The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 28 May 2010


South Ayrshire Council marks centenary of Ayr United Football Club

South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan has marked the 100th anniversary of Ayr United Football Club with a Civic Reception at County Hall in Ayr.


[Provost Sloan is pictured with Ayr United Board members at the “Ally MacLeod” top table during the civic reception marking the 100th birthday of the Club. CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO VIEW / DOWNLOAD FULL-SIZE VERSION.]

Board members, officials, players from past and present, staff and distinguished guests gathered to celebrate the club’s illustrious history, reminisce and share stories of games gone by, during the celebration dinner.

During the evening Provost Sloan said: “It’s entirely fitting a club with such a fine historical pedigree should be honoured here tonight.

“Ayr United has gone through various mergers and transformations in its proud history in reaching this milestone birthday and enjoys a history that actually goes back well beyond 100 years to when three teams from Ayr played football.

“The club is still the only side in the Scottish League to be formed from a merger of two former league sides, Ayr Football Club and Ayr Parkhouse and we have all been enthralled by the ups and downs at Somerset Park over the years.”

Provost Sloan marked the occasion by presenting Club Chairman, Lachlan Cameron with an engraved crystal rosebowl saying: “I’d like to congratulate the Ayr United fans, staff, players and all those who work behind the scenes for their dedication, commitment and passion helping Ayr United reach this milestone.

“I’d also like to thank the club for the invaluable work they undertake with young people in the community and for the partnership arrangements they have with the Council to drive youth initiatives forward.”

Working in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, over 213,000 children have taken part in the Ayr United Football Academy Community Programme and the night leagues routinely attract 250 players per session.

Volunteer coaching programmes have seen 42 local people qualify to teach football and 12 new Primary 6 and 7 school teams involving 330 pupils have been formed.

The club also provides ongoing support and training to help dozens of young people develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities, to build skills towards paid employment and foster an attitude and environment which helps them become responsible citizens.

Provost Sloan concluded: “With such a dynamic and inclusive approach to the community at grass roots level, I am absolutely confident Ayr United Football will go from strength to strength.”

LINKS:

www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010


CKD Galbraith market Victorian home
set within mature private grounds


SCOTLAND'S leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is marketing a charming Victorian House with 3.3 acres occupying a peaceful private setting with attractive wooded garden grounds in the popular town of Beith, North Ayrshire.


The Mount was constructed in the late 1800s for a wealthy local family. The property is capable of providing extremely flexible and comfortable family living accommodation with well lit spacious reception rooms including original cornicing and many fine features. On two storeys, the house has 5 reception rooms, kitchen, cloakroom, shower room, utility area and pantry on the ground floor, with 5 bedrooms and a family bathroom on the first floor.


Outside, the charming wooded grounds are most attractive and provide considerable privacy and seclusion. There is an unusual detached stable block with loft which could be used as a workshop and garage with conversion potential. A further acre of land has potential for residential development subject to necessary planning being obtained.


From the mid 1800s until the 1980’s Beith had the honour of being the most important furniture manufacturing town in Scotland with a reputation for high quality furniture making. The town was also once served by two railway stations: Beith North, commonly referred to as the “Low station” and Beith Town.

With it’s close proximity to both Glasgow Airport and the City Centre, The Mount is probably one of the “hidden gems” of Beith, and it is rare for such a property to come on the market.

Pricing is as follows:

Lot 1 House, Stable Block and 2.3 acres: Offers Over £380,000
Lot 2 Development Land (about 1 acre): Offers Over £145,000
As a Whole: Offers Over £525,000

For sale as a Whole or in 2 lots.

For further information: Contact Bob Cherry 01292 268181

PDF available on www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

A COMPLETE SET OF IMAGES OF "THE MOUNT" IS AVAILABLE TO VIEW IN THE ELITE AYRSHIRE BUSINESS CIRCLE COLLECTION ON FLICKR - CLICK HERE

About CKD Galbraith

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

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. 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.

