Friday, 24 July 2009
From Ayr Australia to Ayr Scotland for Year of Homecoming
A GROUP of eleven golf mad Australians recently ventured on a trip of a lifetime to come back to Ayrshire for Scotland’s Year of Homecoming 2009.
[Pictured: Scotland’s First Minister, Alex Salmond and Provost Winifred Sloan welcome eleven golfers from Ayr, Australia to South Ayrshire during the Open Championship 2009. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
The golfers from Ayr Golf Club in North Queensland, Australia decided to venture back to their namesake town in Scotland to play some golf, visit The Open at Turnberry and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.
The golfers planning began after reading an article in their local newspaper about the Homecoming year and how the Mayor of Burdekin Shire had been contacted by a Scottish Parliamentarian inviting Scottish ex-patriots or descendants from Ayr, Australia to come back to Ayrshire.
With one of their group, Jack Bloice, a Scot, able to point out the proximity of The Open at Turnberry to Ayr, plans soon came together and the trip was arranged. Hearing about their, trip the Mayor of Burdekin Shire asked the group to present a plaque to Provost Winifred Sloan of South Ayrshire Council to mark the historic link between the two towns of Ayr, and it was agreed that it would be fitting for this ceremony to take place at the Open on Homecoming day.
The eleven golfers received an official welcome on the ‘Come Back to Ayrshire’ stand from First Minister Alex Salmond who greeted each member individually. Following which, David Reguson presented the Burdekin Shire plaque to Provost Winifred Sloan, who in turn presented an Ayr plaque for the group to take back to The Mayor of Burdekin Shire, Councillor Lyn McLaughlin, along with some commemorative Ayrshire mementos.
The group also enjoyed the added bonuses of having their photographs taken with the famous Claret Jug, caps signed by Sam Torrance and Bernard Langer, a tour round the newly refurbished Turnberry Hotel and complimentary tickets to the Highland Gathering.
Provost Winifred Sloan said: “We are especially proud to meet the people of Ayr, Australia and welcome them to Ayrshire as part of Scotland’s Year of Homecoming. We are also delighted to showcase Turnberry, one of our finest golf courses as the venue for The Open this year to a group of dedicated and inspirational golfers.”
David Reguson of Ayr, Australia said: “We are extremely pleased to be here in Ayrshire, Scotland to be part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations and honoured to be making this presentation to our sister town of Ayr, Scotland on behalf of our town of Ayr in Australia.
"We have been overwhelmed by the welcome and hospitality we have received in Ayrshire and meeting Scotland’s First Minister was a true honour, making this a once in a lifetime trip.”
Burdekin Shire Council
Ayr Golf Club, Queensland, Australia
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Education Secretary Fiona Hyslop
checks progress at new Ayr Campus
Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop this week saw first-hand how the University of the West of Scotland’s (UWS) new state-of-the-art Ayr Campus is taking shape.
[Pictured: Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning Fiona Hyslop and Depute Principal of the University of the West of Scotland Gill Troup.]
Ms Hyslop examined blueprints and visited the site for the new 18,000 square metre campus as the UWS - which is benefiting from the accelerated capital spend announced by the Scottish Government earlier this year - gears up to get building work off the ground.
More than £20 million has been brought forward from future further and higher education capital budgets in Scotland to help secure construction and engineering jobs in the local and national economy. Following the acceleration, the UWS will now receive almost £11 million in capital funding for the two year period running to 2010. It will also receive a further £27.8 million in capital funding from the Scottish Funding Council specifically for this project.
Ms Hyslop said: “Creating better college and university campuses across Scotland where people can gain the skills and qualifications they need to gain employment, stay in work and play their part in Scotland's economic recovery and future is a top priority for this Government.
“In difficult times people will look to get involved in learning as an alternative to employment, and I’m delighted that the UWS has been able to benefit from the Scottish Government’s decision to accelerate our capital spending in the public sector - a move which means that projects like this can begin sooner, that jobs in construction are created or safeguarded at this difficult time, and that local communities can benefit more quickly from new facilities.
“The Ayr Campus is a truly innovative and exciting development, and I’m sure this impressive facility will inspire countless students to further themselves and contribute to a more successful Scotland.”
[Artist's impression of the new Ayr Campus. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Depute Principal of the University of the West of Scotland Gill Troup said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our new £70 million Ayr Campus development with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning.
“The creation of the shared campus facility, between UWS and the Scottish Agricultural College, will be an exciting and beneficial development for the Ayrshire economy and for the West of Scotland. The campus, with support from the Scottish Funding Council, has been designed to be one of the UK’s most environmentally sustainable higher education environments. Its creation will enable us to expand our course provision for people in Ayrshire and beyond, providing an innovative learning space for over 4000 students.”
The new £70 million campus beside the River Ayr - which is part of the UWS’s £250 million development programme - will be shared with the Scottish Agricultural College and includes teaching space, gym, refectory, library, lecture theatre, drama studio and computing labs. Construction work is due to start in September.
It has been developed in consultation with the Natural Garden Society, Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust and will be one of the UK’s most modern, environmentally friendly and sustainable Higher Education learning environments.
The acceleration of capital spend is part of the Scottish Government’s economic recovery programme to safeguard jobs and assist Scotland’s local and national economies during the current economic downturn.
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