Friday, 13 November 2009
CKD Galbraith offer superior Ayrshire country house for sale
THE Ayr office of independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale a well appointed country house in Ayrshire with attractive gardens and a large enclosed paddock.
[CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]
Carston House (pictured above) is a superb refurbished and extended country house with grazing land in a secluded and attractive location lying close to the village of Drongan, approximately 8 miles from Ayr.
The property benefits from excellent views over the surrounding countryside and is in a convenient location for easy access to Ayr, Glasgow and beyond via the newly improved A77 and M77.
From Carston House, Glasgow city centre can be reached in approximately 50 minutes. In addition, there is a regular train service from Ayr to Glasgow, and Glasgow Prestwick Airport is only about a 20 minute drive away, offering regular domestic and international flights.
Carston House, which is believed to have originally been constructed around 1850, offers substantial family accommodation over two storeys comprising a large well-appointed kitchen/dining room, lounge, utility room, shower room, office/bedroom 5, bedroom 4 and impressive hall on the ground floor, and a spacious upper hall, 3 bedrooms and family bathroom on the first floor.
The property is in excellent order throughout and has been finished to an exceptionally high standard. A new kitchen (pictured above) has been installed in the last year. The property benefits from oil fired central heating and double glazing.
Adjacent to the house is a large garage, a small outhouse with fenced storage area, and a substantial glasshouse which extends to approximately 100’ x 40’. The grazing land extends to approximately 1.5 acres and sits adjacent to the house.
The garden is an excellent feature of the property with a fully enclosed and secluded landscaped sun trap garden to the rear of the property with a lawn, gravelled area, hedges and shrubs, gate with access to the paddock, and an extensive lawn to the front of the house which has been planted with a range of young trees, shrubs and hedges.
There is also a tarred drive and extensive gravelled sweep with spacious parking area for several cars. In addition, and adjacent to the house, there is a large glasshouse (approximately 100’ x 40’) with power, light and water and an uncovered gravelled working area. The glasshouse is of galvanised aluminium construction with dwarf block walls and hardcore floor.
There is also a detached garage (19’5” x 18’7”) and a useful small brick outhouse with slate roof (12’7” x 9’7”).
There is a paddock adjacent to the property of approximately 1.5 acres.
Carston House is a charming country house offering substantial family accommodation in a secluded yet highly accessible location.
R A Cherry BSc MRICS
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300
[Pictured: Bob Cherry, Director of independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith. Contact details above.]
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Scottish housing market is on the rise
THE worst of the housing market downturn is now past, with some areas of Scotland showing price increases, according to the latest Scottish House Price Monitor from Lloyds TSB Scotland.
[Pictured: Lloyds Banking Group Scotland chief economist Professor Donald MacRae.]
In the three months to 31 October 2009, the quarterly price index for the average domestic property in Scotland rose 0.7 per cent on the previous quarter. Following seasonal and mix adjusting, the average Scottish house price rose slightly from £152,561 to £153,605.
On an annual basis, Scottish house prices have fallen by 7.5 per cent. However, prices are now beginning to increase once more.
The volume of house purchase transactions is down 32 per cent on the levels recorded for the same period last year. The number of transactions reached its lowest point in May 2009 but has since been on an increasing trend with the number of transactions in October 33 per cent more than in May. Similarly, average house prices reached their lowest point in March, but have increased in four of the last seven months, providing further signs of a slight recovery in the Scottish housing market.
All areas continue to report an annual fall in prices ranging from -0.7 per cent in the South East (excluding Edinburgh) to -9.8 per cent in Dundee. Price movements in the latest quarter are particularly volatile with larger swings than normally experienced over the last ten years.
Lloyds Banking Group Scotland chief economist Professor Donald MacRae said: “Consumer confidence has recovered from the lows of one year ago, and is now back in positive territory, but is still below the levels of pre-credit crunch. The cost of borrowing has reduced for many mortgage holders while there is now a perceptible increase in the level of mortgage availability including first time buyers. The Scottish housing market is beginning to recover.”
