The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 5 June 2010


Frazer Coogans Solicitors welcome
regulation of non-lawyer will writers


LEADING Ayrshire lawyer Norman Geddes, senior partner at Frazer Coogans Solicitors, has welcomed proposed new legislation by the Scottish Parliament which will regulate the activities of non-lawyer will writers in Scotland.

Amendments to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill have been lodged by Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing.


Norman Geddes (pictured above) commented: “This is a most welcome change to the Bill.

“The interaction of the Law of Succession, Family Law and Tax Law is very complex, and can give rise to unexpected and unwanted results if a Will is not drafted with great care and with a full knowledge not just of the law, but also of the family background.

“As a result of changes in modern society, the traditional nuclear family is no longer the norm. Separation, divorce, remarriage, cohabitation and adoption are all much more common nowadays, and all have a potential impact upon the distribution of a person’s estate.

“Drafting of a Will without expert knowledge of the law and a clear understanding of the family background can lead to disastrous results. These can include increased tax liability or, worse, the wrong people inheriting money or assets, and the possibility that cherished family members unexpectedly lose out financially.”

The proposed amendment to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill follows a consultation process, and would apply a set of regulatory rules, enforcement measures and sanctions to ensure that non-lawyer will writers conform to acceptable industry practice.

It will bring to an end an era where consumers have been vulnerable to non-regulated practices which are often unnecessarily expensive. One example of this was when an elderly client was charged £1,000 for a straightforward will in a non inheritance tax estate. That client was driven to her bank by the will writer to withdraw the money in cash to pay the fee.

In another case, consumers wanting a will have been sold specialised services they do not require. In some cases they are being persuaded to pay up to £2,400 when a simple will costing £150 would suffice.


Minister for Community Safety Fergus Ewing (pictured above) said: “That is why we intend to regulate non-lawyer will writers, and why I have lodged amendments to the Legal Services (Scotland) Bill to provide for such regulation.

“A number of persons and organisations have made representations to us about non-lawyer will writers, providing examples of poor practice. These include lack of skill and competence, cold calling, and advice based on English rather than Scottish law.

“We are very concerned that some non-lawyer will writers may be exploiting the lack of regulation to the detriment of the consumer in Scotland.

“The regulation will continue to allow non-lawyers to provide a will writing service, but will protect consumers by ensuring that such will writers are subject to robust regulatory rules, enforcement measures and sanctions. However, we will not regulate individuals preparing their own will, with or without a DIY pack, including ‘deathbed’ wills, or other persons providing a free advice service.”

As well as individual instances of poor practice, it is possible to identify some main themes, including the following:

* lack of skill and competence
* poor knowledge of inheritance tax
* advice based on English rather than Scottish law
* low advertised costs translating into substantial fees through bait and switch and tying in of other services
* cold-calling and unsolicited mail
* lack of professional indemnity insurance, and
* poor storage of wills

The regulation will continue to allow non-lawyers to provide a will writing service, but, at the same time, will protect consumers, by providing a set of regulatory rules, enforcement measures and sanctions that would apply to such non-lawyers.

In conclusion, Frazer Coogans Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes commented: “The fact that the Scottish Government has felt it necessary to make these proposals highlights the importance of taking professional advice from an experienced practitioner, preferably a solicitor.”

Frazer Coogans Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road
Ayr KA7 1UQ
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Norman Geddes, Senior Partner
Tel: 01292 280499
Fax: 01292 611645
E-mail: norman.geddes@frazercoogans.co.uk
Web: www.frazercoogans.co.uk

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Friday, 4 June 2010


Brunston Castle Golf Course is raising funds for Help for Heroes

On Saturday 24 July 2010, a week after the Open Championship at St. Andrews, Brunston Castle Golf Course will participate in The National Golf Club Challenge, the largest amateur golfer charity event to take place in the UK.

The National Golf Club Challenge will bring together hundreds of golf clubs and thousands of golfers to compete, have fun and to raise funds for the popular Help for Heroes charity.


To participate in the National Golf Club Challenge, it will cost you £20.00 per person with all proceeds going to Help for Heroes.

The idea for the National Golf Club Challenge was born out of wanting to assist the excellent Help for Heroes charity. The solution was to organise a national golf competition in which every golfer in the United Kingdom could participate.

Lee Westwood, one of the Challenge patrons has given his full support to the national fundraising initiative, saying “Together we have the chance to change the lives of those who have sacrificed and endured so much so we might live full and free lives. Many brave men and women have suffered often the most horrendous injuries in the line of duty and these heroes deserve our wholehearted support in July”.


