The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Western House Hotel wins six gongs at Scottish Hotel of the Year Awards

THE four-star Western House Hotel at Ayr Racecourse swept the boards at the Scottish Hotel Awards in Glasgow recently, picking up six ‘gongs’.

It is the biggest awards haul ever for the prestigious hotel, which celebrates its seventh birthday this weekend.

[Pictured from left to right: Western House Hotel assistant manager Keiren Orr, wedding assistant Roisin McMorland, wedding liaison Laura Winston, head chef David Herbert, wedding co-ordinator Jean Kerr, Western House Hotel & Ayr Racecourse operations manager Gary White, and Western House Hotel & Ayr Racecourse general manager Malcolm Balish.]

The Scottish Hotel Awards are dubbed the Oscars of the hotel industry, and picking up the spoils for Western House were general manager Malcolm Balish who won the General Managers Gold Medal, Jean Kerr who was awarded the Senior Wedding Planner Fellowship, Adam Young who was presented with the Rising Star Hospitality Medal, and Gary White who won the Rising Star Future Manager.

And in addition Western House won both the Wedding Team of the Year and the Reception Excellence Gold Medal.

Malcolm Balish summed it up when he said: “We travelled to Glasgow hopeful of maybe collecting one or two awards after we learned we were nominated for several, but to come away with six was way beyond our expectations.

“I am so proud of everyone on the team who put in so much effort to maintain the very high standards we have set at Western House Hotel.
“The Scottish Hotel Awards are the benchmark for the hospitality industry in Scotland, and to do so well means a lot to all connected with Western House. Its hard to believe that just over seven years ago Western House housed the Racecourse offices, and now it’s one of Scotland’s top hotels.

“We have come a long, long way in a short period.”
For further information call Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.


PR-Inside  PR Log The Open Press

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

Frazer Coogans Solicitors’ relaunched website reflects firm’s evolution and progress

Leading Scottish law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors have relaunched their website to reflect the evolution and progress of the business in recent years.

The new look website gives up-to-date information about the current departments and personnel at Frazer Coogans.

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans Commercial Department - Front: senior and founding director Norman Geddes. Back: Peter McNamara and Carly Young.]

Commercial Property

Frazer Coogans Commercial Department has grown from strength to strength in recent years, being one of the leading commercial departments not only locally in Ayrshire but throughout Scotland.

This department is headed by senior and founding director Norman Geddes, assisted by two first-class commercial solicitors, Peter McNamara and Carly Young, and has recently taken on a trainee solicitor as a result of rapid growth. This specialist department assists clients across Scotland, Ireland and England in the purchase and sale of commercial, investment, agricultural and licensed property in Scotland.

The Frazer Coogans Commercial Department assists in sourcing properties for investment or retail purposes, acquisition of land for residential and commercial development and has a specialist background to assist clients in a wide range of varied transactions including the expansion of property portfolios and business growth and development throughout Scotland.

Farm & Country Property

The Commercial Team supports a large number of farming clients throughout Scotland on all aspects of agricultural and country property including sale, purchase and leases and, more recently, the team has developed expertise in wind turbine developments and agreements.

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans Residential Conveyancing Team - Back: Stuart Paterson, Emma Pyper, Angela McFadzean. Front: Gillian Bryan, Austin Thomson.]

Residential Property

This busy department is headed by well-known local solicitors Stuart Paterson and Austin Thomson. The busy conveyancing team offer a comprehensive service advising all clients on aspects of buying, selling and leasing residential property throughout Scotland.
The Residential Conveyancing Team has recently expanded to cope with growth in this field of work.
*  *  *  
 In addition to their comprehensive property services, the Frazer Coogans Team provides excellent service in the following areas:

Family & Child Law

Led by the highly respected Lauren Fowler, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a Specialist in both Family Law and Child Law. Lauren combines Family & Child Law with Criminal Law work.

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans Family & Child Law and Criminal Law Team - Lauren Fowler and Gillian Hunter.]

