The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 16 March 2012

Ayr Renaissance regeneration work continues to brighten up town centre

Images of the Brig o’ Doon and Turnberry lighthouse and the Ailsa Craig, two of South Ayrshire’s most iconic landmarks, have been placed at the bottom of Ayr High Street by Ayr Renaissance as part of their regeneration work within the town.

Alan Macdonald, Chair of Ayr Renaissance said: “The images are stunning, they really brighten up the street. We have been working in partnership with South Ayrshire Council, local businesses and others who want to help us create a bright future for Ayr. The work we have already carried out in the town centre including newly installed floodlighting at the Auld Brig, overhead lighting in Newmarket Street, painting buildings in the Sandgate, refurbishing street furniture are all making a real difference.

[Pictured: Alan Macdonald, Chairman of Ayr Renaissance and Ayr Racecourse.]

“We will continue to work to improve residential, retail and commercial accommodation within Ayr.”

Speaking about the latest Ayr Renaissance addition to the High Street, Lesley Bloomer, Executive Director Development & Environment and Council representative on Ayr Renaissance for South Ayrshire Council said: “The colourful images have been placed in premises at the bottom of Ayr High Street. This is an area which is heavily frequented by pedestrians and people travelling by bus, so the images will be viewed many.

[Pictured: Lesley Bloomer, Executive Director Development & Environment and Council representative on Ayr Renaissance for South Ayrshire Council.]

“I am positive that local residents and businesses will like the change which brightens up the street and is a showcase for two of our iconic landmarks. The images are so eye-catching that I am sure visitors will stop and enjoy them and hopefully take the time to visit both destinations and others within South Ayrshire.

“We are working with Ayr Renaissance to breathe new life into Ayr town centre and make it a must visit destination for tourists and a place that people aspire to come and live in.”

Plans are being made to place more images in premises in the town centre.

Monday, 12 March 2012

JB Management candidate awarded Medal of Excellence at Dumfries House

Leading Ayrshire training provider JB Management celebrated their candidate David Paterson of Scottish Coal being awarded the Medal for Excellence from City & Guilds at Dumfries House on the 9 March 2012.

David was awarded this coveted award for his achievements in the Occupational Health & Safety Practice Level 4 NVQ. David’s portfolio showcased ground-breaking recommendations for improvement to health and safety as well as a determination to complete his NVQ before his forthcoming wedding.

Attendees at the presentation are pictured below, including representatives from JB Management, Scottish Coal and Adam Ingram MSP.

[Pictured left to right: Gerry O’Neil, JB Management Assessor; Emma McNeil, JB Management Administration Assistant; Claire Gilliland, Administration Assistant; Adam Ingram MSP; Pauline Napier; Iain Munro, Scottish Coal Group Safety & Environmental Manager; David Paterson, Scottish Coal; Keith Jones, Scottish Coal Group Human Resource Director; Caroline Hamilton, Scottish Coal Training Provider; Angela Evans, JB Management Finance Director; Kellie Zdanowicz, JB Management Operations Manager; Bill Ure, JB Management Managing Director; Maureen Ure, JB Management Human Resource Director; Evelyn Kozicki, JB Management Centre Manager.]

Dumfries House provided a grand backdrop to the ceremony with its sumptuous interiors and magnificent furnishings, all set in two thousand acres of land.

Dumfries House was built between 1754 and 1759 for the 5th Earl of Dumfries, and is home to a wide collection of Chippendale furniture.

In June 2007, HRH The Prince of Wales, under his title as the Great Steward of Scotland, headed a consortium of charities and heritage bodies to purchase this unique house, its contents and adjoining land, in order to keep this historical jewel intact and accessible to the public.

JB Management Managing Director Bill Ure commented: “Dumfries House is an ideal location for this event, especially when considering the local heritage and strong connections with the coal industry.”

Bill also discussed the relevance of the Royal family’s involvement in Dumfries House as HRH The Princess Royal is the President of City & Guilds.

Adam Ingram reinforced the relevance of the local area to coal mining before congratulating David in his speech when presenting David with his Medal.

Adam is pictured below with David Patterson.

Adam Ingram also presented a certificate to Bill Ure on behalf of City & Guilds congratulating JB Management’s commitment and drive in the achievement of excellence in training.

[Pictured left to right above: Gerry O’Neil, JB Management Assessor, Adam Ingram MSP; David Patterson, Scottish Coal; Bill Ure, JB Management Managing Director; and Keith Jones, Scottish Coal Group Human Resource Director.]

