The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Prospering in the property market recovery:
CKD Galbraith Ayr seminar

SCOTLAND'S leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith will host a discussion event in Ayr on 2 March on how to prosper during the property market recovery.

[Pictured: Simon Brown, Head of Farm Agency for CKD Galbraith.]

CKD Galbraith is experiencing an improvement in the residential housing market and as the economy recovers from the worst of the recession, there will be opportunities for all.

A panel of experts from the firm will be highlighting some of the prospects which will be of interest to farmers, landowners and rural property owners. There will then be a question and answers session as well as the chance for guests to speak to the panel individually.

The event speakers are as follows:

* Tommy Loudon, CKD Galbraith

From an Ayrshire farming background, Tommy specialises in Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) grant applications. Tommy will provide an overview of the opportunities within the SRDP grant scheme and how to improve your chances of a successful application.

* Simon Brown, CKD Galbraith

Head of Farm Agency for CKD Galbraith, Simon also runs the firm’s Castle Douglas office and farms on his own account near Borgue in Kirkcudbrightshire. Simon will provide an update on the rural property market covering farms and farmland, together with the country residential and development markets.

* Neil Wilson, Clydesdale Bank

Neil is a partner in the Treasury Solutions Department of the Clydesdale Bank in Glasgow and is also a farmer. Neil will be speaking about the fallout from the banking crisis, the reasons for the Banks’ present lending policies and likely future development. The Bank’s research on the prospects for agricultural commodities in the next few years: milk, livestock and cereals will also be presented.

The event will be held at the Savoy Park Hotel, Ayr on 2 March from 7pm onwards with light refreshments and tea/coffee served. The seminar is due to conclude between 9pm – 9.30pm.

For further information, or to book a place at the event, contact Dorothy Dunn at CKD Galbraith on 01292 268 181 or email:

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 160 people across 12 offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Kelso, Galashiels and Peebles.

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.


R A Cherry BSc MRICS
CKD Galbraith
Ayr Office
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA

Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300

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Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Scottish farmland prices rise as pace of demand outstrips supply

FARMLAND prices in Scotland rose in the second half of 2009 as land once again became an attractive investment, and landowners’ reluctance to sell pushed supply to exceptionally low levels, says the latest RICS UK rural market survey published today.

[Pictured: RICS Scotland head of communications Sarah Speirs.]

Residential and non-residential farmland supply went down at the end of 2009 yet demand for both, particularly non-residential was up which demonstrates the growing appeal of land as an asset class.

Demand is coming from investors who view farmland as a stable venture. Established farmers are also looking to capitalise on rising livestock prices and greater optimism surrounding the prospects for agriculture by acquiring land close by so that they can expand their existing operations.

The main purchaser type in Scotland is the industrial farmer at 77% followed by the non-farmer (13%) and agricultural business purchasers account for 8%.

Those with land are keen to hold on to it and as such very little is coming on to the market, which is helping to drive up prices further.

The bare arable land price in Scotland, which is based on the opinions of respondents to the survey, was £11,738 per hectare in the second half of 2009 compared with £9,884 in the first half.

However pasture land prices in Scotland dipped in the second half of the year at £5,560 per hectare down from £6,178 in the first half.

RICS Scotland head of communications Sarah Speirs said: “When prices were rising two years ago it was mainly being fuelled by hobby farmers, buying up rural retreats and inflating the market. However these latest results indicate that it is now farmers looking to expand and investors who see it as a viable business or investment class that are fuelling the rise in demand.

“Those with land are loath to dispose of it, and those without, or with a limited supply, are keen to get into the market and capitalise on its rising value. However, the lack of mortgage availability for residential farmland is still hampering that part of the market in places.”

About RICS

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction. RICS Scotland is a national association of RICS with 10,000 members (chartered surveyors) in Scotland.

RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Ayr Racecourse’s Diamond Derby an odds-on winner at £2000

AN exotic new cocktail is odds on to be a winner at Ayr Racecourse.

The Diamond Derby consists of gin, cointreau, lemon juice and champagne with a very special ingredient thrown in – a half-carat diamond supplied by Ayr jeweller Andrew Strang of Designer Goldsmith.

And the cost of this sparkling cocktail is £2000!

To launch the drink, Girvan model Amy Gould (pictured above) dropped in at Ayr Racecourse and voted the Diamond Derby a huge hit.

The 20 year old said: “What a stunning cocktail! Any girl would be pleased to be bought this drink. The first thing you notice is the diamond set into a strawberry – I’m sure this will be popular with racegoers – particularly those who back a winner or two.”