Wills, Executries and Trusts

Led by Austin Thomson, this department provides excellent advice in relation to Wills, Executries and Trusts and Powers of Attorney.

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans Accident Claims Department - Back: Stacey Carey, Sandra Stewart. Front: Cheryl Phillips.]

The Accident Claims Department
Frazer Coogans’ Accident Claims Department is highly experienced in pursuing all forms of injury claims, including Road Traffic Accidents, Accidents at Work and Slip and Trip on a no-win no-fee basis.
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 Speaking about the relaunched website, Frazer Coogans Solicitors senior and founding director Norman Geddes said: “Our enthusiastic and hard-working team has coped admirably with recent challenging economic conditions. Our newly relaunched website reflects the fact that we have succeeded in progressing satisfactorily on all fronts, and can look forward to the future with confidence.”


Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors
Dalblair House
46 Dalblair Road

Contact: Norman Geddes, Senior Partner
Tel: 01292 280499
Fax: 01292 611645

Leading Scottish law firm Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.



Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Ayr Racecourse announces increased prize money for new flat racing season

Ayr Racecourse launches its 2012 flat season tomorrow (Wednesday 30 May) with the news that prize money has been increased to £928,600 – a near £30,000 rise on last year.

The highlight of the 16-day season will once more be the three-day William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival, which runs from Thursday 20 September until Saturday 22 September, and which carries more than £430,000 in funds with £120,000 in the Gold Cup pot alone.

For the first time ever this year all three major sprint handicaps at the meeting – the William Hill Ayr, Gold and Silver Cups will be run on the Saturday, adding to the excitement of Scotland’s richest flat meeting of the season.

Tomorrow’s Spring Raceday is followed on Thursday by the Blue Square Raceday, and there are healthy fields on both days set to run on ground described as good to firm, firm in places.

The feature race tomorrow is The Bet Mobile At Handicap over the minimum trip of five furlongs with £10,300 in the prize fund. The 14 runner field includes Kevin Ryan’s Le Toreador, the mount of Phillip Makin and the Richard Fahey trained What About You with Tony Hamilton riding.

Leading trainer at the track Jim Goldie (pictured above) saddles 11 runners including the veteran Toshi, to be ridden by Graham Lee, in the Watch Live Racing At Handicap.

The action gets under way at 2.10pm. For more details on racing at Ayr contact 01292 264179 or go online at

For further information please contact Iain Ferguson on 01292 294972 or 07795 565691.

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

South Ayrshire Council Modern Apprentices show off their new skills

South Ayrshire Modern Apprentices have been showing off their skills during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

All Modern Apprentices joined in, with people getting a real insight into the lives of the apprentices as they followed their daily blog on the Council’s website.

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Council chief executive David Anderson was shadowed by Modern Apprentice Craig McBlain during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.]

Councillor Robin Reid, Resource and Performance Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council said: “Funding comes to the Council through Skills Development Scotland to provide a range of modern and craft apprenticeships. These apprenticeships offer young people the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification through learning at work.

“We are proud of the way in which our modern apprentices apply themselves to learning practical skills and attaining qualifications. They make a real contribution to the Council and help deliver services to the residents across South Ayrshire.

“The qualification they gain on successful completion of their apprenticeship is a strong foundation for their future career, and I wish them all well wherever their profession takes them in the future.”

Activities in and around Scottish Apprenticeship Week carried out by South Ayrshire Council Modern Apprentices included:

[Pictured: South Ayrshire Council executive director of corporate services Eileen Howat was shadowed by Modern Apprentice Lisa McKeown during Scottish Apprenticeship Week.]

