The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 11 November 2011

South Ayrshire Council library service achieves worldwide first

South Ayrshire Council today (Friday 11 November) achieved a world’s first for a public library service with the launch of its very own e-book.

The e-book, ‘The Record of the Ayrshire Militia 1802-1883’, is now available for sale on Amazon, making South Ayrshire’s local history information accessible to a global audience for generations to come.


[Left to right: Councillor Bill Grant, Professor Dauvit Brown, Councillor Margaret Toner South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Jean Innes, South Ayrshire Libraries and local historian Jim Brown of Jim and Zette e-book publishers, pictured at the e-book launch.]

Launched by esteemed Scots historian and Director of the Paradox of Medieval Scotland (POMS) project – Professor Dauvit Broun from Glasgow University – the e-book was originally privately printed in 1884 and is based on hand-written records in a notebook kept in Ayr barracks.

Its 114 pages consist of a year-by-year account of the activities of the Ayrshire militia from its formation in 1802, including details of the regiment’s Napoleonic war service in Scotland, England and Ireland.

And the important world-first has already been endorsed by the Earl of Stair who said: “Congratulations on this wonderful initiative and well done for seeing it through.”

South Ayrshire Council currently owns one fragile print reference copy of the book, which was written by Hew Hamilton-Dalrymple, and is much in demand due to a growing interest in genealogy and family history research thanks to programmes such as the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are?

The launch of South Ayrshire Council’s ebook means the content is available for purchase and download by anyone, anywhere and anytime and it can be read on laptops, smartphones and all e-readers such as the Kindle.

It will also be available on loan – free of charge – to South Ayrshire libraries’ members thanks to the Council’s popular ebooks library service, which launched last year.

Professor Broun said: 'Jean Inness and South Ayrshire Council have for many years been at the forefront of making links between scholars of Scottish history and local historians in the annual Local History Fair.

“In this latest exciting innovation she has taken this to the next level by making a priceless source for local history, of interest to anyone with a serious interest in nineteenth-century British history, available across the world to everyone with access to the internet.

“In the same way as university researchers are making Scottish history accessible through the web, for example, there are currently on average 25 people every day who use the Paradox of Medieval Scotland website.

“It is wonderful now to see local libraries, led by South Ayrshire, find a way to make their own treasures available everywhere.”

Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure said: “This book is another impressive innovation from our libraries service, and one which – as far as we can establish having checked with colleagues around the globe – is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Not only that, it’s a fascinating read too!

“Our approach opens up a whole new world, not just to those interested in local or family history but also to libraries across the globe. If other libraries followed suit, we would have the potential for no book to ever have to go out of print. Effectively it helps these books live forever. This is a real step forward for the libraries of the future and I’m delighted South Ayrshire has the honour of being the first to take this forward.”

South Ayrshire Council’s achievement has been welcomed around the world:

Sally Pewhairangi, a library project management consultant from New Zealand, said: “Congratulations to South Ayrshire for taking the next step by commercially publishing local history material. Ebooks and social media enables libraries to place their collections into the hands of enthusiastic historians and genealogists regardless of where they live and those of Scots descent in particular will find this book, and subsequent titles, very useful.”

Rhona Arthur, Assistant Director of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland/Scottish Libraries Information Council, concluded: “We welcome the way in which South Ayrshire’s libraries service has embraced the advent of e-books, both as a lender and now as a publisher.

“E-books are a flexible format which means they are very accessible for people and available from the library catalogue 24/7. Publishing local material until now has meant low print runs and high unit costs. This is a great way of publishing books – which may have a global audience as well as a local one – without the costly overheads.”

Martyn Wade, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library of Scotland, said: “South Ayrshire are to be congratulated on this terrific, innovative step. Libraries across the country have many treasures and important volumes such as the Record of the Ayrshire Militia in their collections and it is very good to see them embrace new ways of ensuring as many people as possible can access these.”

Records of the Ayrshire Militia from 1802 to 1883 is available from www.amazon.co.uk, priced £6.99. South Ayrshire Council has also teamed up with a company called Lightning Source who can print copies of the book on demand. Print copies can be ordered from the Carnegie Library in Ayr.

Dauvit Broun

Dauvit Broun (David Brown) (born 1961) is a Scottish historian and Professor of Scottish History at the University of Glasgow.

A specialist in medieval Scottish and Celtic Studies, he concentrates primarily on early medieval Scotland and has written abundantly on the topic of early Scottish king-lists as well as on literacy, charter-writing, national identity and on the text known as de Situ Albanie.

