
“With the continued help, support and commitment of the Council, parents and staff, the new school building will help our pupils to grow and develop the skills and strengths needed to meet the ever changing demands of a developing society.
“This truly is a learning centre for the 21st century which will serve current and future pupils and the wider community of Barassie well for many years to come.”
South Ayrshire Council
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Housing and schools top the list for council improvements
ONE in ten Council houses in South Ayrshire and 22 schools have been upgraded and improved in the last year as part of a £30.5 million programme of investment in core services.
A total of 859 council houses were included in a programme of works which ranged from installing new kitchens, new central heating, replacing bathrooms, rewiring, installing smoke detectors, external cladding and re-roofing.
In addition, the former Landsburgh House, now renamed Viewfield Gate, has been transformed from a hostel to a unit that provides support for independent living.
Two schools, Dalmilling Primary in Ayr and Muirhead Primary in Troon received some £4million of improvements in a £15.15 million programme which also brought upgrading and modernisation to a further 20 schools throughout South Ayrshire during the last two years.
This is in addition to the Council’s new schools programme which has seen four schools completed last year and a further two to be completed in the coming twelve months.
Among other projects completed during the last year are:
* Eight street lighting improvement and renewal schemes in Maybole, Tarbolton, Ayr, Prestwick and Troon.
* Upgrading of public conveniences at Troon and Ayr.
* Improved services for young people leaving care at Holmston in Ayr.
* New or upgraded energy efficient heating systems in ten council owned properties.
Ongoing projects which are scheduled for completion in the next few months are:
*The new Colmonell Primary School.
* Replacement of the heating system at Kyle Academy.
* Upgrading of public convenience in Girvan.
* Replacing street lighting in Beresford Terrace in Ayr.
* Electrical work in the County Buildings in Ayr.
* Refurbishment of the King Street underpass, including the installation of a CCTV system.
* Improvements works within schools to ensure better access for disabled people.
Councillor Bill McIntosh, Resources and Performance Portfolio Carrier said: “This extensive programme of modernisation and improvement which began last year will continue over the next twelve months and be clearly focused on providing better services for residents in South Ayrshire.
“Our ongoing rolling programme of investment will continue through the coming year, to be focused on improving a wide range of essential services.”
Councillor Douglas Campbell, Housing and Customer First Portfolio Carrier said: “Changes such as adapting a home for a person with a disability, upgrading common areas in blocks of flats, replacing heating systems or installing smoke detectors all make a real difference to the lives of our tenants. During the coming year we will focus our housing capital investment programme on meeting the required house condition standards.
“We are investing in as many houses as possible each year to reach a high standard of home that can make a real difference to the quality of life for our tenants. From small projects like new central heating systems and showers to whole house modernisations, we have set the ambitious aim of spending around £19 million each year over the next 5 years to make our tenants homes, warmer, safer and modern.
South Ayrshire Council
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Monday, 23 March 2009
Irvine Bay announces £2.75 million
regeneration project for Kilwinning
By: Kirsty Innes
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has announced a major step forward in delivering the £2.75 million regeneration package to transform the centre of Kilwinning.
The announcement of the main contractor on the project was made by Irvine Bay chairman Baroness Margaret Ford at the company’s Annual Public Meeting, which was attended by around 250 people.
[Pictured: Irvine Bay Regeneration Company chairman Baroness Margaret Ford, chief executive Patrick Wiggins and commercial director Omar Elmi.]
Main Street in Kilwinning will see better lighting, enhanced landscaping, seating, signposting, and improved shop fronts – all designed to create renewed interest and activity in the town centre.
This could also see an outdoor space created for markets and town events, as well as the creation of a business centre with accommodation for new businesses and links with James Watt College.
Land Engineering is to carry out the work as main contractor, and work on the first phase – the lighting – is already underway.
[Pictured: Artist’s impression of how Kilwinning Main Street will look after refurbishment. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Baroness Ford said: “This project is the first where Irvine Bay Regeneration Company has built in targeted recruitment and training as part of the tender for a large contract. The refurbishment of Kilwinning Main Street will provide 12 skills-based training positions with 312 weeks of training. This will clearly be of benefit to the local community.”
The total investment in projects by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company is expected to be £4.5 million since last year’s meeting – with each £ of public money spent expected to leverage significant investment from the private sector.
Baroness Ford said: “Despite difficult economic times the regeneration company continues to work with its partners and stakeholders in the public and private sectors to drive progress for Irvine Bay.
