The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 22 January 2011

South Ayrshire Council unveils new eco-friendly Colmonell Primary School

A RURAL community in South Ayrshire is benefiting from a new £1.5 million eco-friendly primary school – the first of its kind in the South Ayrshire Council area.

Complete with a feature grass roof and environmentally friendly credentials – including the use of sustainable building materials, high levels of insulation and low cost heating powered by air source heat pumps – the new Colmonell Primary has transformed education accommodation in the small rural village.

Pupils and staff moved into the new building, which is located around ten miles from Girvan, after the winter school holidays and are now enjoying first-class, modern teaching facilities including two semi open plan classrooms, a pupil support room and a nursery class.

The new building also boasts a gym/dining hall suitable for a wide range of sporting activities including gymnastics, drama and badminton as well as a dedicated lifelong learning room, which is available for community use.

Councillor Hywel Davies, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning, said: “The new Colmonell Primary is a major achievement for this Council and the local community, and I am delighted it is now being enjoyed by the people that matter – our pupils, our staff and the local community.

“This significant investment in a small rural school like Colmonell is testament to our commitment to rural communities and the provision of education and community facilities of the highest standard. There is no doubt this been achieved in our new school.

“The school’s unique design ensures that it enhances the local landscape and blends into the village, while ensuring the children benefit from outdoor activity and garden areas as well as ‘external classrooms’ that make the most of the natural environment.

“The new Colmonell Primary combines quality education and teaching with quality accommodation, and I have no doubt everyone involved with the school will enjoy settling into their new home.”

Cindy O’Driscoll, Head Teacher of Colmonell Primary, added: “It’s been very exciting to follow the progress of the new school over the last two and a half years, and I am thrilled that we have now moved in to this fantastic eco-friendly building.

“While we always strive to provide our pupils with the best possible start in life, the opportunities offered by our new school will make a big difference for them, with purpose-built modern facilities that will really help us deliver Curriculum for Excellence.

“The feedback from everyone has been so positive, and it was great to watch the children’s reactions as they came into the school for the first time. This is the start of a new era for Colmonell Primary, and I know that we’re all going to be very happy here.”

Comments from the excited pupils include:

“In the gym hall there is an amazingly loud sound system that we use for PE every morning.” Adele Clark P7

“Our new school is eco-friendly. The lights are fantastic, as they go off when no-one is there.” Lexus Brooks P6

“Our fantastic new school is bright and colourful, which makes it fun to learn in.” Tania McTaggart P7

“We have a library in our new school which has lots of fascinating books and comfy chairs.” Lesley Ann Gray P6

“Our new school is great because the gym hall has a super sound system and fun climbing frames.” Kayleigh Robertson P1

“Our new school has got a grass roof which is helping the eco-system.” Cameron Baird P6



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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle welcomes four new members

Three companies and a further education college are the latest organisations to complete accession to full membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

The new members are Kilmarnock College, Tasteee Catering Services based in Irvine, Ayr-based virtual tours company Piko Design, and online business directory Locallife Ayrshire.

Norman Geddes (pictured above) is senior partner at Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors and Executive Chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle. He commented: “We are delighted that four more organisations from diverse parts of Ayrshire have joined with us to enjoy and share the benefits of membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

“We are dedicated to the task of publicising and promoting our members both within the Ayrshire community and beyond, and constantly researching new opportunities to gain maximum exposure and visibility for their products and services in the marketplace at home and abroad.

“It is likely that the next 12 months will present Ayrshire businesses with many challenges, but also great opportunities, as hopefully economic conditions generally start to improve.

“It is vital in such times as these that organisations continue to market themselves as aggressively as possible, and membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle allows local businesses to do that in the most economical and cost-effective manner.

“We look forward to welcoming further new members into our fold in the coming months, and any interested company will be most welcome to attend one of our meetings as our guest in order to find out what we are all about.”


Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

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Monday, 17 January 2011

Burns celebrations in Alloway go back in time to 1759

A small village in South Ayrshire will go back in time 252 years this weekend to mark the third annual Alloway 1759 celebrations – a unique commemoration of the birth and life of Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns.