He is editor of the New Edinburgh History of Scotland series, the pre-1603 editor of the Scottish Historical Review and convener of the Scottish History Society. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project ‘The Paradox of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1286.’

www.poms.ac.uk

www.south-ayrshire.gov.uk

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Tourism businesses urged to capitalise on growth in Scotland’s sailing market

Scottish tourism businesses are being challenged to look at ways of tapping into a predicted 45 per cent growth in sailing tourism in Scotland over the next ten years.


Companies are being urged to take advantage of this predicted growth in a new sailing guide published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland (TIS), as part of its Opportunities for Growth series.

Currently generating just over £100million a year for the Scottish economy – with market share predicted to increase to £145million in the next ten years – sailing is set to become one of the fastest growing activity markets for Scottish tourism.

Audrey MacLennan, Senior Development Manager - Tourism at Highlands & Islands Enterprise said: “Over the last two decades the sailing tourism sector in Scotland has been growing at unprecedented levels. We’ve seen new marinas emerging together with the development of existing facilities, and these have quickly been absorbed by the rising market. Despite the economic downturn, this growth has continued largely unabated.

“Regular sailing visitors from the UK and abroad have been captivated by our untouched sparking waters, first-rate facilities, beautiful scenery and abundance of wildlife. In fact, the Scottish sailing product has become so popular that in many areas the demand for berths and moorings is exceeding the capacity, and the number of potential visitors just keeps growing.”

The new guide provides key intelligence on the sector, as well as offering advice on how businesses can ensure that sailing visitors – ranging from experienced yachters to those attending a sailing event or festival – have the best experience possible.

For example accommodation providers could provide a free shuttle service from the marina, somewhere to store clothing and equipment, and offer little luxuries - such as a cup of hot chocolate or a warming dram - when sailors come on shore. Other tips include having the latest weather and tide forecasts available, and packaging up food hampers to sell to sailing visitors.

Scotland is often described by enthusiasts as one of the top sailing destinations in the world. Recent figures show that more than 167,000 visiting boat nights are made here each year, with over 40% of these made by boats from outside Scotland, contributing particularly to our remote, rural economies.

However the British Marine Federation estimates that over 1 million boats are owned by UK households, and almost 3 million UK adults participate in a boating activity of some kind. A further 4 million Europeans own a boat, over 600,000 of which are capable of sailing to Scotland. The potential market for Scotland is therefore significant.

Katrina Morrison, tourism strategic priorities manager at Scottish Enterprise added: “Yachting can be an expensive pursuit and traditionally attracts people with a high disposable income. Given this association with the luxury end of the market, it’s no surprise that sailing is a good business sector, which attracts large numbers of high-spending visitors. But this visitor market is actually widening as sailing becomes more accessible in terms of opportunities and costs.

“Sailing visitors can spend a lot of their docked time ashore, and once on dry land are likely to spend money on food, drink, entertainment and occasionally accommodation. There is therefore an opportunity for all types of tourism business to benefit.

“With such significant growth predicted over the next few years, sailing businesses and tourism businesses have a great opportunity to work together within an area to give our sailing visitors an unforgettable trip. This is not necessarily about investing more money – it is about working together to combine existing offerings and create sailor-friendly services and packages. The result will be more visitors, more repeat visits, and more business for everybody!”

Mike Balmforth of Scottish Boating Alliance and British Marine Federation Scotland said: "The Scottish sailing tourism industry has been growing steadily for many decades, with tourism businesses of all types now recognising the business potential of this high-spending sector.

“The strength of the market is evidenced by the ongoing investment in new and improved sailing tourism facilities, amounting to some £12million at 24 locations around Scotland over the last and current financial years. These projects range from improvements in established harbours and marinas to the creation of facilities in remote coastal communities, bringing a much-needed boost to rural economies.

“This excellent new guide from Tourism Intelligence Scotland clearly and concisely sets out the business case for tourism operators getting involved in the market and outlines the practical steps that operators need to take to grow their sailing-related business.”

The Sailing Tourism in Scotland guide has been published by Tourism Intelligence Scotland, as part of its Opportunities for Growth series, aimed at helping businesses make the most of new and emerging opportunities in the sector. The guide is available to businesses who register at www.tourism-intelligence.co.uk.

