Saturday, 19 September 2009
Tory Shadow Ministers consult with Scottish business leaders
Willie Mackie, managing partner of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr, and Norman Geddes, executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, will be attending a lunch next Wednesday 23 September hosted by the Clydesdale Bank in Glasgow for two members of David Cameron’s Shadow Cabinet - Mark Hoban MP (Shadow Minister for the Treasury) and Mark Prisk MP (Shadow Minister for Business and Enterprise).
[Pictured: Willie Mackie, managing partner of the Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre in Ayr, and Norman Geddes, executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and senior partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors.]
The purpose of the lunch will be to allow the Shadow Ministers to learn more about the current economic environment, and how it is affecting businesses (SMEs).
In particular, they are interested to hear from businesses on what they are experiencing (the challenges, the opportunities, etc.) in the current recession.
Please advise Willie and/or Norman before Wednesday of any issues which you think might be relevant, and which they could mention to the Shadow Ministers.
Clydesdale Bank Financial Solutions Centre
Telephone: 01292 272072
Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Telephone: 01292 280499
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Friday, 18 September 2009
John Cairney brings Burns experience to Maybole
By: David Kiltie
MAYBOLE is in for a unique weekend at the end of October when world famous actor, author and director John Cairney (pictured below) brings all of his experience to the town.
On Friday 30 October at 7.30pm he will be presenting “A Burns Experience” in Maybole Town Hall, and the following day at 2pm he will be appearing in a brand new show with pupils from all Maybole schools.
This show is entitled “The Boyhood of Burns”. John has written nine playlets tracing the young life of Burns, and the young pupils will be rehearsing between now and then. He will also be the production consultant and narrator and this show will also be in the Town Hall.
Tickets will be £5 for the Friday evening and £3 for the Saturday afternoon and are available from June Dunlop 37 High Street Maybole, telephone 01655 882210.
Thanks to funding from EventScotland and South Ayrshire Council this will be a truly unique event. Locally, members of Maybole Community Council, Maybole Community Association, Maybole Historical Society and Maybole St Crispin Burns Club as well as staff at the four Maybole schools are working together to put on the events. In addition, a bust of Robert Burns has been commissioned and will be unveiled that weekend.
John Cairney is well known to audiences in Scotland and internationally through his one-man shows about Burns. To many people, he is synonymous with the Bard and is considered as one of the leading interpreters of the works of Robert Burns. In more than fifty years as an artist, he has worked as an actor, recitalist, lecturer, director and theatre consultant. He is also a published author and an exhibited painter. Trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, he was a notable Hamlet at the Citizens’ Theatre and a successful Macbeth at the Edinburgh Festival. He was also ‘This Man Craig’ on television and has appeared in many films like ‘Jason and the Argonauts’ and ‘Cleopatra’.
For seventeen years John Cairney was based in Auckland, New Zealand, where he gained his PhD. He is much in demand as a lecturer, writer and consultant on Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Robert Burns. Dr Cairney has written books on each of these famous Scots, as well as other books on football, theatre and his native Glasgow, where he now lives permanently with his New Zealand wife, actress and scriptwriter, Alannah O’Sullivan.
John Cairney website
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Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Scottish economy on track to exit recession
SCOTLAND’S economy is on track to exit recession later this year, according to the latest Lloyds TSB Scotland Business Monitor.
This latest edition for the three months ending 31 August 2009 shows 40 per cent of firms surveyed reporting a decrease in turnover, 33 per cent reporting static turnover and 27 per cent reporting an increase, giving a net balance of -13 per cent, a marked improvement on the previous quarter’s figure of -21 per cent.
[Pictured: Professor Donald MacRae.]
Service businesses show the most obvious signs of improvement, with businesses reporting a net balance on turnover of -7 per cent, compared with a figure of -19 per cent in the last quarter. Volumes of both new and repeat business have improved in the last three months.
Production businesses showed a slight improvement in turnover with a net balance of -24 per cent, compared with -26 per cent in the previous quarter. Output in the production sector is still in decline but the rate of decline is lessening.
Expectations of increasing turnover in the next six months remain negative for the fifth consecutive quarter, but at -1 per cent and only just negative, they have improved markedly. Three months ago, this figure stood at -10 per cent, six months ago at -28 per cent and nine months ago at -44 per cent.
In the service sector, for the first time in 15 months, more firms expect turnover to increase in the next six months than decrease. If these expectations are realised, the Scottish economy should exit recession and return to growth by the year end. Expectations of production businesses have improved but remain negative and significantly worse than for service businesses with the net balance standing at -10 per cent, up from -15 per cent in the previous quarter.
For the whole of 2008, businesses were increasingly pessimistic about the level of demand for their products and services. This has reversed for three consecutive quarters with firms indicating a further fall in the importance of weakening demand in the latest quarter. This coincides with the improvement in forward looking indicators in the Business Monitor and is consistent with a return to economic growth by the end of this year.
Lloyds TSB Scotland chief economist Professor Donald MacRae said: “The Scottish economy last year entered the worst recession for decades. Output decline has been sharp and large. However, this latest Business Monitor shows the service sector about to emerge from recession with production businesses some way behind. Most forward looking indicators are showing an increase in expectations for the remainder of the year, suggesting a return to economic growth for the Scottish economy by the end of 2009.
“The effects of the recession are fading, but the Scottish economy has yet to fully emerge from decline into growth.”
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Ayr Racecourse Gold Cup Festival set to be a winner
SCOTLAND’S richest racing extravaganza the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 17, 18 and 19 September 2009.
This year’s meeting boasts more than £600,000 in prize money, features 22 races including the first ever running of the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup on Friday, and on Saturday has the mouth watering double header of the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup and Silver Cup being staged on the same day for the first time.
Apart from the great racing on offer over the three days there’s some fabulous off-course entertainment.
All eyes will be on Ladies Day Final when up to 27 glamorous girls will draw a horse running in the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup.
The lucky lady who picks out the winning horse will drive away in a fabulous Vauxhall Tigra Convertible courtesy of Kerr & Smith and Iveco Trucks with the runner-up winning a seven night Fred Olsen cruise from Stewart Travel. Third prize is a piece of stunning jewellery from Alex Cairncross along with a spa package for two courtesy of Purity Spa.
The great news is there’s still time for ladies to win a bronze coin and secure a place in the final. Ladies attending racing on Thursday and Friday will have a chance of winning one of several coins being given away on both days.
[Pictured: Regal Parade winning the 2008 Ayr Gold Cup.]
Entertainment goes on for three hours each day after racing with Sistrum playing in the Horseshoe Bar on Thursday. Friday sees an Abba tribute act playing in the Horseshoe and Waterfront in the Ayrshire Suite, and on Saturday Frankie’s Monster Mash will wow the crowds in the Horseshoe and Jim Prime’s Floorstompers will pack them into the Ayrshire Suite.
For more information and to book advanced tickets call 0870-8505666 or go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk
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