The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 5 February 2011

South Ayrshire set for first new Council houses in decades

South Ayrshire Council has marked the official start of construction work on the first new Council houses in the area for more than 30 years at a special ceremony in Ayr.

[Pictured: Marking the official start of the construction work at the Thornyflat site are (left to right): Kenny Leinster, Head of Community Care and Housing, South Ayrshire Council; Councillor Nan McFarlane; Councillor Bill McIntosh; Councillor Douglas Campbell; Councillor Tom Slider; Councillor Ian Cavana; Scott Cameron, Scottish Government; David Anderson, Chief Executive, South Ayrshire Council.]

A total of 42 new Council houses will be built at Thornyflat in Ayr as part of a £4.5 million project funded by South Ayrshire Council in partnership with the Scottish Government.

The development – comprising two, three and four bedroom houses – will offer a significant boost to the number of affordable homes in the areas and provide tenants with modern, accessible and environmentally-friendly homes.

The design of the new houses was influenced by local residents who put forward various comments and suggestions on how the houses should look and the features they should include such as level entry for all houses and downstairs bedrooms.

The construction project is being managed by Ayrshire Housing on behalf of the Council and the houses are scheduled to be completed by December 2011.

To mark the work at Thornyflat, the Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Bill McIntosh, was joined by local Councillors and representatives from the Scottish Government, Ayrshire Housing and other organisations involved in the project to cut the first ‘sod’, allowing the construction of the buildings to get underway.

Councillor McIntosh said: “It’s appropriate that we celebrate this landmark moment – the start of the first project of its kind in this area for a generation – on such an important day, Robert Burns’ birthday.

“Just like Burns, we are making history here and I am very proud that, with our partners in the Scottish Government, we will create 42 fantastic new homes for the people of South Ayrshire. I look forward to seeing the houses take shape in the coming months.”

Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: “Scottish Government funding is helping local authorities to reverse the decades of decline in council house building.

“South Ayrshire Council is playing an important part in that nationwide revolution, which is good news for families in the region that want access to high quality, affordable homes.”

Councillor Douglas Campbell, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Housing, added: “There is a huge demand for good quality rented accommodation in South Ayrshire and these new homes will be very popular.

“They are well designed, energy efficient and located in an attractive setting overlooking the golf course.

“This is one step in meeting the ever increasing need for housing and the Council is very conscious that we need to do more to help those on our waiting list have the chance of their own home.”

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South Ayrshire Council is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

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There are currently 825 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 right hand corner of this page.

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Thursday, 3 February 2011

Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant Minishant offers special Valentine’s Day menu

Celebrity TV chef Mafiz Ali has concocted an enchantingly romantic menu at Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant in Minishant, South Ayrshire to celebrate St Valentine‘s Day on Monday 14 February.

And the restaurant’s history and beautiful setting will add additional touches of spice and romance to what will undoubtedly be a night to remember for everyone fortunate enough to be there.

For Ayr Spice Indian Cuisine is housed in the fine old red sandstone Memorial church at the entrance to the picturesque village of Minishant, 5 miles south of Ayr on the A77. The church was erected by the thread magnate Sir Peter Coats of nearby Auchendrane, in loving memory of his wife Glorianna, who died in 1877.

The special St Valentine’s Day menu will be available from Friday 11 February to Saturday 19 February by prior booking only.

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Ayr Spice

St. Valentine’s Day Menu

£17.95 per person

(This menu is available only on prior booking)

Papadom with assorted pickle tray

Starters - a choice of:

Honey chicken
(diced chicken stuffed with peshwari and honey)

Aloo Salad with dim and special herbs
(lightly spiced mashed potato and aubergine)

Bilati Bagun
(Bangladeshi fish cooked with aromatic herbs, spiced with a secret recipe in stuffed beef-tomatoes)

Gorom Murgh Salad with sesame and honey dressing (chicken salad)

Main Courses:

Murgi Massala
(breast of chicken stuffed with special spicy mashed potatoes)

Lamb (Moulovi Bazaar Style)
(lamb with aubergine and cucumber in Bangladeshi spices)

Freshly grilled Murgh with a tomato, herb and lemon olive oil sauce (chicken)

Machli Sizzler
(a famous dish in Bangladesh, served in a sizzler -Choose from medium or hot salmon prepared in our special spices)

Side Dish: Mixed vegetable bhagi (lightly spiced)


Fried Rice
Pilau Rice
Naan Bread (choice of peshwari, garlic, vegetable or cheese and onion flavours)


Gulab Jam

A choice of Indian Massala Tea, Coffee or a glass of Port Wine to finish.