To coincide with the launch of the guide, Scottish Enterprise is running a series of free ‘Sailing Tourism Innovation Workshops’ for businesses interested in exploiting the sailing market. The next workshop will take place in Appin, West Highlands (15 November – run in partnership with Highlands & Islands Enterprise). A further three workshops are also planned for 2012 in Largs, Greenock and Helensburgh. Businesses wishing to book a place should go to www.scottish-enterprise.com/events.aspx

· Tourism Intelligence Scotland is a joint venture developed by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and VisitScotland, in partnership with the tourism industry, to stimulate growth and innovation in tourism.

· Other guides in the Opportunities for Growth series include: Knowing Our Markets…Scotland’s Visitors; Scottish Tourism in the Future; Walking Tourism; Listening to our Visitors; Golf Tourism; Adventure Travel; Food Experience in Scotland; and Mountain Biking Tourism.

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main economic development agency and aims to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy. Its role is to help identify and exploit the best opportunities for economic growth. It supports ambitious Scottish companies to compete within the global marketplace and helps build Scotland’s globally competitive sectors. It also works with a range of partners in the public and private sectors to attract new investment to Scotland and to help create a world-class business environment.

www.scottish-enterprise.com

First Minister Alex Salmond secures renewables deal in Abu Dhabi

Scotland’s position as a leading player in renewables has been reinforced this week with a unique collaboration being agreed between First Minister Alex Salmond and one of the world’s leading renewables innovators.


As a result of his five-day tour of Qatar and the UAE this week, the First Minister (FM) has agreed plans with the alternative energy company Masdar to draw up plans for a partnership with Scotland that will boost university research into renewable energy sources and promote other initiatives.

The discussions between the FM and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Masdar’s chief executive, took place during a visit by Mr Salmond to Masdar City, a ground-breaking initiative in the desert which showcases advances in the development, commercialisation and deployment of renewable technology.

The First Minister said: “I firmly believe this agreement will yield great results for Abu Dhabi, great results for Scotland, and I do believe it will lead to significant advances that will benefit this entire planet. That’s the importance of what’s been talked about.

“Dr Al Jaber insisted that he doesn’t want just a memorandum of agreement, he wants a framework for action. He’s looked at two areas in particular: cooperation over research into renewables technology between universities, and direct investment and partnerships for specific projects.

“This is the first time Masdar will have had an agreement with a government agency - a country. Masdar’s previous agreements have been with individual companies, so this is quite a breakthrough for us both.”

Dr Al Jaber said: “Masdar is pleased to partner with Scotland on a number of upcoming renewable energy initiatives. We discussed a number of areas of collaboration and I look forward to working closely with him over the coming months to move these ideas forward.

“Scotland is a leading player in the renewable energy field and we are delighted to combine our knowledge and experience through this mutual and beneficial partnership.”

Details of the deal will be drawn up by Masdar and Scottish Enterprise, with a view to an agreement being signed in January.

During the course of five days, The FM met Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, emir of Qatar, and Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar; and Sheikh Hamdam bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the deputy ruler of Dubai.

He also opened the new Doha headquarters of Scottish international law firm McGrigors, took part in a low carbon technology transition discussion and toured the present premises for Weir Oil and Gas in Dubai while viewing their new plans for expansion in the area.


[Pictured: First Minister Alex Salmond chats with technicians during a tour of the Weir Oil and Gas facility in Dubai. While visiting, the FM also saw plans for the company’s new HQ which will be at the heart of expansion plans in the region.]

The opening by the First Minister of Heriot-Watt University’s new showpiece £35m campus in Dubai was a major highlight of the visit, and further testament to Scotland's dynamic role in producing students equipped with the skills to become future leaders, managers and innovators in the business world.


[Pictured: First Minister Alex Salmond takes a tour of the new campus of Heriot-Watt University in Dubai.]

Mr Salmond said: “Throughout this visit and in discussion with key dignitaries in Qatar and UAE, both countries have expressed their confidence in Scotland’s economic strategy. The meetings I have had have given me the opportunity to talk in more detail about some of the unique opportunities Scotland can offer. From oil and gas to renewable energy, infrastructure investment and education, our country is rich in resource and opportunity.

“Worldwide market forces also make this an attractive time to invest in long term viable capital projects. I am confident that the Scottish Government’s commitment to capital investment for long-term growth will make Scotland an attractive partner for our friends in the Gulf.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “Opening up new opportunities with other nations is vital to secure Scotland’s long-term economic growth.

“The UAE offers real possibilities for Scotland and its companies in a variety of key industries including education, low carbon and renewables. Our five-day visit was all about strengthening trade relations to proactively make it easier for Scottish companies to trade there. Many Scottish businesses are already successfully active in the region and by further nurturing our relations with the UAE we can not only enhance our own ways of working but can ultimately generate increased growth for the Scottish economy.