The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson, as well as providing a range of services to the farming community through an association with United Auctions, Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists.

Independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office:

CKD Galbraith
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300
E-mail: bob.cherry@ckdgalbraith.co.uk
Web: www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

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There are currently 711 Ayrshire business stories permanently archived on this site. To locate those of most interest to you, please use the site search facility in the top left hand corner of this page. Type your search term in the white box, then click the magnifying glass symbol.

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Monday, 24 May 2010


Ayrshire chartered accountants Sinclair Scott
invest in new IT technology


LEADING Ayrshire chartered accountants Sinclair Scott have completed the major operation to switch the hosting of the firm’s entire IT infrastructure, including applications and client data, to a specialist hosting provider.

Sinclair Scott was created following the merger of two Ayr-based accountancy practices, Alfred T. Scott and Sinclair Maclean, in early 2007. The new practice, which employs 20 people, provides local businesses with traditional auditing, accounting and tax services as well as advice on how to improve and develop their business.

Prior to their merger, both accountancy practices were already using IRIS accountancy practice software with great success.

IRIS is the UK’s largest private software house supplying business management solutions to over 60,000 customers, from start-ups to large organisations.

Sinclair Scott partner Andrew Sinclair recalls: “We turned to IRIS in 2000, when we realised we needed a solution that would integrate our databases, as well as all the different modules within the practice. IRIS was the only vendor to offer such a solution, and we made such huge productivity efficiencies that we were able to double our turnover in six years without increasing the number of staff. It was one of the best business decisions we made.”


[Pictured: Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants partner Andrew Sinclair and client manager Lindsay Beck.]

When the two firms merged, they turned to IRIS to integrate their respective IRIS databases into a single, shared solution.  At this stage, and in part due to space constraints in the shared office, Sinclair Scott used IRIS to help transition to a paperless office. By digitising all documents and records, they were able to eliminate much of their physical onsite storage and provide sufficient space to accommodate the entire team.

Investing and supporting growing IT needs

Although Sinclair Scott had already achieved a number of efficiencies with IRIS, it was clear that the firm’s ageing IT infrastructure would need to be updated. In particular, a new server would soon be needed to run core business applications, which included IRIS APS, Microsoft Exchange and Office, and file and print services.
  
The firm’s growing IT needs also meant that day-to-day technical support was a concern. Although the firm used a reliable and cost-effective IT contractor for onsite support, fee-earning staff were inevitably impacted when things went wrong.
 
The company’s backup and recovery needs had also grown.  Up to that point, Sinclair Scott relied on employees to manually backup the server to tape, which was itself then taken off-site in the event of a disaster.  If the server did fail, or a file was lost, the tape would be used to recover what was needed – but it was a lengthy process and would cause significant disruption to the team’s working day.

The hosted option

While evaluating options for a replacement server, Andrew Sinclair realised that the practice’s IT needs had reached a tipping point.

While he needed first class infrastructure, service and support he knew this would require a considerable investment if this was to be owned, run and managed in-house.
 
He began looking at the possibility of hosting his entire infrastructure, including applications and client data, with a specialist hosting provider.

Andrew’s research showed that hosting would give the business the quality infrastructure it needed as well as far greater resiliency in the event of any failure.   It would also be managed by professionals with a guaranteed service level agreement that would ensure minimal, in any, disruption to the business.

Additionally, the long-term costs of hosting were calculated to be less than purchasing and running everything in-house, to the tune of several thousand pounds a year.

Finding the right hosting partner

Despite the clear advantages of hosting, Andrew was reluctant to hand his IT to a third-party with no understanding of his specific business needs.

Ideally, knowing first-hand IRIS’s commitment to customer service, he wanted to turn to IRIS as Sinclair Scott’s hosting partner. 

As a result, Sinclair Scott became the first IRIS APS customer to switch to the IRIS Practice Hosting solution that was officially launched in late 2009.