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Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Philip Mancini is new UK ice cream champion
WHEN it comes to making ice cream, Philip Mancini takes some licking - and to prove it he has been officially crowned the ice cream king of Great Britain.
Philip swept the board at the national ice cream competition run by the Ice Cream Alliance, collecting five trophies including two champion of champions trophies.
[Pictured: Philip Mancini receives his awards from Zelica Carr, chief executive officer of the Ice Cream Alliance.]
The Mancini family has been making ice creams for 96 years, and Philip used the skills handed down through three generations to melt the judge’s hearts.
“To make great ice cream you need passion and dedication to ensure your product is so much better than anyone else’s,” said Philip, whose family business has been based at the Royal Café, New Road , Ayr since 1925.
“To me, ice cream should have a silky soft feel that melts in the mouth with flavours that light up your taste buds.
“We are always looking to try different ingredients and ideas to excite our customers. For example, we have just launched a new flavour called Blushing Bride which is made from smooth white chocolate ice cream and raspberry ripple puree.”
The Mancini ice cream business was started by Philip’s grandfather Antonio in 1913 and Philip is the third generation to run the business, and he is hoping his son Mark, who helped make the award winning chocolate ice cream, will become the fourth generation in the business.
Philip has worked in the business since he was a boy and when his father, Michael, retired in 1991 he took over the business with his sister Anna.
“We are very lucky to work in such a wonderful business. People love ice cream and no matter what the Scottish weather is doing people still want ice creams,” said Philip.
“We have customers who come from far and wide to sample our ice creams and why not - ice cream is the food of the gods!”
Philip’s haul included trophies for best artisan ice cream, best chocolate ice cream, best mango sorbet and a double champion of champions win.
He said: “We worked hard to get our entries perfect and I thought we may win one trophy but to get five is just incredible – I can’t believe it!”
Zelica Carr, chief executive officer of the Ice Cream Alliance, which runs the competition, said: “To win five trophies is a truly outstanding achievement by Philip and his family. They were up against extremely strong competition but their ice creams were exceptional.
“The ice cream industry continues to flourish and the quality and flavour is increasing every year. The industry is now worth more than £4 billion in the UK.”
The Ice Cream Alliance represents more than 750 businesses in Great Britain and Ireland involved in the manufacturing, retail and catering of ice cream and related products
The ICA has long established links with all Government bodies, particularly DEFRA and the Department of Health (DoH) and is continually involved in putting forward and supporting the views of its members.
Incorporated in 1944, and formerly known as The Ice Cream Association of Great Britain and Ireland, the ICA provides an ever-developing forum for suppliers, retailers, caterers and manufacturers of ice cream products.
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Double celebration as Julie wins ‘Best Travel Agent’ title
AYRSHIRE based travel agent Julie Muldoon is celebrating after Travel Counsellors was named the UK’s Best Travel Agent at the 23rd annual Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited travel awards, as voted by its readers, regaining the title after winning the award for two consecutive years in 2006 and 2007.
This a double celebration for Julie, as this month she celebrates her 30 year career in travel, having worked in a number of high street travel agencies before joining Travel Counsellors four years ago.
“I love working in travel and can’t believe it has been 30 years since I started my career – the time has just flown by,” says Julie. “I joined Travel Counsellors because I wanted to provide my customers with a unique travel service, being available to them around the clock. This has obviously paid off as we have been given such a prestigious award as the UK’s Best Travel Agent. I am proud to work within an industry I love and within such an innovative, customer-focused company.”
Readers of the Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited were asked to rate the quality of service they received on their holidays with Travel Counsellors scoring a highly impressive 99.7% overall in the category.
The awards took place in Bangkok, Thailand last month and were attended by over 100 travel industry professionals. Based on the longest running survey of its kind the questionnaires were completed by 19,248 Guardian, Observer and Guardian Unlimited readers, rating their experiences as excellent, good, fair or poor.