“Our message is clear - Scotland is very much open for business and is ready to compete on a global stage. We look forward to working in the region on future projects.”

The First Minister also contrasted the positive outlook shared by Scotland, Qatar and the UAE with the failed economic strategy of the UK Government. He said: “The economies of Qatar and the UAE continue to perform well as they seek to diversify. They share Scotland’s commitment to sustainable capital investment which will secure the long term future of our respective economies.

“In the current economic circumstances, capital investment must be a priority in both the public and private sector. Scotland offers many attractive business opportunities, particularly in renewables and infrastructure, which offer the prospects of good returns for substantial investors and this has been borne out by my discussions in the Middle East.

“I am now looking forward to our nations building on these dynamic new relationships for the greater benefit of us all.”

www.scotland.gov.uk

RICS reports Scottish housing market in early hibernation

The Scottish housing market went into early hibernation as fewer properties came on the market and the number of sales dipped in October says the latest RICS UK Housing Market Survey.


[Pictured: RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley.]

Sellers shied away from putting their homes on the market and the number of buyers enquiring about property remained unchanged. Chartered surveyors suggested uncertainty in Europe spilling over to UK economy and restricted mortgage availability are still impacting on the market and making sellers nervous.

Just over half (53%) of surveyors said house prices had fallen in October while 47% said they had stayed the same. None said they had risen. This is the first time since March 2009 that no surveyors reported a monthly rise in house prices.

October is a very different picture to September which saw a flurry of activity from sellers putting their homes on the market and a small increase in buyers.

As winter sets in, chartered surveyors expect the Scottish housing market to remain subdued with fewer sellers, less potential buyers and therefore a drop in sales.

RICS Scotland director Graeme Hartley said: “The Scottish housing market went into early hibernation in October with prices falling and sales dipping. With the chaotic events in the euro area threatening to spillover to the UK and banks still imposing tough conditions on loans to first time buyers, any recovery in sales is still likely to be relatively modest. This will inevitably leave many people who would like to own a home unable to access the market.”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978.? The survey is cited by the Bank of England's monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

About RICS

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.

In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.

Over 100 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.

RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

www.rics.org

Monday, 7 November 2011

ARPL Architects win Roses Design Awards for Colmonell Primary School

Colmonell Primary School has scooped two prestigious silver awards in the annual Roses Design Awards for its iconic and outstanding design.

The school was nominated in both the Sustainability and Education categories, celebrating the very best in innovation, sustainability and architecture across the UK.

The awards were presented to Ayr-based ARPL Architects Ltd, who designed the school, at a ceremony in Manchester.


South Ayrshire Councillor Hywel Davies, Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said: “I am absolutely delighted that Colmonell Primary has won these plaudits, especially in two very keenly contested categories of the Roses Design Awards.

“Architects for the project were Gordon Fleming and Stewart Glendinning of ARPL Architects Ltd, and their vision for a rural school fully at home with the environment has been realised in the cutting edge design and build of this fantastic school.”

Credit was also given to others involved in the project including structural engineers, Hodgin Smith Partnership, environmental engineers, FLN Consulting and quantity surveyors, Armour Construction.


Gordon Fleming from ARPL Architects Ltd said: “We are delighted that our design work for Colmonell Primary school has been recognised in the UK-wide Roses Design Awards for 2011.

“The brief set by South Ayrshire Council had very high aspirations for a new sustainable village school. Our design solution sought to fulfil these aims with a forward looking design which anticipates the educational and environmental needs of the coming decades.

“The use of innovative design ideas in layout, materials and construction helps provide a rich and engaging experience for the children in a healthy natural environment.

“For the school to succeed in both the education and sustainable design categories of this awards scheme is especially welcoming given the very strong competition from around the country. This recognition combined with the enthusiastic reception for the new school from the pupils, parents and local residents demonstrates the level of success which can be achieved by a dedicated client and a committed local design team.”


Councillor Davies continued: “The building works were completed by Ashleigh Construction in December 2010 and the children have been very enthusiastic about their new school, describing it, quite appropriately, as the school that nature built.”

The school now has the chance to win another national honour, as it has been nominated for a Glasgow Institute of Architecture award, in the Education category, with results due on Friday 11th November 2011.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, commented: “Providing a high quality and eco-friendly learning environment was at the heart of our strategic planning for Colmonell Primary School.

