The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 9 September 2011

Olympic Torch Tour sets Ayrshire alight

Hundreds of Ayrshire residents and visitors got a close up look at the London 2012 Olympic Torch when it came to Ayr – its only Ayrshire stop – as part of the Olympic Torch Tour.

[Pictured: Scottish athlete and Olympic medal hopeful, Caroline George, a pupil at South Ayrshire’s Belmont Academy, and South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan with the Olympic Torch.]

Within an hour of the specially designed exhibition truck opening, close to 200 people had already been to see the torch, and interest in it remained strong all day.

The Torch Tour is also encouraging people to nominate their local heroes – and those chosen will join others carrying the Olympic flame through Britain next year, as part of the 70-day, 8,000 mile Torch Relay in the lead up to the opening of the Olympic Games.

And, in keeping with the London theme, nominations could be made from the back seat of a specially converted London taxi – which featured a video booth!

People who had already submitted nominations were encouraged to use the taxi and present a brief video supporting their choice.

Visitors to the Torch Tour also had the chance to meet Scottish athlete and Olympic medal hopeful Caroline George (17) a pupil at South Ayrshire’s Belmont Academy.

Caroline receives support from the Local Heroes programme, which provides funding and recognition to more than 100 Scottish Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls on their way to London 2012 and beyond.

She said: “Having the chance to be part of the Olympic torch ceremony as it travels through Britain is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and I’m thrilled members of the local community can be nominated to carry the flame in the relay next year.

“Just as the path to the Olympics has taken huge commitment and dedication – unsung heroes in the community put in hours of unseen work to benefit others and I’m delighted they can get a chance to play their part in the Olympic journey.”

[Pictured: Council Leader Councillor Bill McIntosh, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Margaret Toner, Scottish athlete and Olympic medal hopeful, Caroline George, South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan and Councillor Nan McFarlane, Portfolio Holder for Social Services.]

Joining Caroline with the torch was South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan, Council Leader Councillor Bill McIntosh, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Margaret Toner and Councillor Nan McFarlane, Portfolio Holder for Social Services.

Provost Sloan said: “I was thrilled to welcome the Olympic torch to Ayr and was delighted so many people of all ages and from all walks in life came along to see it, hold it and be photographed with it.

“I’m also especially pleased local people can be nominated to carry the torch as part of next year’s UK relay. and I have already used the video taxi to record my own choices. This really is history in the making.”

During the relay, 8,000 torchbearers will carry the Olympic Flame across the UK. The detailed route will be announced later in the year and the aim of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is that 95% of the population will be within a maximum one hour journey time of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

Councillor Toner added: “It was fantastic to get an up close and personal look at the Olympic torch and it really is an iconic design. I’m delighted so many local people came along to see it and I took great heart from all those who wished Caroline well in her pursuit of Olympic gold.”

South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Ayr Racecourse welcomes First Minister Salmond to Gold Cup Meeting

By: Iain Ferguson

First Minister Alex Salmond will attend next week’s William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Saturday at Ayr Racecourse for the second year in a row and for the third time in the last five years.

[Pictured: First Minister Alex Salmond at Ayr Racecourse last year, congratulating jockey Frankie Dettori on winning his second Ayr Gold Cup in successive years.]

A keen horseracing fan, Mr Salmond will appear live on Channel 4’s Morning Line from the track at 8 o’clock on Saturday September 17 before spending the remainder of the day taking in Scotland’s biggest flat race meeting of the year.

He will be a guest of Racecourse owners Alan Macdonald and Richard Johnstone and watch the big race, the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup, from a Private Box in the Princess Royal Stand.

Mr Salmond will be hoping for a Scottish winner of the Gold Cup which hasn’t been won by a home-trained horse since Roman Warrior’s memorable win 36 years ago.

The best chance of that happening lies with the Jim Goldie trained Hawkeyethenoo which is currently priced at 14/1 with sponsors William Hill.

Advance ticket sales for the three-day meeting are selling well and it is expected crowds of more than 22,000 will take in the meeting which runs from Thursday until Saturday and features Ladies Day on Friday when one lucky lady will drive off in a Vauxhall Corsa Limited Edition courtesy of Kerr & Smith.

Ayr Racecourse ales and marketing manager Lindsey Smith said: “It’s a great boost that the First Minister’s Office have indicated that Mr Salmond will attend again this year. You can have no greater endorsement for your race meeting than your country’s leader stating he wants to attend.

“We are happy with advance sales and as ever will hope for some good weather to give us an added edge. We have a saying at the Racecourse that summer in Ayr doesn’t end until after the Gold Cup is run, so let’s hope for some real summer weather next week.”

For more information or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at

Advance bookings discounts apply until 7 days before the day of the meeting.

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 07795 565691.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle: Encouraging Business between Ayrshire and China

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle in conjunction with South Ayrshire Council is holding a special meeting at 12 noon on Friday 30 September entitled "Encouraging Trade and Business between Ayrshire and China."

The meeting will be attended by Chinese Consul General in Edinburgh Li Ruiyou, and the Deputy Consul General, and main speakers will include Wendy Liu, manager of the China-Britain Business Council’s Glasgow office.

The meeting will be held in the Robertson Room in the main building at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

The meeting starts at 12.00 noon, with finger buffet lunch from 12.15pm to 1pm and presentations by the main speakers and a question and answer session and general discussion after that.

Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner and Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman Norman Geddes (pictured above) commented: "We look forward to welcoming the Chinese delegation to Ayrshire, and on behalf of our members I would like to express our sincere thanks to them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to come to Ayrshire. We very much hope that they will greatly enjoy their visit.

"If the Ayrshire economy is to continue to prosper in these challenging times, it is vital that as many local companies as possible do business in parts of the world that are continuing to experience economic growth, and China's economy is likely to continue to expand rapidly for the foreseeable future.

"Several Ayrshire companies have already succeeded in forging business links in China, and our meeting on 30 September is designed to ensure that many others are able to follow their shining example."

Attendance at the meeting is free, and open to all Ayrshire business people. However, demand for places is expected to be high, so everyone wishing to attend should notify:

Murdoch MacDonald
Elite Ayrshire Business Circle
Telephone: 01292 281498
Mobile: 07833 667322