“Our own investment has been substantial, but the long-term benefits will be greater still – such as the £50+ million development proposal announced for ‘The Ayrshire’ golf complex at Irvine during the past year.
“A further example of where our activity makes a real difference can be seen at The Lyric in Ardrossan, where the £350,000 the regeneration company has itself invested in preparing the building for development has ensured the development of this landmark goes ahead.
“Trinity Church is another project we are investing in, with a spend of around £250,000 committed to making wind and watertight this iconic building, doing some internal cleaning work and preparing it for development. There are a number of parties interested in taking this forward.
“Our contributions to local community projects have seen many projects that wouldn’t otherwise have gone ahead to happen, and these have made a real difference to local people – such as the Evolution bike track, Galloway Training Centre, and a grant made for Ayrshire fisherman to build a secure fence to protect their fishing gear.”
The annual meeting, at the Gailes Hotel, Marine Drive, Irvine, heard that Irvine Bay is well placed despite the economic downturn.
[Irvine Bay Regeneration Company’s latest Annual Public Meeting was attended by around 250 people.]
Chief executive Patrick Wiggins expressed confidence that the company’s creative approach to working with private and public sector partners will continue to bear fruit during the coming months, and that opportunities can be grasped. He said: “Irvine Bay benefits from having an Urban Regeneration Company in place, with its ability to make things happen.
“While we are not immune from the difficult economic times, the fact that our plans are long-term provides us with the ability to focus on important planning and preparation work, whilst helping to progress ongoing plans and developments.
“Because of the unique nature of URCs we can take a creative approach which allows us, for instance, to share both risk and potential profit with development partners.”
Those attending heard about significant progress since last year’s meeting, with highlights including:
The endorsement of the company’s Business Plan by the Scottish Government, assuring £6 million funding through till 2011. This money matches the investments already committed by both Scottish Enterprise and also North Ayrshire Council.
The regeneration plans for the five towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Kilwinning and Irvine are complete and set the agenda for local development in coming years.
Mr Wiggins added: “There have also been clear signs of the impact that can be made in the towns, through the bringing back to life of previously disused buildings. In Princes Street, Ardrossan, buildings at 54, 56 and 93 have been reborn as shops and offices. We have also seen the town’s listed former pump house transformed into a bar and bistro at the harbour, bringing life and activity.
“The new office pavilions at Annickbank are being designed to set the highest possible standards for sustainability with work on site infrastructure already started”
Last year, the company announced the £60+ million project to transform Irvine Harbourside with developers Urban Splash. Mr Wiggins explained that good progress continued to be made in the planning consultation around such a complex project.
Irvine Bay Regeneration Company
43 Ardrossan Road
Tel: +44 (0)1294 608634
Fax: +44 (0)1294 603437
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Paligap sponsor the Young Enterprise Scotland
Company Programme in Ayrshire
AYRSHIRE creative marketing agency Paligap are delighted to announce their sponsorship of the Young Enterprise Scotland Company Programme in Ayrshire.
This programme encourages young people to get into business and gives them hands on experience of managing a legal business concern.
Alison C Tait from Young Enterprise Scotland said: “Sponsorship is very important today for the Young Enterprise Scotland company programme in Ayrshire.
"It helps the board to realise its ambition to encourage pupils in all Ayrshire schools to use their entrepreneurial skills in running their own business in 5th and 6th years.
"For those who take up business studies at secondary school, it also gives them the opportunity to experience the practical side of the theory.
"Without the support of our sponsors, many entrepreneurs of the future could lose out on essential development of business skills they may require”
Paligap will judge the finalists later in the year.
Young Enterprise Scotland
Founded in 1999, Paligap has become one of Scotland’s premier full service marketing and creative agencies.
Paligap is wholly capable of satisfying every strategic and tactical marketing need and adding value to every organisation’s marketing operations.
Initially recognised as print and web specialists, the agency has steadily expanded its portfolio of services to include all elements of the communications mix covering branding, press, radio, TV and outdoor advertising, public relations and direct marketing.
Paligap’s proven track record of successful promotion has ensured that the agency has built up an impressive client list, which includes numerous organisations of all sizes and from every sector.
1 Carrick Road
Ayr KA7 2RA
Contact: Stephen Cosh, Managing Director
Tel: 01292 263777
Fax: 01292 285334
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