The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Ayrshire companies missing out on
extra publicity for their businesses

AYRSHIRE companies that issue regular press releases to newspapers, radio and TV about their successes and achievements are doing a sterling job in not only promoting their own businesses, but also in raising the profile of the Ayrshire economy as a whole.

But if these companies are only issuing their press releases to the traditional media, they are missing the best trick in the book, and losing out on a valuable opportunity to gain additional national and international publicity for their company’s products or services.

So says Murdoch MacDonald, proprietor of leading Ayrshire public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services and managing director of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Murdoch argues that once press releases have been circulated to the traditional media like newspapers, radio and TV, they should then be given a second lease of life and published as widely as possible across the Internet.

Fame Publicity Services and the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle have identified a dozen Internet newswire sites on which press releases can be published free of charge, plus another dozen or so bookmarking, business networking and social networking sites, sites to publish high resolution photographs accompanying press releases, and, of course Twitter.

Twitter’s maximum of 140 characters per tweet might seem a limiting factor, but it is the ideal length in which to accommodate a news headline plus a hyperlink back to the press release in full on a company’s website.

Murdoch comments: “The traditional media have always played a vital part in any PR and publicity campaign, and as far as I can see will always continue to do so.

“But in addition, Ayrshire companies should enthusiastically embrace the use of the Internet for their press releases in order to gain maximum publicity for their news stories.

“There are three main reasons why.

“Firstly immediacy. Putting a press release on the right sites can get it published in Google News within 20 minutes of it being written.

“Secondly, on the Internet there is no editor. Press releases can be published in full and unabbreviated.

“And thirdly, everywhere it is published on the Internet it will contain a hyperlink to the company’s website, thus increasing visitor numbers and boosting its ranking on Google and other search engines.”

Murdoch concludes: “Many Ayrshire companies have started to use the Internet as part of their PR strategy, but it tends to be rather piecemeal.

“To gain maximum advantage, it should be done in a planned, structured and comprehensive way.”

[Pictured: Norman Geddes, senior partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors and executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle (left) and Murdoch MacDonald, proprietor of leading Ayrshire public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services and managing director of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.]

Norman Geddes is senior partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors and executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle. He says: “The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle carries out this Internet PR function on behalf of its members as part of their membership subscription package, and many already appreciate the value of this service that the Circle provides.

“I would encourage Ayrshire companies who do not yet belong to the Circle to consider joining this year in order to benefit from the extra competitive advantage that active membership will bring as the economic upturn gains momentum.”


Norman Geddes, Senior Partner
Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road
Ayr KA7 1UQ
Ayrshire, Scotland

Tel: 01292 280499
Fax: 01292 611645


Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Fame Publicity Services

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Transformation of Irvine Harbour gets planning approval

A £60 MILLION plan to create a stunning waterfront for Irvine has been approved by North Ayrshire Council.

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company and innovative developers Urban Splash have received planning permission for the multi-million pound plans to regenerate the 12 acre site at Irvine Harbour and create a mixed-use scheme.

As the plans are for a site owned by the council they also require the endorsement of the Scottish Government.

The development will see the creation of 360 new homes, 30,000 sq ft of cafes, restaurants, shops and offices and a hotel.

The submission of the planning applications followed an extensive and successful public consultation.

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company commercial director Omar Elmi said: “The transformation of Irvine Harbour and the creation of a vibrant place with stunning views and a wonderful location is a key part of our plans for the area. Our remit is to work with our partners to create successful, sustainable communities and we believe this proposal will go some way to doing that.”

Patrick Sheridan of Urban Splash said: “The development will create a fantastic place for people to live, and also as a place for people to enjoy leisure time, to work, and to visit.

“It is intended that the development will be phased over ten years.”

The scheme is the first Urban Splash project in Scotland and will add to its award winning regeneration efforts in other parts of the UK including the Midland Hotel in Morecambe, Lister Mills in Bradford, the Matchworks in Liverpool, Fort Dunlop and the Rotunda in Birmingham and the Royal William Yard in Plymouth.

