The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 3 July 2009

Ayrshire welcomes home the Claret Jug at
Brunston Castle Golf Course

THE famous Claret Jug, presented annually since 1873 to the winner of the British Open Golf Championship, was on show this week at Brunston Castle Golf Club, before being taken on the 5 mile journey to Turnberry for this year’s tournament which takes place 16-19 July.

[Pictured left to right: Brunston Castle Golf Course general manager Cheryl Steven; South Ayrshire Council leader Hugh Hunter and deputy leader Margaret Toner; Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre managing partner Willie Mackie, South Ayrshire Council deputy Provost Mary Kilpatrick; and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes. CLICK ON IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.}

South Ayrshire Council leader Hugh Hunter, deputy leader Margaret Toner, deputy Provost Mary Kilpatrick and chief executive David Anderson attended an evening reception to mark the occasion, hosted by the directors of Brunston Castle Golf Club represented by general manager Cheryl Steven.

Also in attendance were directors and members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

The first Open Championship was played in 1860 at Prestwick, and Prestwick hosted each of the first 11 British Opens.

Welcoming the Claret Jug back to South Ayrshire, Councillor Toner said: “The Open Championship, that will take place at Turnberry this year, ranks as one of the world’s premier annual sporting events. The first Open Championship was played over three rounds of Prestwick’s 12 hole course on 17 October 1860. Since then Turnberry and Royal Troon, located within South Ayrshire, have hosted the event on many occasions and brought pleasure to locals, visitors and those people around the globe who have watched it on television.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes added: “It is a marvellous tonic for Ayrshire businesses to have the Open Championship return to Turnberry. I hope that many of the visitors during the Open will also take a look at Brunston Castle, a challenging and most scenic parkland course, situated only fifteen minutes drive from Turnberry.”

Brunston Castle Golf Club General Manager Cheryl Steven concluded: “It has been a real thrill for all of us at Brunston Castle to welcome the Claret Jug home to Ayrshire. It is very humbling when we think of the rich history and the roll-call of great Champions who have held this trophy aloft.”

29 downloadable images are available on Flickr. CLICK HERE

Brunston Castle Golf Club
Dailly KA26 9SB
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Cheryl Steven, General Manager
Tel: 01465 811471
Fax: 01465 811545


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Thursday, 2 July 2009

John Scott calls for Ayrshire ‘Jobs Summit’

A local MSP is calling for an Ayrshire ‘jobs summit’ in the wake of this week’s announcement that 700 jobs are to be lost from the Diageo packaging plant in Kilmarnock. The news comes on top of a raft of earlier job loss announcements in Ayrshire over first half of the year, which will see hundreds more jobs lost from the county.

John Scott (pictured above) wants the ‘summit’ to bring together local Councils, local MSPs and representatives of the Scottish government and business community to identify steps to support Ayrshire’s economy and protect local jobs.

John Scott said: “The loss of 700 jobs at the Diageo packaging plant is a devastating blow to the economy of Ayrshire, and taken alongside other major closures already announced this year, including the loss of hundreds of jobs from Scottish Stampings and the ISP alginate plant in Girvan and fears over job losses at Prestwick Airport, it paints a very worrying picture.”

“Job losses on this scale don’t just hit the communities in which the companies are located - they also impact upon households and families right across the whole of Ayrshire. That’s why I believe it is important to take a very wide view when trying to put in place the strategies necessary to sustain local jobs and hopefully to attract the inward investment needed to create more employment opportunities for local people.”

“We need to chart a positive course forward and to see Scottish government and local authority investment programmes reflect the needs of the Ayrshire economy and the need to support local employment. I believe that a useful first step would be to draw together representatives from the Scottish government, local Councils, local MSPs and the business community in a ‘jobs summit’, where all the options can be fully explored.”

“With the economic forecast for the year ahead still very depressed, it is vital that we do everything we can to help stop the haemorrhaging of jobs from Ayrshire, and to position ourselves as best we can to grow our local economy in the future.”

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Leading Scottish broadcaster receives honorary doctorate

SCOTTISH writer and broadcaster Billy Kay received an Honorary Doctorate from University of the West of Scotland at its graduation ceremony on Wednesday 1 July at Troon Concert Hall.

Billy Kay (pictured above) was born in Galston, Ayrshire in 1951, and educated at Kilmarnock Academy.

He joined the BBC as a researcher in 1979, then as a producer, he created the acclaimed Odyssey series of documentaries recording the oral history of the Scottish working class. Later as a freelance writer and broadcaster he continued this theme in a number of television documentaries for BBC Scotland. These included the story of Scottish colliers – ‘Miners’ and ‘The Mother Tongue’.

He has written two plays for radio and one for the stage, ‘They Fairly Mak Ye Work’ which broke box office records at Dundee Rep in its two runs at the theatre in 1986. He has poetry and short stories published in several Scottish anthologies.

In 1994 the UK Wine Guild gave the ‘Best Radio or TV programme’ award to Kay´s feature ‘Fresche Fragrant Clairettis’. In 1999 he made a television series on Scots for Channel 4 Schools – ‘Haud Yer Tongue’ and in 2003, he represented Scotland at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC.

Kay, who is an active member of the Cross Party Group on the Scots Language at the Scottish Parliament, presents and produces an average of ten new features per year on Radio Scotland. In 2006, Mainstream Publishing issued a brand new edition of his classic, ‘Scots: The Mither Tongue’ while his new book ‘The Scottish World’ was launched at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in August 2006.

Professor Seamus McDaid, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland said: “We are delighted to award Billy Kay with an Honorary Doctorate. He has made a significant contribution to Scottish culture and is a fitting recipient of this honour.”

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Sunday, 28 June 2009

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle offshoot
to meet in Cambridge on 10 July

THE next meeting of the Elite Cambridge Business Circle, a recently formed business association launched by the successful Elite Ayrshire Business Circle in Scotland, will take place at 8am on Friday 10 July in the boardroom of the Clydesdale Bank, Terrington House, 1st Floor 13-15 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 1NL.

A buffet breakfast will be served.

As well as providing excellent opportunities for networking with leading Cambridgeshire business people, politicians and academics, the meeting will also feature a presentation by BDO Stoy Hayward.

BDO Stoy Hayward is the award-winning UK Member Firm of BDO International, the world’s fifth largest accountancy network, with more than 1,000 offices in over 100 countries.

Cambridge office senior partner Gary Hanson will talk about “BDO’s investment within the Cambridge area” and “Making the most out of the recovery”, and there will also be an additional item entitled “The low-down on high taxes: problems and opportunities in a 50% tax environment”.

Elite Cambridge Business Circle members, guests, and anyone interested in finding out more about the Circle will be made most welcome.

However, in order to facilitate catering arrangements, please e-mail Murdoch MacDonald at too notify your intention to attend or to find out more.


The Elite Cambridge Business Circle is a recently formed business association based on the successful Elite Ayrshire Business Circle in Scotland.

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.

Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the rich diversity of industry, commerce and business services available within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.

Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel and South Ayrshire Council. and member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.

For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail



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