Brunston Castle Golf Course is situated in the most scenic part of Ayrshire. Located in the naturally sheltered valley of the Water of Girvan and overlooked by the rolling South Carrick hills, this championship length, par 72 parkland course is in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Designed by renowned architect, Donald Steel, the course is a testing 6,700 yards from the white tees. Clever use of the natural contours of the land and the creation of a number of strategically placed ponds have created some spectacular holes. Bisected by the River Girvan, dotted with mature trees and surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Bargany Estate, each of the holes has features that will remain memorable long after the round has finished. The greens, too, have been constructed to a particularly high standard and provide excellent putting surfaces throughout the year. Again, great thought has gone into the contouring of these and some are notoriously difficult to read.

The undulating nature of the well groomed fairways and the elevation of some of the greens can make the estimation of yardages a risky business. Accurate knowledge of a distance will be of great assistance to those looking for a chance to score well on this excellent course.


[Brunston Castle Golf Course general manager Cheryl Steven.]

The 2010 National Golf Club Challenge winners will be presented with the Lee Westwood Cup, a stunning golf trophy, commissioned and donated by Wedgwood especially for the Challenge competition, in aid of Help for Heroes.

If you would like to find out more please contact Brunston Castle Golf Course on 01465 811471 or go to www.brunstoncastle.co.uk

Brunston Castle Golf Club
Dailly KA26 9SB
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Cheryl Steven, General Manager
Tel: 01465 811471
Fax: 01465 811545
E-mail: cheryl.steven@brunstoncastle.co.uk
Web: www.brunstoncastle.co.uk


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Gateway to Ayr Town Centre will get major makeover

A multi-million pound project to transform the historic gateway to Ayr town centre is due to get underway later this year thanks to funding from South Ayrshire Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).


The HLF monies (£1.08 million) will supplement the Council’s investment in the Ayr Townscape Heritage Initiative (Ayr THI) to provide grant funding of more than £2.5 million for the repair and refurbishment of properties within the THI area, with the priority buildings being on New Bridge Street – known locally as the ‘pink buildings’.

The project will ensure the refurbished properties present a colourful and quality gateway for people living in, working in and visiting the popular Scots town.

The Ayr THI, which will be managed by Ayr Renaissance Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) on behalf of the Council, is the latest stage in the work to regenerate Ayr town centre and ensure it is an appealing and attractive option for residents, businesses and visitors.

The THI will not only ensure the special historical and architectural character of the conservation area is properly maintained, it will also provide the opportunity to encourage traditional conservation methods and techniques, support on-the-job training and raise awareness of conservation as a potential career.

The announcement of the HLF funding follows the much-anticipated facelift for properties in Ayr’s Sandgate, High Street and Newmarket Street under the Ayr Renaissance project, which has delivered visible improvements to this part of town. This transformation is making a real difference and will continue as the project moves forward.

The Ayr Renaissance project is designed to rejuvenate Ayr town centre over the next 20 years, with a focus on improving the arrival ‘hubs’ of the town, improving connections within the town and developing quality residential, retail and commercial accommodation.

Three vacant retail premises are also being refurbished and offered to let in a bid to encourage trade and business in this part of the town. Through both projects, the Council is exploring opportunities to use the recent Future Jobs funding to provide jobs for those who are unemployed.

South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and the Environment, Councillor Peter Convery, said: “Ayr THI is really exciting news for the town and I am delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund is providing such a significant sum of money to make our dreams a reality in this part of South Ayrshire.

“Ayr is a fantastic town with lots of potential and we want to ensure that we not only get it back to its former glory days, but surpass everything it was before. We want our town to attract people of all ages for short visits, days out, holidays and lifetimes and I have no doubt this project will go a long way to helping achieve that.

“It will also provide an ideal opportunity to embed the importance of the town’s heritage in our training and education initiatives and ensure everyone involved in the project understands the skills required in heritage-led design and construction work, which is a key element of the project.

“The transformation of these buildings will make a terrific difference and ignite a real sense of civic pride in our residents. I can’t wait to see work get underway.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Conservation-led regeneration schemes, such as Ayr THI, work best when they are firmly embedded in a wider economic strategy for the area. So it is fitting that Ayr THI is being launched at a time when there are so many other initiatives for the town. By complementing each other, these initiatives can inject life and activity into the centre to help it survive the recession.”

In welcoming the successful Ayr THI award, Michael Hitchon, President of Kyle and Carrick Civic Society, added: “This gateway into Ayr from the north will become once more a welcoming sight. It has deteriorated for too long. Together with floodlighting of Ayr’s New Brig and the Town Buildings, it will make a big difference to first impressions. We are pleased to have played our part in supporting the THI bid, and look forward to seeing exemplary restoration in the outstanding conservation area thus giving new life to old buildings. It should inspire further good work.”

