The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 31 July 2009

Ayrshire pupils go ocean yacht sailing for Duke of Edinburgh Award

South Ayrshire Council is making positive waves within the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, by running a national pilot programme to trial ocean going yacht sailing as a Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold expedition activity.

[Pictured: Mainholm and Marr College students at sea during the pilot programme.]

Expeditions for the Gold Award are traditionally done on land by walking or on bicycle. The Council gained permission from the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award national headquarters in Windsor, England to carry out a pilot programme.

Councillor Hywel Davies, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “Sailing is a great way for young people to learn how to operate as part of team, to boost their confidence, learn to be resourceful and responsible for their actions.

“If this pilot programme is successful then sailing will become an option for participants in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award scheme across the United Kingdom as an alternative to walking or cycling, giving young people an alternative way to complete their Gold Award.

“This activity will also fit very neatly with the aims of the Curriculum for Excellence which encourages young people to become successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to the community and society.”

Senior students from four South Ayrshire secondary schools, Queen Margaret Academy, Belmont Academy, Prestwick Academy and Marr College are participating in the pilot sailing expedition initiative. For the past two months the students have been undertaking theory training in navigation, boat handling, weather and Royal Yachting Association (RYA) competent crew training.

This training was in preparation for a sailing expedition around the Firth of Clyde for their practice expedition at the end of June. During the practice expedition they learned to sail a 42 foot Gibsea yacht with yacht master instructor Jim Smith of the Central Scotland Sea School and South Ayrshire Council Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Development Worker Vincent McWhirter. Pupils learned to hoist sails, tack the yacht, navigate and every pupil took a turn at being the Skipper of the yacht for the day.

The qualifying expedition will start on 8 August 2009, students will take command of the yacht and sail it under supervision up the west of Scotland over four days and nights. The students, as well as completing their Gold Expedition Award, are also undertaking their Royal Yachting Association Competent Crew qualification, which enables them to help crew on other sailing boats.

The purpose of the Expedition is to investigate and help preserve the marine habitat of the west of Scotland and to do this the students will be completing their John Muir Award as the expedition theme. They will be learning about John Muir the Scottish environmentalist and creator of the National Park system in America. During their voyage they will participate in the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust (HWDT) Community Sighting Programme, photographing, recording and collating the different species and numbers of marine life and cetaceans that they see and reporting it back to the HWDT office on Mull.

The photographs, videos and stories that the students gather on their voyage will be exhibited in the Rozelle House Galleries in October 2009 as a way of sharing their experience with others and raising the profile of marine conservation and the John Muir Trust.

To view a video diary about the pilot programme please log on to

Additional downloadable images on Flickr: CLICK HERE



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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

John Scott regrets Ryanair cuts at Prestwick Airport
but welcomes new routes

John Scott, MSP for Ayr (pictured below) has reacted to the news that Ryanair’s winter timetable will cancel or reduce a number of existing routes to and from Glasgow Prestwick Airport, including services to Frankfurt Hans, Kracow and Stockholm, while adding five new winter sun destinations.

Budget airline Ryanair has announced five new routes from Prestwick airport but it will cancel or reduce frequency on six of its existing routes.

As it unveiled its winter timetable, the firm said it would provide new services to Alicante, Arrecife in Lanzarote, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, and Palma.

A fifth new route to Ibiza will begin in March.

The changes will increase the number of people using the airport but reduce the number of inbound visitors to Scotland.

An extra 100,000 passengers are expected to use Prestwick, but inbound visitors numbers will fall by 100,000 every year.

However, the airline also plans to increase the frequency on flights to Faro, Malaga and Tenerife South.

John Scott said: “While the cancellation or reductions announced on some routes over the winter period is regrettable, that is balanced by the news that five new routes are to be added by Ryanair to the range of destinations already accessible from Prestwick Airport.

“Clearly this is better news than had been predicted but my concern is that, while it is forecast that the total number of people using the airport will rise, the actual number of inbound passengers may fall by around 100,000 over the next year.

“Hopefully it will prove possible to reinstate some of the services that support inbound passengers, and I remain confident that in the long term Prestwick Airport will strengthen its position and continue to be a major and highly valued economic and social asset for our area.”



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Major expansion for property specialists CKD Galbraith

Firm to acquire Buccleuch John Sale

LEADING Scottish property consultants CKD Galbraith today announced plans to acquire the Buccleuch John Sale estate agency and chartered surveying business.

The acquisition will result in a major expansion of the CKD Galbraith office network in Scotland and the range of property services provided by the firm.

[Pictured left to right: Harry Lukas, director of Buccleuch John Sale, James Galbraith, chairman of CKD Galbraith and James Carnegy-Arbuthnott, Director of Buccleuch John Sale.]

Buccleuch John Sale’s three offices and 30 staff in Kelso, Galashiels and Peebles will continue to serve the needs of their clients as a fully integrated part of CKD Galbraith.

The prospective deal will take the number of CKD Galbraith offices in Scotland to 12, employing 160 people from Inverness to the Borders.

Heads of terms have been agreed between CKD Galbraith and The Buccleuch Group. Subject to the due diligence process being completed successfully, the acquisition is expected to be completed within a month.

CKD Galbraith chairman James Galbraith said: “This is a very exciting and significant development for all involved. John Sale is a long-established practice, particularly in the Borders, and is a very highly respected name in property. We will be joining forces with a team that shares many of the same values as CKD Galbraith, and believe our combined resources will offer a depth, breadth and quality of service to clients that is simply not currently available in the Borders.”

Buccleuch John Sale director Harry Lukas added: “We are all very pleased to be joining the progressive CKD Galbraith team. We have a great deal in common, particularly in seeking to offer people in the rural property sector a personal service which has been our approach for many years. We will continue to serve our clients, many of whom we have built up excellent relationships with over a long time.”

The Buccleuch Group chief executive John Glen said: “The Buccleuch Group purchased John Sale Ltd in April 2004 with the aim of growing its existing activities in the Borders and beyond. This was partly achieved by combining some of our in-house activities, but the existing market conditions now require it to extend its commercial reach further. Consequently, it makes for John Sale to join forces with CKD Galbraith for whom this represents a unique opportunity to move into the Borders, enabling both to fulfil their ambitions as the economy improves.

“We should take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the John Sale team for their loyal and professional contribution to The Buccleuch Group and to wish them well.”

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 130 people in offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr and Elgin.

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

The company’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, valuations and building surveying work.


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