By switching to IRIS Practice Hosting all Sinclair Scott’s IRIS software and other desktop applications, including Microsoft Office and Outlook, are now securely delivered as a service, over the Internet. In addition, IRIS also supports and hosts third party applications used by Sinclair Scott, including: Sage Payroll Professional, scanning software, dictation software and Blackberry BES.

By hosting the entire practice’s applications and data on dedicated, powerful servers in a highly secure and scalable data centre, there was no longer any need to have expensive IT equipment in its office.

“The only technology we now need at the office are PCs to access the server.  Where we used to spend £1000 or more just for a single, highly-specified PC or laptop; that cost has dropped to less than £300,” said Andrew.

Improved user experience

Sinclair Scott’s partners, qualified staff, accounts staff and support employees simply log into the server over the Internet using a low-cost PC and a broadband connection. The user experience is identical to the previous in-house system, and sometimes faster, as Andrew explains: “Our existing server was old and unable to cope with the demands we made.  With the hosted solution, we’re now using the latest, fastest server technology to run our applications, without ever worrying about upgrades and licence fees.”

In addition, as part of the Hosting service, the IRIS support team update the IRIS Practice software and other third party software, to ensure Sinclair Scott is compliant with the current HMRC regulations.  Furthermore, IRIS aids Sinclair Scott’s compliance with various UK Government laws, including the Data Protection Act and the various emerging laws and guidelines regarding email data retention.

Andrew also cites the additional benefit of accessing the server securely from anywhere with an Internet connection, making working from home a viable option as well as increasing productivity when visiting clients.

“During the winter blizzards across the UK, our hosted approach gave staff the opportunity to work from home and continue as normal without having to risk the elements to get into the office,” added Andrew.

Hosting integration partner

IRIS’s technology partner CI-NET handled the switch to the hosted service.  To avoid any disruption to the business, data was transferred over a weekend from the server at Sinclair Scott’s offices to IRIS’s hosted data centre in Milton Keynes.

Ensuring total resilience

The IRIS Practice Hosting solution also offered Sinclair Scott a completely new level of resilience, availability and security. 

Connectivity was ensured by two Internet connections at Sinclair Scott’s offices as well as a mobile broadband option.  Fear of server failure has also become a thing of the past, since IRIS Practice Hosting is based on a server structure that is not compromised by a single server failure. This greatly reduces the risk of downtime and ensures the practice runs 24/7.

In addition, IRIS Practice Hosting offered an impressive Service Level Agreement (SLA) with a dedicated support team on call to help deal with any problems.

Lastly, when it comes to backup, no one is taking tapes out of the office every day.  Instead IRIS Practice Hosting provides regular, automatic server backups and takes this data off-site for additional security.

The bottom line

Andrew Sinclair knows that the hosting solution is saving his practice money over the long-term.  By avoiding the typical capital costs of an in-house solution, the practice has significantly improved cash-flow, a bonus during challenging economic times.

Even more than the direct cost benefits, Andrew highlights the fact that by taking IT out of the office, he and his fee-earning colleagues are able to spend more time servicing their clients. He estimates savings of more than £5,000 each year.

Andrew concluded: “With IRIS providing for all our IT needs, we’ve been able to focus more closely on our core business.  Meanwhile, our IT has never been more reliable, secure or so cost-effective.  Yet again, IRIS has been central to one of the best decisions we’ve made for our business.”

LINK:

www.iris.co.uk

Sinclair Scott
3 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Andrew Sinclair
Tel: 01292 288999
Fax: 01292 272150
E-mail: andrew@sinclairscott.com
Web: www.sinclairscott.com

Sinclair Scott Chartered Accountants are founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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Two days of racing launch flat season at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

A two-day meeting launches the 2010 flat season at Ayr Racecourse this Wednesday and Thursday - May 26 and 27.