Alan MacDonald, Chair of Ayr Renaissance LLP, added: “This is yet another important milestone in the project to transform Ayr town centre offering more job opportunities and improvements in the local environment and enhanced facilities. This will help boost both the local and national economies and ensure that Ayr continues to attract employment, tourism and expenditure for the benefit of everyone in the area.”


Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council and member of the Ayr Renaissance LLP board, concluded: “With the projects already completed and the significant volume of work due to take place within the town centre, there is no doubt this is truly the start of the renaissance of Ayr.

“We already have so much to be proud of and a regenerated Ayr town centre will make a significant difference not only for those of us who live and work here but also for visitors, investors and businesses.

“The Ayr Renaissance strategy and the THI works will help generate real pride in this town once again and ensure it stands out as a destination of choice in this part of the world.”

Work on the Ayr THI is expected to get underway by early 2011 and will take up to four years to complete. The post of project manager will be advertised in the near future.

Ayr Renaissance

The Ayr Renaissance Strategy – delivered through the Ayr Renaissance Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) – is designed to rejuvenate Ayr town centre over the next 20 years, with a focus on improving the arrival ‘hubs’ of the town, improving connections within the town and developing quality residential, retail and commercial accommodation.

To help achieve this, the LLP received £2.258 million for the regeneration of Ayr town centre in the first tranche of Town Centre Regeneration Funding – the largest amount awarded to a single town centre project – and this included £500,000 towards the refurbishment of the Gaiety Theatre.

In the first phase of the Ayr Renaissance project, we have seen the much-anticipated facelift for properties in Ayr’s Sandgate, High Street and Newmarket Street, delivering visible improvements to this part of town. This transformation is making a real difference and will continue as the project moves forward.

Taking forward the Ayr THI is the next major step for Ayr Renaissance. The LLP has also approved a business plan that will be presented to the Council in due course. Short-term aims within the plan focus on the northern hub of the town and the move to acquire key properties within the High Street.

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CKD Galbraith market stunning new home in Ayrshire for sale

SCOTLAND’S leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is marketing a delightful home in an outstanding development at East Raws, a prestigious conversion of a former farm steading near Fenwick, Ayrshire.


The award nominated ATD - “Attention to Detail” – is the private housing division of the AJ Clark Group. With their extensive range of experience in the construction industry they are synonymous with building exceptional homes in carefully selected sites, utilising the finest quality materials and with careful consideration of modern lifestyle needs.


East Raws is s stunning development of six houses, surrounding a delightful courtyard and with views over unspoilt open countryside. The houses are quietly situated in a lovely rural location about 3 miles from the village of Fenwick and within easy reach of the A/M77 to Glasgow.


“The Hawthorn” is a lovely four bedroomed house of about 226 sq m, and occupies an excellent end of terrace position within the development, overlooking the shared courtyard to the front and an enclosed private garden to the rear.


All the rooms are of generous proportions and many have dual aspect windows, maximizing the light and open outlook. The accommodation includes a lovely light and airy formal lounge with French doors leading to the garden, dining room, family room and stunning farmhouse kitchen with breakfasting area. Upstairs, the master bedroom suite includes a dressing room and en-suite shower room. There are three further bedrooms (1 en-suite), family bathroom and separate cloakroom.

Outside is an enclosed landscaped garden, and there are two designated parking spaces nearby the house.


The house is finished to ADT’s exceptionally high standard throughout. Internally are oak finished doors, moulded skirtings, architraves and coving and there are high performance, energy saving UPVC double glazed windows and doors by Scotia. The fitted kitchen, designed by Geddes, includes a full range of integral appliances and a wonderful free-standing range cooker. Bathroom suites are by Scope Bathroom Interiors and include thermostatic and electric showers. There is an alarm system and mains powered smoke alarm.

Fixed Price £375,000

For further information: Contact Bob Cherry 01292 268181

PDF available on www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

A complete set of downloadable images of "The Hawthorn" is available on Flickr. CLICK HERE

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

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

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Thursday, 3 June 2010


Ayr Racecourse will welcome Alexandra Burke with record crowds

By: Iain Ferguson

A RECORD crowd will welcome singing sensation Alexandra Burke (pictured below) to Ayr Racecourse later this month for her appearance at Saints and Sinners Racenight.


The charity event which combines racing and entertainment moved to Ayr three years ago after more than 40 years at Hamilton Park and the record crowd for the meeting is just over 8000.