Ayr Spice Indian Cuisine
22 Ayr Road
Ayrshire KA19 8EX

Telephone: 01292 441413


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Mafiz Ali (pictured above)

After an absence of two years, Mafiz Ali has returned to the restaurant where in a relatively short time he built up an enviable reputation throughout Ayrshire and beyond for serving the finest Indian cuisine. He is joined by his cousin and fellow chef Shahed Ahmed.

Mafiz Ali has many claims to fame over the past two decades.

In 1993 he first made headlines by making a takeaway delivery across the Atlantic to New York.

Having been asked to prepare a replica of the banquet he had prepared for the 50th birthday of the then British Prime Minister John Major, he decided to market this novel concept and put together a team of experts at his London restaurant to deliver to record companies and the X-Factor, amongst others, in a venture that proved extremely successful.

Mafiz Ali subsequently catered for Cliff Richard, Damage, the Sugar Babes, Gabby Ross, Soul to Soul, Chaka Demus, Rustie Lee, Anthea Turner and many others. His food has also been sent to Australia, Japan and the US - Atlanta as well as New York.

Another of his original ideas saw him included in the Guinness Book of Records, when he teamed up with an engineer to create the world’s largest curry pot. This pot contained 4.5 tons of chicken masala, and helped to raise awareness of his favourite charities.

In 1998 Mafiz Ali launched the British Curry Awards, and various other culinary competitions, designed to bring together chefs of all ages, both amateur and professional, to compete for recognition of their skills and to promote Bangladeshi cuisine in the UK.

His charitable activities have seen him extend his generosity to the Save the Children Fund, Pat Kerr’s Orphanage Ordinance Fund and the War Child Charity Trust, holding charity parties at his restaurant.

Two years ago he also started similar activities in Ayrshire, and now hopes to build on them in the future.

Mafiz Ali’s outstanding cuisine has placed him in the media spotlight, and he has made 67 television appearances on channels such as GMTV, Big Breakfast TV, Channel 4, as well as his own TV programme on Bangladeshi TV and double that amount of broadcasting time on radio. He has also contributed numerous articles to the printed media, including newspapers like the Sun, Daily Mirror and the Times.

When asked why such a distinguished chef would want to return to Minishant, Mafiz Ali replies simply: “I like it here. It is a beautiful place, which is peaceful and far removed from the stress of city life.”

Ayr Spice Indian Cuisine
22 Ayr Road
Ayrshire KA19 8EX

Telephone: 01292 441413

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Ayr Racecourse looks forward to another successful year in 2011

By: Iain Ferguson

THE profile of Ayr Racecourse has never been higher, thanks to back to back wins in 2009 and 2010 for Frankie Dettori in the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup, and also Merigo, trained by Alan Parker and owned by Raymond Anderson Green, becoming the first Scottish trained horse in 28 years to win the Coral Scottish Grand National.

Crowds at Ayr during 2010 were very healthy and up on the previous year, and confidence is high for another positive 12 months.

With three meetings in January, a further three in February and two more in March, the team at Ayr will head into April well prepared for the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival on Friday 15 April and Saturday 16 April.

The richest jumps race meeting in Scotland will again feature some of the top horses, trainers and jockeys in the sport, and all these ingredients combine to make this one of the spectacles of the entire National Hunt season in the UK.

The Friday action features the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase which has produced some notable winners over the years including Three Mirrors from the Ferdy Murphy stable and the highly rated Jim Goldie trained Stormin’ Exit. This race also features one of the longest running sponsorships at the track dating back more than 17 years.

Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday remains the best attended single fixture of the year at Ayr Racecourse, and is one of the most fabulous spectacles in sport. Up to 30 runners thunder round the track for over four miles and the scenes in the Winners Enclosure afterwards are befitting of such a historical event.

For the first time the 2011 Scottish National will feature some portable fences, as Ayr Clerk of the Course Emma Marley has invested in three such fences - two in the back straight and one in the home straight - which will replace other obstacles, and 27 fences will still be jumped.

And although it is difficult to predict anything this far out, there could well be another Scottish trained winner with Lucinda Russell’s Silver By Nature, owned by Geoff Brown, chairman of St Johnstone Football Club, being trained with the race very much in mind.

As ever, the Coral Scottish National Festival brings the curtain down on the National Hunt season at Ayr, and come May - the 25th and 26th to be exact, the flat season will kick off with a two-day fixture.

[Pictured: Alan MacDonald, Chairman of Ayr Racecourse.]

In 2011 there will be 16 flat fixtures at Ayr with more than a few highlights on the way. In recent years one of the fastest growing meetings at the track is the Saints and Sinners Racenight and Scottish Sun Raceday coming on the evening of 17 June and the afternoon of 18 June.

More than 16,500 attended the two-day fixture in 2010, and while Alexandra Burke’s appearance after racing at Saints and Sinners was memorable, the highlight was undoubtedly the racecourse debut of the Richard Fahey trained Wootton Basset in the Real Radio EBF Maiden Stakes on the Scottish Sun Raceday.

Little did anyone realise then that this horse, which won at 11/4, would go onto be one of the best juveniles of the season, land a Group 1 race at Longchamp, and pick up more than £500,000 in prize money during the season.

It remains to be seen if the Scottish Sun Raceday 2011 produces another equine star, but one thing is certain it will be once again one of the best Saturday afternoon fixtures of the summer, and one of three fixtures during the year that is shown live on Channel 4 - the others being the Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday and the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Saturday.

A new fixture on Monday 11 July now means there will be three Monday meetings in July on the 11th, the traditional Glasgow Fair Monday on the 18th and also on the 25th. There then follows Ladies Night on 6 August and a Tuesday afternoon fixture on 9 August.

The three-day William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup Festival running from Thursday 15 September until Saturday 18 September is the showpiece of the flat seasion at Ayr with some fabulous races over the three days.

This meeting, as with the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival, attracts enthusiasts from all over the UK and Ireland to enjoy top quality horse racing and entertainment.

One of the longest established fixtures in the horse racing calendar dating back to the early 19th century, the Festival oozes class combining some of the best horses in the land with the top jockeys and trainers.

The opening day of the Festival features the Handicap for the Kilkerran Cup, while the two main races on Friday are the William Hill (Ayr) Bronze Cup over six furlongs for horses who failed to get into either the Gold or Silver Cups, and the Harry Rosebery Stakes for the South Ayrshire Cup, a Listed Race for two year olds.

There are seven races on Thursday and Friday and eight on Saturday, when the highlight is undoubtedly the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup over the straight six furlongs - Europe’s richest sprint handicap with £150,000 in prize money.

The William Hill (Ayr) Silver Cup is also run on the Saturday - about an hour before its big brother - and two other outstanding races on the Saturday are the Doonside Cup, a Listed Race, and the Laundry Cottage Stud Firth Of Clyde Stakes.

Upwards of 22,000 people flock to the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup over the three days, and there is a truly terrific atmosphere not just at the track but all round town.

Monday 31 January 2011

Racing returns to Ayr Racecourse on Monday 31 January for the January Jumps Raceday featuring seven races, with the action commencing at 1.15pm.

The first race on the card is the Bet Live At Novices’ Hurdle over two miles, followed by a two mile four furlong Novices’ Hurdle at 1.45pm.

Feature races on the afternoon are the Best Odds Guaranteed At Novices’ Chase and the Play Casino At Handicap Chase at 2.15pm and 2.50pm respectively.

Final race on the card is the Bet Now At Standard National Hunt Flat Race at 4.30pm.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 07795 565691.



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

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There are currently 823 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 right hand corner of this page.

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