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company

Irvine Bay Regeneration Company seeks to develop and revitalise the five towns of Ardrossan, Saltcoats, Stevenston, Kilwinning and Irvine in North Ayrshire through a £100 million, ten year programme to boost the local economy and make the area an attractive and prosperous place to live, work and to visit. The company's partners are North Ayrshire Council, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government.

Urban Splash

Award winning property developer Urban Splash is the country’s leading regeneration company. It delivers true mixed-use schemes including residential property of all tenures, commercial office, retail and a hotel.

Founded in 1993 by Tom Bloxham MBE and Jonathan Falkingham, the company has its head office in Manchester with regional offices in Liverpool, Bradford, Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester.

Urban Splash has delivered challenging and exciting regeneration projects across the country including Fort Dunlop in Birmingham, Chimney Pot Park in Salford, Castlefield and New Islington in Manchester, The Midland Hotel in Morecambe, Royal William Yard in Plymouth, Lister Mills in Bradford, Rotunda in Birmingham, Matchworks in Garston and the Ropewalks in Liverpool.

In total the company has delivered hundreds of millions of pounds worth of new homes and commercial space.

The company has received over 290 awards to date for its commitment to architecture, design, regeneration and business success including 41 RIBA Awards the most won by a property developer.

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Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Vendor activity picks up as Scottish house price growth slows

SURVEYORS recorded the highest reading of vendor activity since May 2007, whilst the rate of house price growth slowed, says RICS UK Housing Market survey published today (13 April 2010).

[Pictured:RICS Scotland deputy director Sarah Speirs.]

85 percent more surveyors in Scotland reported an increase rather than a decrease in new instructions to sell compared to a net balance of 11 percent reporting an increase more than a decrease in February 2010. New buyer enquiries also increased in with 45 percent more surveyors reporting an increase in enquiries from a net balance of 17 percent last month. Surveyors report that political uncertainty may be pushing vendors to market their property before the impending General Election.

Eighteen percent more chartered surveyors reported a rise than a fall in house prices down from 25 percent in February. There was significant variation in regional price trends across the UK, with London, the south east of England and Scotland being the performing markets in the UK.

RICS Scotland deputy director Sarah Speirs said: “With the general election approaching and uncertainty growing over the political direction of the country, many vendors who were previously inclined to sit on the sidelines now appear eager to put their properties on the market. However, with stocks increasing and sales decreasing we may see some modest price falls although at the moment, Scotland is continuing to perform well”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978. The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

About RICS

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (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.


The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

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Sunday, 11 April 2010

New corporate golf experiences at
Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort

Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland, has launched a new range of ‘tailor-made’ golf experiences as an incentive to allow many companies to gradually return to the world of corporate golf.

At £495 per 4-ball team, The Ailsa Open Days offer an accessible corporate golf experience for small groups. The experience includes a round of golf on the UK’s number one course, the Championship Ailsa Course with Turnberry’s famed bacon rolls on arrival followed by a prize-giving dinner after golf. The Ailsa Open Days are scheduled for 22 April, 27 May, 29 July, 26 August and 7 October.

The Ailsa Corporate Challenges offer an upgraded experience which includes a gala prize giving dinner with celebrity speaker and overnight accommodation in the Turnberry Golf Lodges with breakfast in 1906 the Resort’s signature restaurant. The Ailsa Corporate Challenge, at £1,160 per 4-ball team, is available on 16 June and 8 September.

“As a corporate entertainment platform golf is unique as it allows over four hours in the uninterrupted company of clients in a friendly and competitive environment,” said Stewart Selbie, General Manager at Turnberry.

“Our new corporate golf experiences have been designed to enable companies to capture the upswing in the economy, offering them an affordable solution to get them to get back on the golf course. Where better than the iconic Alisa course at Turnberry!”

Also new for summer 2010 Turnberry has introduced The Links Unlimited package for companies wishing to create their own corporate golf events. For groups of 12 or more, the package includes a round of golf on the Ailsa Course, unlimited play on the Kintyre Course, accommodation in the Lodges and breakfast in the golf club. A complimentary meeting or private dining room is also included. Prices start from £175 per person based on twin occupancy. This package is available from 1 April to 30 September 2010.