From Friday 21 January until Robert Burns birthday on Tuesday 25 January, a whole host of events will take place in and around the village of Alloway – the birthplace of Burns – transforming the town back to the year of the Bard’s birth in 1759.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan with a grown-up Robert Burns and a host of characters from 1759.]

Established in 2009 as part of the Year of Homecoming, Alloway 1759 is now part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme and offers something for everyone. This year it includes two key events – the official opening of the new Robert Burns Birthplace Museum on 21 January and the announcement on 22 January of the recipient of the esteemed Robert Burns Humanitarian Awards for 2011.

Residents and visitors can enjoy free entry to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum all day on Saturday 22 January, with a torchlight procession from Burns Cottage to the museum where entertainment and a sound, light and visual display will bring the day to close.

A new event for Alloway 1759 – the Alloway Amble – in aid of Ayrshire Cancer Support then follows on Sunday 23 January, with a 5k stroll, started by local X Factor stars the MacDonald Brothers, leaving from and returning to Burns Cottage, taking in some favourite Burns landmarks en route.

The flagship event at the heart of Alloway 1759 takes place in the afternoon of Sunday 23 January – the transformation of Alloway village back to the eighteenth century. Opened by South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan, this will see the streets of the village filled with costumed Burns characters, horses and carts, street decorations, a traditional street market, authentic merchandise and a programme of musical entertainment and poetical performances.

Highlights outside Burns Cottage include Ayr Pipe Band Society, Ayrshire Ploughman (Hugh McNeillie and Ian Muir), Tam Maun Ride (with River City’s John Murtaugh), Aileen Robertson School of Dance, The MacDonald Brothers, and Cameron Bell with Tam O’Shanter.

In Burns Cottage itself will be performances by Alloway Burns Club (including junior members) and Jim Clark plus Tim’rous Beasties (small animal handling).

Other venues hosting events in the afternoon include Alloway Village Hall with the Giglets telling their loveable stories about ‘Tam O’Haggis’ to bring Burns to a younger audience; Alloway Church with Alloway Burns Club offering readings, talks and information on Burns; Alloway Church hall, which will host a Burns’ children’s party; and the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum (normal admission fees apply).

The day’s celebrations end with Burns, Candlelight and Eddi Reader at the Brig O’Doon Hotel in Alloway – this event is also running on Monday 24 January.

A wreath-laying service by Ayr Burns Club at Burns Statue Square in Ayr takes place on Rabbie’s actual birthday, 25 January.

Provost Winifred Sloan said: “Alloway 1759 is a superb event, transforming the village back in time to more than 250 years ago. It’s a fantastic event for people to participate in and I hope it continues to grow every year.

“It really epitomises all that is great about South Ayrshire bringing together iconic cultural locations with a warm welcome from our people. There really is nothing like it and I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to come along and join in.”

Councillor Margaret Toner, Portfolio Holder for Tourism, added: “Alloway 1759 is a terrific event and really offers something for everyone whether you’re new to Burns or know his works well. It continues to grow every year and it’s great to see new events like the Alloway Amble come on to the calendar, offering yet another way to celebrate the life of our national bard.

“Alloway 1759 is very exciting as it’s the first of our series of annual events celebrating Ayrshire, with the Burns an’ a’ that! Festival in May, Sportember during the month of September, including the British Kite Surfing Championship 2011 and St Andrew’s Weekend at the end of November.

“We are very proud to host all these events and Alloway 1759 will undoubtedly get this year’s programme off to a great start.”

For full details of the Alloway 1759 programme, visit

Alloway 1759 is part of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme, which is delivered by EventScotland in partnership with VisitScotland. It is an exciting and distinctive Scottish Government funded programme of events designed to celebrate three of Scotland’s most distinct days. Beginning with celebrations for St Andrew’s Day from 25 November and including Hogmanay on 31 December and Burns Night on 25 January, the programme will see more than 60 events taking place across the country which celebrate Scotland’s contemporary and traditional culture.

For more information log onto

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There are currently 819 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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