“The brief was challenging – to design and build a school taking best advantage of daylight, natural ventilation, environmentally responsible building materials and avoiding harmful chemicals, while at the same time delivering a state of the art school and a fantastic learning environment for our young pupils.

“The results speak for themselves.

“The bright, airy and well designed teaching spaces are outstanding, supported by a main dining and sports hall, a central open area with library and a wide range of educational resources, internally and outside in the landscaped exterior.

“I’m delighted the school has been honoured in the Roses Design Awards and look forward to the GIA announcement later this month.”


Councillor Davies concluded: “The school is a credit to the architects, designers, builders and agencies involved in its creation and thoroughly deserving of the plaudits received.

“However, the young pupils at Colmonell are doing outstandingly well and, in my opinion, they are the real winners in this iconic and brilliant building.”

ARPL Architects Ltd

The directors of ARPL Architects Ltd are Patrick Lorimer, Robert Gilliland, Gordon Fleming, and Rebecca Cadie with John Ramsay, Stewart Glendinning and Kenneth Handley as associates.

The ARPL philosophy is to produce buildings to the highest design standards in close consultation with its clients. Designs are innovative and sympathetic to both the immediate and the broader environment in which they are constructed, with an emphasis on sustainability. Each project embraces the unique nature of the client’s needs and the site.

Over the 36 years since Patrick Lorimer established the original practice, ARPL’s status in the profession has grown steadily in line with its position as a medium-sized practice with a reputation for well executed projects. From its base in Ayr the practice carries out projects over a wide geographical area from the Orkneys and the Western Isles to Ireland.

The firm’s project experience covers the fields of housing, churches, schools, commercial projects, private houses, community and arts buildings. Particular expertise has been developed in contemporary sustainable design, specialist conservation works and design for historically sensitive environments.

ARPL’s work has received wide recognition through numerous design and environmental awards presented over the years for its new build and conservation works. Regular success in design competitions adds to the practice portfolio.

ARPL are currently working on new and refurbishment housing for Lochside, Ayr, several church and castle conservation and restoration projects and new community facilities in the South West of Scotland. Appointments for church commissions involve a range of denominations and projects from conservation and repair to extensions and new build. The firm is also involved in country houses and estates and the design of new houses for private owners.

The practice typically handles projects with construction values ranging from £100k through to £15m.

ARPL directors have managed to keep their business stable during the current difficult times, and have a busy current workload.

ARPL Architects Ltd is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Contact:

ARPL Architects Ltd
Architects and Quantity Surveyors
11 Wellington Square
Ayr KA7 1EN
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: Patrick Lorimer
Tel: 01292 289777
Fax: 01292 288896
E-mail: plorimer@arpl.co.uk
Web: www.arpl.co.uk

Sunday, 6 November 2011

CKD Galbraith offer idyllic country cottage in peaceful rural situation

Leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith is marketing Glenside Cottage, a delightful country cottage nestling in South Ayrshire countryside, in the unspoilt valley of the River Stinchar.


Situated in a popular destination for holiday makers, Glenside Cottage is a wonderful opportunity for anyone wanting a base from which to take advantage of the great outdoors. To the south is the Galloway Forest Park, whilst to the north and west are the beautiful beaches of the Ayrshire coastline. About 1 mile away is Colmonell, a pretty village offering local facilities including a primary school, whilst further facilities, including a regular train service are at the former coastal fishing town of Girvan.


Glenside Cottage dates from around the 1930s and has been extended to form a practical and spacious home, with two main reception rooms, two bedrooms and bathroom on the ground floor, and two attic bedrooms and bathroom on the first floor. There is a nicely proportioned garden and useful garage.


Glenside Cottage sits within the curtilage of the Bardrochat Estate, off a quiet country lane. It has all the charm of a lovely family cottage situated within the umbrella of a rural community, and is being marketed at offers over £145,000.

PDFs available on www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

For further information, contact Bob Cherry on 01292 268181 or email: bob.cherry@ckdgalbraith.co.uk

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy specialising in serving the needs of private clients. It employs over 200 people in offices in Edinburgh, Perth, Stirling, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso and Peebles.

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the commercial, residential and rural sectors throughout Scotland. The company enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

The company’s rural arm specialises in farm sales and purchases, the management and sale of large estates and woodland, valuations and building surveying work. CKD Galbraith’s in-house AMC (Agricultural Mortgage Corporation) agents assist in securing loans for a range of farming purposes with the specialist team offering a competitive service to assist clients with applications for IACS, SRDP, Rural Stewardship Schemes, SNH Natural Care Scheme and SSSI Agreements.

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.