The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Ayr Racecourse wins top award for seventh successive year

Ayr Racecourse has been voted Racecourse of the Year 2010 for Scotland and the North East by The Racegoer’s Club - the seventh consecutive year the course has won this coveted award.


Ayr's great run began back in 2004, the first full year current owners Alan Macdonald and Richard Johnstone were in charge - and Scotland’s premier track has won the award every year since.

Huge improvements have taken place at the track over the past seven years, including the new £4.5 million Ayrshire Suite, the introduction of new fine dining restaurants including the Roman Warrior and the Chancellor Carvery. And there’s also been huge changes made to the Parade Ring and Winners Enclosure, plus the creation of the Champagne Lawn and Gardens - the perfect place to be on a hot summer day!

The honour from The Racegoers Club is highly valued by the team at Ayr, as it comes from a Club whose 6,500 members are all active racegoers. Ayr has now won the award 17 times since 1990.

Lindsey Smith, Sales and Marketing Manager at Ayr Racecourse said: “We are so pleased to have won this award, which underlines our status as one of the top racecourses in the UK.

“To have won the award seven times is a great feather in our cap, and we thank everyone at the Racegoers Club for voting for us.”

www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk

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Ayr welcomes Scots Guards home from Afghanistan

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, returning home from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, have been welcomed in the streets of Ayr by hundreds of well wishers.

The Battalion has a long association with South Ayrshire, and the parade was organised to give local residents the chance to express their support for the troops, returning home from active service in Afghanistan.


The Scots Guards were granted the Freedom of the District by Kyle and Carrick District Council in 1979, and the 2010 homecoming parade was the first time they have exercised their right to march through Ayr with fixed bayonets.


Assembling at County Buildings, the Battalion was inspected by South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan, before moving off along Pavilion Road, Barnes Street, Dalblair Road, Alloway Street and onto Ayr’s High Street, where Provost Sloan took the eyes-right salute at the Wallace Tower.

The Battalion continued their parade along the High Street, flanked by scores of people cheering and applauding them, arriving at Ayr Town Hall, where Provost Sloan hosted an informal reception.

Provost Sloan said: “I was delighted so many people in South Ayrshire turned out to support the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, returning home after a particularly difficult tour of duty.

“Veterans, service personnel, families, friends and local residents took to the streets to give our troops a heartfelt and warm South Ayrshire welcome home as they return to their loved ones in time for Christmas.

“It was a great privilege to take part in the Battalion’s salute to the Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire at the Wallace Tower and I was proud to mark their first parade with a reception at the Town Hall.”

Commanding Officer of the Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Jopp said: “It is a great pleasure, and indeed an honour, for the Scots Guards to be able to come back home to Scotland and to share the joy of our homecoming with the people of South Ayrshire.


“While we were over in Afghanistan we were inundated with love and support from home, and had a great sense that people back in Scotland were rooting for us every step of the way.

“Our mission was incredibly difficult, and there wasn’t a day that passed when I did not marvel at just how fantastic these brave young Scots Guardsmen are. I am so proud of every single one of them, and I know that Scotland is too. So it’s great to be able to share that pride.”

Provost Sloan concluded: “As we welcome the Scots Guards safe homecoming, it is appropriate to look back and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us, their colleagues, the Battalion and their country.

“For some families, the festive season will be a sombre and difficult time, remembering loved ones who did not come home, or those brave men and women injured or maimed in combat.

“I hope all service families receive the love and support they need to move on with their lives, and trust this break from duty will give all Scots Guards a well earned chance to rest and recuperate from the rigours of service in Afghanistan.

“On behalf of the people of South Ayrshire and the Council , I would like to wish the Battalion a restful Christmas and a Happy New Year.”

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

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Friday, 10 December 2010

Ayr Racecourse stages Christmas Party Raceday on Monday

Ayr Racecourse stages a Christmas Party Raceday on Monday 13 December with the seven race card due off at 12.20 pm.


The opening race is the Bet Live At Victorchandler.com Novices Hurdle over two miles four furlongs and there's a good mix of hurdles and chases plus a national hunt flat race throughout the afternoon.

Feature race is the Bet Now At Victorchandler.com Handicap Chase over three miles one furlong and due off at 2.25 pm with £9000 in the prize fund. Other races include the Watch Live Racing At Victorchandler.com Beginners Chase at 1.20 pm and the Victorchandler.com Hurdle at 3.00 pm.

On Tuesday the official going at the track was described as good, good to soft, frozen in places, but course officials hopeful the recent rise in temperatures will ensure racing goes ahead on Monday.

Gates open at 11.00 am.

For more information go online on www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk or call 01292 264179.

For media enquires please contact Iain Ferguson on 07795 565691.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Christmas Wonderland comes to Ayr

Ayr’s first ever Christmas Wonderland was officially opened by South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan last week, marking the start of a new and exciting festive attraction for the area.


[Pictured: Provost Winifred Sloan and Alan Macdonald, Chairman of the Dawn Group at the opening of Ayr’s Christmas Wonderland.]

Christmas Wonderland – a partnership project between Ayr Renaissance, South Ayrshire Council and the Dawn Group – features an open-air ice rink in Wellington Square, complemented by a Christmas market, Santa’s Grotto, tearoom, mini-fair and entertainment (at selected times).


To open the Christmas Wonderland, Provost Sloan was joined by a special skating Santa Claus (AKA former Ayr Bruins ice hockey player Jim Thomson) as well as Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, a number of South Ayrshire Councillors, Community Councillors and representatives from the many businesses that have come together to make the Wonderland a reality.

Santa was the first on the ice after Provost Sloan cut a ribbon to open the skating rink and was quickly followed by a terrific display from the Ayr Force Synchronised Skating Team – resplendent in their Santa outfits.

There were also performances from singer Nicola Cassells and players from the Braehead Ice Hockey Clan.

Making a special appearance were Barassie Primary School pupils Kieran Roberton and Leah Patterson who created the winning Christmas lamppost banner design in the annual competition sponsored by Owen Kerr Signs.

Provost Sloan said: “I am absolutely delighted Christmas Wonderland has come to Ayr. Outdoor skating has long been associated with seasonal celebrations in the great towns and cities of the world and Ayr is now part of that exciting tradition. I encourage people throughout South Ayrshire and beyond to come and enjoy Ayr’s Christmas Wonderland and make it part of their festive fun.”

Alan Macdonald, Chairman of the Dawn Group, added: “I think this will be a huge asset to the town of Ayr during December and hopefully this will become an annual event.

“I am delighted South Ayrshire Council has lent its support to this project and I am sure many, many people will enjoy skating at Wellington Square.”

Ayr Christmas Wonderland, which is supported by Paligap, Owen Kerr Signs and the Ayrshire Post, opens every day (except Christmas Day) between 11am and 9pm until 30 December.

Advance bookings for skating sessions can be made via the Citadel Box Office on 01292 269793 and tickets will also be available on the day, subject to availability.

LINKS:

South Ayrshire Council

Dawn Group

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