But with advance sales already approaching half of that around 10,000 are expected to flock to the track on Friday 18 June.

Ayr Racecourse Marketing Manager Lindsey Smith said this week: “There's a real buzz over Alexandra appearing at Saints and Sinners, and our phones have been red hot with people booking tickets and inquiring about the event.

“If this level of interest is maintained over the next couple of weeks we will certainly have the biggest ever crowd at Saints and Sinners.”

Alexandra Burke will take to the stage about 20 minutes after the last race at 9.20 pm and perform a 30 minute set including her hits ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Broken Heels’.

Saints and Sinners Racenight also provides ladies with the chance of winning a bronze coin and a passport to the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Ladies Day Final on Friday 17 September.

This year’s first prize and the top Ladies prize in British horse racing is a fabulous Vauxhall NEW Astra 5 door 1.4 turbo, sponsored by Kerr & Smith/Iveco Trucks. The runner up will land a cruise courtesy of Stewart Travel and third prize is jewellery from Alex Cairncross of Perth.

Coins will be awarded to best dressed ladies at a variety of racedays throughout the year including Saints & Sinners Night, Scottish Sun Race Day and Ladies Night.

Coins will also be awarded on William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Ladies Day itself, and up to 27 ladies will have a coin and will each be asked to draw the name of a horse running in the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup that day will land the star prize.

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.

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Tuesday, 1 June 2010


Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort appoints new Account Director

Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland, has appointed a new Account Director for Marketing Partnerships and Events.


Gayle Harthill (pictured above) will be responsible for developing partnerships for the accommodation, golf, food and beverage, country pursuits and spa activities at Turnberry and will report directly to the resort’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Stephen Walker.

One of Gayle’s first projects will be a celebratory summer event, with support from local partners, to mark the opening of the new Turnberry Suite at Turnberry.

The Turnberry Suite combines a five-star venue for up to 200 people with direct access to a large private outdoor terrace offering space for groups to enjoy summer barbecues and evening drinks as well as elevated views over the legendary Ailsa golf course, the Irish Sea and island of Ailsa Craig.

Gayle has over 10 years experience in sales and marketing roles at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa in Edinburgh, as well as a BA (Hons) Degree in Hospitality (Hotel & Catering) Management from Napier University.

Commenting on her new role, Gayle said: “I’m delighted to join the Sales & Marketing team at Turnberry, especially now that developing partnerships and creating our own customer events has become a key part of the strategy. The recent renovation of the hotel and introduction of the sumptuous Turnberry Suite will allow us to provide the highest quality facilities for corporate groups and individual guests.

“I look forward to playing my part in further developing Turnberry as a leading corporate and tourist destination in Scotland by working closely with carefully selected partners both in Scotland and internationally.”

Turnberry recently underwent a multimillion pound renovation programme, prior to hosting the 2009 Open and becoming part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection. It has 198 guest rooms including four lavish ocean-view suites in the main hotel; as well as 12 lodges with eight bedrooms and 12 lodges with six bedrooms on the estate.

For more information on Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort Scotland, please visit www.luxurycollection.com/turnberry

Turnberry, A Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland

Turnberry is located on the stunning Ayrshire coast, offering elevated views over the Irish Sea, Ailsa Craig and mountains of Arran and Kintyre. First opened in 1906 as the world’s first golf resort, Turnberry quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events. The five red star resort underwent a multi-million pound renovation programme prior to hosting the 2009 Open on its legendary Ailsa golf course and becoming part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts much acclaimed Luxury Collection. The 198 luxuriously appointed guest rooms include four lavish ocean-view suites and offer a perfect blend of Edwardian tradition and timeless design. The iconic Ailsa Course is currently ranked as Britain’s number one golf course by leading golf publications and consistently rated within the world’s best. For golfers, there is also the Championship Kintyre Course and the Arran Course, as well as The Colin Montgomerie Links Golf Academy. Turnberry is the perfect setting for food lovers, with a choice of unique dining experiences, including the signature restaurant 1906, led by Executive Head Chef Ralph Porciani, which offers classic dishes with a modern twist and a unique Chef’s Table experience. There is also the elegant Grand Tea Lounge, Ailsa Bar & Lounge, Duel in the Sun bar and Tappie Toorie restaurant overlooking the links golf courses and sea beyond. Turnberry has a well-established reputation for top class meeting and events facilities, specialising in bespoke boardroom experiences. There is also a luxurious spa offering a range of ESPA treatments. The onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including quad biking, horse-riding, fishing and off-road driving. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com/turnberry

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 honored 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 www.luxurycollection.com

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and territories with 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 www.starwoodhotels.com

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