David and his Assessor Gerry are attending City and Guilds glamorous Lion Awards ceremony on Thursday 15 March 2012 at The Roundhouse, London. The Lion Awards is a culmination of City and Guilds’ annual Medals for Excellence competition, where they invite all medallists and their nominators to celebrate their achievements. Each medallist is automatically shortlisted for the Lion Awards.

Additionally, for the second year running, City and Guilds medallists will also have the chance to win the People’s Choice Award, voted for by the public. City & Guilds has launched a dedicated microsite showcasing each medal winner to help them gain support and votes. Should David win his category, he may be invited to Buckingham Palace to be presented this additional award by HRH Princess Anne later in the year.

In conclusion, last week’s presentation was a great success, with the venue and attendees all contributing to a celebration of lifelong learning. JB Management would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate its congratulations to David on his achievement and wish David and Pauline the very best of luck for their forthcoming wedding.

For further information on JB Management’s full range of courses and qualifications, please contact Kellie Zdanowicz, Operations Manager on 01292886664.

JB Management is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant Minishant prepares special Mother’s Day menus

Celebrity TV chef Mafiz Ali has created two special Mother’s Day menus at his haute cuisine Indian Restaurant in Minishant, Ayrshire, Scotland.

As always, Mafiz’s food will be a sheer delight, and the wonderful setting of Ayr Spice Restaurant in the converted Memorial Church in Minishant will provide an ideal setting for what will undoubtedly prove a memorable occasion for all diners next weekend.

You can view the two menus, priced at £14.95 and £19.95 on the Ayr Spice website:


Ayr Spice Indian Cuisine can be found 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.

Mafiz Ali enjoyed a particularly busy and successful year in 2011.

He made two guest appearances on STV’s popular early evening television programme “The Hour” with regular hosts Stephen Jardine and Michelle McManus.

The previous month, Mafiz Ali hosted a very successful luncheon meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, which further enhanced his already growing reputation amongst discerning diners in the local business community.

He put on successful special menus to celebrate Mother’s Day, the Bangladeshi New Year and the Royal Wedding.

In the Spring of this year Mafiz extended the opening hours of Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant, which is now open from 12 noon 10.30pm every day.

For the Summer he introduced a Tandoori Barbecue, at which customers can dine al fresco (weather permitting!) in a family-friendly atmosphere with a tree-house for the kids and ample parking.

In the Autumn the newly refurbished upstairs function room seating 100 people was officially opened by South Ayrshire Deputy Provost Mary Kilpatrick, and Mafiz hosted a Halloween Party for the pupils, parents and teachers of Minishant Primary School.

There will be further exciting developments to be announced during the course of the next few months which will cement Ayr Spice’s place as one of the top fine dining experiences in South West Scotland.

A set of photographs recalling some of the highlights of 2011 for Mafiz Ali at Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant in Minishant in Ayrshire, Scotland can be found on Flickr:



Mafiz climbed the ladder to fame when he won a chef of the year award in 1998 and, almost immediately, added one for exceptional hygiene and cleanliness. Newly crowned at Westminster, he was commissioned by the then prime minister, John Major to supply a banquet for his 50th birthday at Number 10 Downing Street.

A replica banquet was then ordered by one of the distinguished guests and sent to New York city. Since then he has sent food elsewhere in the USA and to Japan and Australia in what must be an almost uniquely international takeaway service! He has also catered for numerous celebrities from the world of entertainment and some have vowed to come to his restaurant while they are in Scotland on tour.

It is not widely known that 92% of all “Indian” restaurants in the UK are in fact Bangladeshi, and it was to promote such eating houses and reward young chefs by recognising their talents, that Mafiz founded the “British Bangladeshi National Curry awards” at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, also in 1998.

Mafiz Ali has been closely associated with charities, notably when he entered the Guinness Book of Records with 4.5 tons of chicken korma, which was then eaten at a charity event. Because of the enormous quantities involved he had to seek the advice of a professional engineer for the technical realisation of the project.

No stranger to TV, Mafiz has been invited to return to STV for further programmes in the future. Channel 4, Big Breakfast TV and several others including Bangladeshi TV on which he has his own programme, number among the other stations for whom he has appeared, and he has made double that number of radio broadcasts, as well as contributing to many publications including the Times and Daily Mirror.

Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
The Old Minishant Memorial Church
22 Ayr Road
KA19 8EX

Tel: 01292 441413


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