The legendary Ailsa Course was host to last year’s prestigious Open Championship which saw Tom Watson almost re-live Turnberry’s finest Open moment, the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’. The Ailsa course, consistently ranked as the UK & Ireland’s number one course by leading golf publications, Golf World and Golf Monthly, underwent a number of enhancements in advance of hosting The Open. The course has increased in length to 7,211 yards and the new layout features six new championship tees and 21 new bunkers.

For those wishing to enjoy year-round privileges at Turnberry and its iconic courses, there are a limited number of Ailsa Partnerships still available. Partners receive – for themselves, their colleagues and clients – 120 rounds on the Ailsa course and flexibility to use rounds on the Kintyre Course at weekends. Also included is complimentary room hire in the Clubhouse, tournament administration for residential golf events for 16 golfers, preferential accommodation rates and preferential access to the Ailsa Corporate Challenges. The Ailsa Partnerships are priced at £13,200 including VAT.

To book, please telephone 01655 333 000 or visit

For more information on Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort Scotland, please visit

Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland

Located in Ayrshire, Scotland Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort first opened in 1906 and quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events. Converted into an airfield during both world wars, the Ailsa course, designed by Mackenzie Ross, reopened to the public in 1951. The course emerged from acres of runway, foundations of brick huts; hangars and transformer houses left over from the Second World War and has been established as one of the world’s most renowned golf courses. The Spa at Turnberry was added in 1991 and the new Golf Clubhouse June 1993.

The Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy, the first of its kind in the world, opened in 2000, offering a unique teaching environment with state-of-the art facilities. This was followed with the opening of the Kintyre course in 2001. With its spectacular setting, challenging golf holes and awe-inspiring views, each course is world renowned. The Onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including, quad biking, horse-riding, fishing, off-road driving and more. The Arran course, a par 3 and 4 course, opened in 2002 as the ideal venue for on-course lessons for novices and offer expert players a warm up round prior to their game on the Ailsa or Kintyre. In 2001 Turnberry greatly expanded its accommodation options by building nine two-bedroom luxury cottages, ideal for couples and families, as well as twelve luxury lodges with either six or eight ensuite bedrooms, adjacent to the hotel with breathtaking views across the golf courses and sea. For more information, please visit

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts

The Luxury Collection® is a selection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent décor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Today, The Luxury Collection is a glittering ensemble of more than 70 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning hotels that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class in some of the most desired destinations in the world. Most recently, Mystique, a Luxury Collection Resort, was honoured with the 2008 Travel + Leisure Design Award for Best Small Resort in the world. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 992 properties in more than 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit

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South Ayrshire Council website wins top award

IT’S official – South Ayrshire Council’s website is the top council site in Scotland!

This announcement was made in the Society of Information Technology Management (SOCITM) Insight Better Connected website report on all council websites in the United Kingdom.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Council’s award winning web team - Stuart McCall, Michael Byers and Kirsty McIntyre. (Not in the picture: Alison Glynn).]

Councillor Robin Reid, Resource and Performance Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “For the first time ever our website has been rated in the top 20 out of all the United Kingdom websites, the only Scottish local authority listed. This is a phenomenal achievement.

“We are striving to be the most improved council in Scotland, so we will not rest on our laurels. We will take on board the findings of the report and they will form a key part of the continuing development of our website.

“This outstanding achievement reflects on the creative and innovative thinking of our website team and the dedicating way in which they carry out their duties. The help and co-operation they receive from services across the Council is helping them drive forward the development of the site and provide more information and services online.”

The Council has been working hard to improve the way in which it delivers services and making it easier for customers to access information and pay for Council services.

A number of things were examined about each website including:

Do people find answers quickly?
Can people do business with the council by e-mail?
Does a specific word or phrase generally point people to the information they want?
Can people understand what the site says?
Can people rely on the site to be available and working properly?

Most of the SOCITM members, from more than 500 organisations are from the public sector, including 98% of all UK local authorities. SOCITM is helping to drive forward the way in which ICT is being used to transform the way local authorities operate.


South Ayrshire Council

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