* Staff and pupils at Southcraig Campus were thrilled with the work carried out by Amenity Horticulture Apprentices to spruce up their Sensory Garden.
* Craft Apprentices helped out with a series of repairs at Carrick Campus in Maybole.
* Administration Apprentices got to see behind the scenes at the recent local authority elections by helping to process postal votes. 
* Greenkeeping Apprentices took to the links at Troon Golf to help repair damaged drainage on the fairways.
* Three Apprentices took a day out of their normal work schedule to shadow the Chief Executive and Executive Directors.
* Apprentices welcomed senior school pupils to shadow them in their jobs to experience a day in the life of a Modern Apprentice
* A Care Apprentice learned more about safe moving and handling techniques when she shadowed the Council’s Moving and Handling Advisor at South Lodge Care Home.
* Ayr Grammar Primary School welcomed Apprentices to their World of Work assemblies to let pupils hear about the diverse roles they perform.
* Apprentices worked with the catering team in the canteen at County Buildings.
* Two of the South Ayrshire Council apprentices gained valuable interview experience by participating in mock interviews on a Recruitment and Selection course for managers.
* Greenkeeping Modern Apprentices designed an interactive webpage for  colleagues from across the globe to share information and ideas.

The Council currently has Modern Apprentices within administration, customer services, land-based industries such as horticulture and greenkeeping, health and social care and construction trades. New opportunities are advertised in the local job centres and on the South Ayrshire Council website as they arise.

South Ayrshire Council chief executive David Anderson said: “I was very impressed with the professional and enthusiastic way in which the Modern Apprentice who shadowed me embraced the experience. It was great to hear about his experiences within the Council and listen to his  views on a wide range of topics. He accompanied me to many things including a meeting with COSLA and one with the Scottish Youth Parliament Elections Commission.”

Modern Apprentices are recruited throughout the year, with times varying depending on the type of apprenticeship.  For more information about how to become a Modern Apprentice in South Ayrshire log on to

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

CKD Galbraith offer attractive Ayrshire farmhouse with large workshop overlooking Dalry

Leading independent Scottish property consultants CKD Galbraith are offering for sale Greenhirst, an excellent extended farmhouse overlooking Dalry.

It enjoys superb views of the Ayrshire countryside and offers complete privacy. The house is well situated only 23 miles from Glasgow, offering a wonderful opportunity for those pursuing a quiet location close to commuting links to the city. Greenhirst benefits from local services and facilities in both Dalry and West Kilbride. Dalry has a mainline railway station with regular services to Glasgow and beyond.

Dalry is a small town in the Garnock Valley. Its history has signs of early inhabitants in the area. The remains of an ancient fort made of three concentric round walls can be found on the summit of Carwinning Hill to the North of Dalry, west of the B784 to Largs.

Originally built as a smiddy in the mid-1800s, the property has considerable flexibility – the annex can form part of the main house or could convert to a granny flat, separate letting cottage or teenager wing.  The shed and the land make the property of interest to buyers seeking to operate a business such as landscaping, joinery, haulage etc. It has been extended and renovated to a high standard. The central heating system in the house can be powered from the wood burning boiler in the workshop or alternatively the conventional LPS gas boiler.
Greenhirst  is available at Offers Over £325,000.

PDF available on


CKD Galbraith
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Ayrshire, Scotland

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.


Monday, 28 May 2012

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle Summer Luncheon 2012 at Turnberry

Ayrshire business people are cordially invited to attend The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle annual Summer Luncheon at Turnberry on Friday 22 June 2012.

Places at Ayrshire’s top social and business networking event are available NOW at a very reasonable £20 per head, and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Bookings are being taken NOW.

To register your interest in attending, e-mail

Photographs from last year’s event can be viewed on Flickr. CLICK HERE


The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is an association founded in 2007 by some of the top companies in Ayrshire.

Its purpose is to publicise its members, and to celebrate and promote the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial talent and business excellence that abounds here within the county boundaries of Ayrshire.

Members include the Clydesdale Bank, Ayr Racecourse, Western House Hotel, Turnberry Golf Resort and South Ayrshire Council. Member company activities include broadcasting, building and construction, architectural practice, estate agency and land management, chartered accountancy, insurance broking, legal services, golf club management, marketing services and brand creation, web design and public relations consultancy.

Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior partner Norman Geddes (above left) is executive chairman of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, and managing director is public relations consultancy Fame Publicity Services proprietor Murdoch MacDonald (above right).

For further information about The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle and to apply for membership, e-mail