Travel Counsellors is one of the UK’s largest independent travel companies, with over 1,100 professional Travel Counsellors, working from home throughout the UK and overseas. Julie adds; “I would like to thank my customers who may have voted and helped us win this fantastic accolade. It is a public acknowledgement from my customers that the level of service I provide to them is a cut above the competition.”
The company, which now operates across seven countries and is the largest home-based travel company in the world, provides Julie with unrivalled support and award winning technology, enabling her to tailor-make travel arrangements for her customers at competitive prices. Plus because Julie works from home she is available to her customers at a time convenient to them, including evening and weekends. This unique level of personal service has also resulted in Travel Counsellors being one of the top scoring companies in the world when it comes to customer loyalty, with a world beating score of over 90% in its customer satisfaction survey.
David Speakman, Chairman and Founder of Travel Counsellors commented “Travel Counsellors attracts the cream of the industry, and this award reflects the unique level of personal service and exceptional travel advice that each and every one of our agents provides to their customers, and I would like to thank Julie, who has contributed to this success and our accolade as the UK’s Best Travel Agent.”
To speak to Julie about your travel requirements call 0845 058 7221, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/julie.muldoon
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Monday, 9 November 2009
South Ayrshire Council launches affordable housing project
COUNCIL tenants, elderly and vulnerable residents in South Ayrshire may soon benefit from the first Council house building programme for more than 30 years.
[Pictured: Councillor Douglas Campbell, Portfolio Holder for Housing, with the newly agreed SHIP document.]
Agreed at a special meeting of South Ayrshire Council today, the proposed new Council houses form part of the Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan (SHIP) which aims to provide almost 500 additional houses for rent between 2010 and 2015, to be undertaken by the Council and local Housing Associations.
The plan will now be submitted to the Scottish Government, who provide the funding for social housing via the Affordable Housing Investment Programme.
If the Council’s full bid for funding is successful, a total of 68 new Council houses would be built in the North Ayr area.
In addition, building work is already scheduled for 61 new houses in South Ayrshire, in 2010/11 in conjunction with local housing associations, with a further 90 the following year.
Additional developments are also planned for Fisherton, Girvan, Ayr and Prestwick as part of the five year plan.
Commenting on the SHIP and the bid for additional money, Councillor Douglas Campbell, Portfolio Holder for Housing said: “The SHIP sets out how we intend to start increasing the availability of houses to rent across South Ayrshire.
“We know there is more be done to deliver the number of houses we need across the area. This needs to be balanced against the reality of what we can achieve in the present economic climate, given some of the financial constraints and pressures we face.
“In the course of the coming five years, we will continue to explore every opportunity to develop and build houses to rent for those most in need, but SHIP marks the first very positive step towards that goal.
“Moving on, I am particularly pleased that tenants, residents and landlords have all been involved and a South Ayrshire Registered Social Landlords’ Forum has been set up in order that we can further consult with members, listen to what they say and include this in the SHIP.
“We’re likely to know in December if our proposals to build the first new Council houses in this area for three decades will be successful, but the Council is already committed to improving and building on our existing stock of housing in order to meet increasing demand for houses to rent.
“Our strategy has taken into account the changing nature of this area and is forward looking in terms of how we can accommodate the needs of elderly, homeless and vulnerable people in this community and we will continue to do all we can to deliver on this.
“The SHIP is an important element in delivering the Council’s vision of making South Ayrshire the most dynamic, inclusive and sustainable community in Scotland”.
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Sunday, 8 November 2009
Former nightclub with development potential in Ayr for sale
A former nightclub with development potential in Ayr is being offered for sale.
Located on Nile Court, a prominent town centre location adjacent to High Street, the property offers an attractive development opportunity. Formed over three levels within a sandstone property, the 4,600 sq ft former nightclub has been finished to a shell standard throughout with full fit out required. The building would lend itself to retail or office use subject to local authority consent.
A spokesperson for the selling agents commented: “Nile Court lies around 50 yards from High Street, Ayr’s prime retailing location. As such, the premises offer a rare opportunity to acquire substantial freehold premises in a busy town centre location.”
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