Good prize money spread over seven races on each day will attract big entries with leading trainers Mark Johnston, Kevin Ryan, Richard Fahey and Brian Smart all likely to send runners north to take on horses from the Scottish yards of Jim Goldie, Noel Wilson and Linda Perratt among others.


And the top northern jockeys including Paul Hanagan (pictured above), Tom Eaves, Phillip Makin, Adrian Nicholls and David Allan will also be in action ensuring racegoers see some of the very best riders in action.

The opening day is the williamhill.com Raceday, the highlight of which should be the williamhill.com – The Home of Betting Handicap over 5 furlongs and while there may not be any future William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup winners on show there should still be some decent sprint handicappers taking their chance.

Another interesting race is the Scottish Sun Miss Scotland 2010 Handicap over 1 mile 7 furlongs one of the longest races of the season run at the Craigie track.

And a special bonus on Wednesday will be an appearance of all 10 Scottish Sun Miss Scotland finalists who will be appearing in the paddock during the afternoon.

On Thursday – the Burns Festival Raceday the highlights are the Johnston Oils - J Gas Ltd Handicap over 6 furlongs at 3.20pm and the Access Plus Handicap Stakes over 1 mile 2 furlongs at 4.20pm.

Ayr Racecourse marketing manager Lindsey Smith is looking forward to the new flat season and commented: “After the success of the jumps season culminating with the Coral Scottish Grand National we are all anticipating a terrific flat campaign and to start it with a two-day meeting is an added bonus.”

The first race on Wednesday is at 2.10pm with gates open at 12.10pm and the action is under way at 2.20pm on Thursday with the course opening at 12.20pm.

For further information go online at www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk or call 01292-264179.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are founder members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Ayr Racecourse
2-6 Whitletts Road
Ayr Ayrshire
Scotland KA8 0JE

Tel: 01292 264179
Fax: 01292 610140
E-mail: info@ayr-racecourse.co.uk
Web: www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk

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Sunday, 23 May 2010


CKD Galbraith market attractive traditional
farmhouse with separate holiday cottage


SCOTLAND’S leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is marketing a traditional farmhouse in a lovely countryside setting in East Ayrshire, together with an additional cottage which is current utilised as a successful holiday letting business.


Darnhay is set in an elevated rural position between the award-winning village of Sorn and Mauchline. The county town of Ayr is about a 30 minute drive, and Glasgow is an easy commute via the recently improved A/M77. Ayrshire is renowned for its range of outdoor pursuits with some of Scotland’s best sailing, fishing and golf all available in the area.


The farmhouse has undergone a continual programme of refurbishment by the current owners and is presented in excellent condition. It comprises a kitchen, utility room, living room, 3 bedrooms, study, bathroom and separate WC, and also offers the potential for further extension. Outside is a generous garden of around 1 acre with views over the surrounding countryside.


The separate detached two bedroom cottage was created from existing farm buildings and is beautifully appointed. It has an open plan living room/kitchen, 2 bedrooms (one en-suite) and bathroom. This is a very successful holiday let with over 35 weeks let last year.


Further farm buildings offer potential for a number of uses – extending the farmhouse, another house or stables and workshops. In addition, further land may be available by separate negotiation.

Darnhay is an attractive proposition to family purchasers and those seeking an income-generating business. It will also be of interest to two families or generations looking for the convenience of a joint purchase.

Offers Over £425,000 are being sought.

For further information: Contact Bob Cherry 01292 268181.


[Pictured: Bob Cherry, director of Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office.]

About CKD Galbraith

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

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. 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.

The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson, as well as providing a range of services to the farming community through an association with United Auctions, Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists.

Independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office:

CKD Galbraith
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300
E-mail: bob.cherry@ckdgalbraith.co.uk
Web: www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

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There are currently 708 Ayrshire business stories permanently archived on this site. To locate those of most interest to you, please use the site search facility in the top left hand corner of this page. Type your search term in the white box, then click the magnifying glass symbol.

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