Ayr Racecourse marketing director Lindsey Smith added: “They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and the magnificent sparkler in this cocktail will have a few hearts fluttering.”

Ayr Racecourse
2 -6 Whitletts Road

Tel: 0870 850 5666
Fax: 0870 850 5667


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Scottish housing market continues to recover

THE Scottish housing market continues to recover, with most areas of Scotland showing price increases, according to the latest Scottish House Price Monitor from Lloyds TSB Scotland.

[Pictured: Lloyds Banking Group Scotland Professor chief economist Donald MacRae.]

In the three months to 31 January 2010, the quarterly price index for the average domestic property in Scotland rose 5.9 per cent on the previous quarter. Following seasonal and mix adjusting, the average Scottish house price rose to £160,074.

Here in the South West of Scotland (excluding Glasgow) the average price of a house is now £153,090, a rise of 11.2% over the previous quarter.

Though house prices are now rising once more on an annual basis, Scottish house prices have fallen by 6.8 per cent. Following four quarterly price falls and now two consecutive quarterly rises, Scottish house prices have regained the level last seen at the end of 2008. However, the number of house purchase transactions is still around half of the levels recorded before the onset of the recession.

All areas continue to report an annual fall in prices ranging from -2.0 per cent in Dundee to -12.1 per cent in Glasgow. Price movements in the latest quarter remain volatile. Detached houses had been showing a trend decline in price every quarter for the last two years. This fall has been reversed with an increase in the latest quarter of 12.6 per cent.This price rise may have been influenced by the ending last year of the temporary lower starting limit for payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax, encouraging purchases before the year end.

Lloyds Banking Group Scotland Professor chief economist Donald MacRae said: “The Scottish economy entered recession in quarter three of 2008 and has since recorded five consecutive quarterly falls in output with possibly a sixth quarterly fall yet to come. However, business surveys point to an exit from recession in early 2010. Consumer confidence has recovered from the low at the end of 2008 but it is still below pre-recession levels. Retail sales are increasing at an annual rate of 4.3 per cent, while the volume of housing sales has recovered from the low point of February 2009.

“The level of mortgage availability including for first-time buyers has increased, while the cost of borrowing remains low for many mortgage holders. Although a house price recovery is evident in Scotland, it is based on much reduced levels of activity.

“Nevertheless, the Scottish housing market is now into recovery.”

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Monday, 15 February 2010

Ayrshire leaders condemn search and rescue transfer plans

LEADING Ayrshire politicians are protesting about the proposed transfer of search and rescue operations from HMS Gannet, the naval base at Prestwick Airport, to Glasgow Airport under a £6 billion private finance deal.

A total of 103 jobs will be lost from the Ayrshire economy if the plan goes ahead.

John Scott MSP for Ayr said: “To move the search and rescue helicopters from HMS Gannet to Glasgow would see up to a hundred high quality jobs lost to the Prestwick area, and I am completely opposed to this.

“I cannot see any reason or rationale for this move, especially when we have a state of the art facility at Prestwick Airport, and since the MoD has a long-term commercial lease with the airport authorities.

“I will be lobbying strenuously to have the decision overturned, and for search and rescue to remain at HMS Gannet.”

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, has also expressed his disappointment at plans by a private bidder – Soteria Consortium – to relocate search and rescue helicopter operations from HMS Gannet at Prestwick to Glasgow Airport.

The Ministry of Defence and the Department of Transport have announced plans to transfer the UK’s Search and Rescue Helicopter operations to a private consortium - Soteria - as part of a £7 billion contract. The contract allows the search and rescue services provided from HMS Gannet to be moved from Prestwick, and it is understood that these are to be relocated to Glasgow.

Cross-party support was secured for a motion to fight to keep HMS Gannet at Prestwick.

Speaking after the Council meeting, Councillor McIntosh said: “This announcement come out of the blue, and we will work closely with local politicians, key interests and our communities to build a strong case for the retention of search and rescue operations at Prestwick.

“We are very proud to have provided a home for HMS Gannet for almost 40 years, and it is disappointing in the extreme that, as the result of the appointment of a private sector bidder, this could be wiped out in one fell swoop and without any consultation.

“The services personnel based at Gannet are not only an important part of our local economy – they are a vibrant part of our local community. We only have to look back to last year when service personnel from HMS Gannet and RAF Prestwick were granted the freedom of South Ayrshire to see how proud this area is of its association with the bases, and also how proud the services are to be based in this part of the world.

“Taking that away would be a travesty, and I will ensure that this Council does what it can to keep search and rescue operations and HMS Gannet in Prestwick.”

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