The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 22 February 2013

Ayr Racecourse unveils QTS Group as new sponsor of Scottish Champion Hurdle

By: Iain Ferguson
The QTS Group is the new sponsor of the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr Racecourse - the richest and most prestigious hurdle race in Scotland.
The £50,000 Grade 2 race is run on 20 April, Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday, and will be shown live on Channel 4.
[Pictured: QTS Group managing director Alan McLeish.]
The sponsorship is a major commitment by the Lanarkshire company to horse racing and follows its highly successful association with Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock.
The QTS Group, based in Drumclog, near Strathaven, was founded in 1992 originally as a tree surgeon business and now provides an extensive range of engineering infrastructure and training services to major organisations across the rail, utilities, construction and public sectors.
QTS is also one of the UK’s largest providers of rail operations, working very closely with Network Rail and other major suppliers. With various engineering and infrastructure contracts, as well as providing market leading training courses, the company is a one-stop shop for most business needs.
QTS Group managing director Alan McLeish commented: “We are delighted to announce our strategic partnership with Ayr Racecourse, Scotland’s premier horse racing venue. The Grand National meeting  is a huge spectacle in the UK, and we are very proud to be supporting the Scottish Champion Hurdle.
“As a successful local organisation, we like to support other companies and we look forward to what the future holds for Ayr Racecourse and the QTS Group.”
Ayr Racecourse chairman Alan Macdonald (pictured above) said: “The Scottish Champion Hurdle is one of the highlights of the National Hunt season, not only in Scotland but in the UK. To have such a successful company as the QTS Group as a sponsor is a huge bonus.
“QTS is a fast growing business and I believe their high profile fits perfectly with the Scottish Champion Hurdle. All of the team at Ayr Racecourse are looking forward to working alongside QTS to make this great race even better.”
The Scottish Champion Hurdle was first run in 1966 when the winner was Blue Venom. It was awarded Grade 2 status in 1991 and was run on the opening day of the two-day Scottish Grand National meeting until 1994 when it moved to the Saturday.
Previous winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Captain Christy in 1973, Alderbrook in 1996 (a year after winning the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham) and Martin Pipe's Granville Again in 1992.
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.

CKD Galbraith offer charming traditional Ayrshire farmhouse and steading in beautiful countryside setting

Leading Scottish property consultants CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is marketing a lovely traditional farmhouse with adjoining courtyard steading, set quietly in the rolling Irvine Valley with stunning rural views for which offers over £295,000 are being sought.
Eastfield is a charming four bedroom farmhouse with adjoining outbuildings surrounding an enclosed sheltered courtyard.
The local area is steeped in history and industrial heritage.
The nearby towns of Newmilns and Darvel, once known as “The Lace Town”, were historically the centre of the Ayrshire lace-making industry and well known for their exports throughout the world.
Eastfield dates from around 1863 and retains much of its original character and appeal.
There are 4 bedrooms, including a stunning loft bedroom with lovely views, three reception rooms (living room, sitting room and dining room), farmhouse kitchen with electric double oven Rangemaster and utility room.
The farmhouse has oil fired central heating along with 3 woodburning stoves to keep it cosy and warm during the winter months.
From the courtyard at the rear can be gained a sense of the original working farm. Stone walls enclose the yard and outline the ruins of a former piggery and cattle byre.
The present layout includes a range of barns, currently utilised as stables and storage sheds. The substantial byre to the eastern wing of the house could, subject to planning consent, be incorporated into the house to extend the existing accommodation.
In addition, planning permission exists for the conversion of the western side of the yard to create a separate two bedroom cottage.
The courtyard overlooks grounds of around 1.8 acres, attractively laid out to include a small paddock, a substantial pond which provides an attractive focal point and some mature woodland.
This is a rare opportunity to purchase a wonderful traditional farm steading in this quiet and picturesque part of Ayrshire.
PDF available on
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, Stirling, Perth, 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
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.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ayr Racecourse treble for top trainer Lucinda Russell

By: Iain Ferguson
Lucinda Russell’s amazing record at Ayr Racecourse continued on Tuesday last week when she saddled three winners, taking her seasonal tally at the track to 11 wins from 30 runners.
And for the first leg of her treble Lucinda had the help of champion jockey AP McCoy who rode Tap Night (11/8 jt fav and pictured above left) to land the BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Novices Chase.
Lucinda’s other successes came courtesy of Nuts N Bolts (2/1 fav) in the Money Back On Madrid With BetVictor Handicap Chase with Peter Buchanan riding, and in the last young Irish jockey Graham Watters partnered Island Confusion (5/1) for Ayr owner Mrs Sandra Giles to land the National Hunt Flat Race.
AP McCoy is also having a terrific season at Ayr and also rode Deepsand (4/6 fav) to land the BetVictor Welsh Open Final Frame Insurance Maiden Hurdle. The champ has now ridden 6 winners from 12 mounts at Ayr this season.
Dumfries trainer James Ewart saddled Sacre Toi (11/10 fav) under Brian Hughes to lift the BetVictor Non Runner Free Bet At Cheltenham Handicap Chase while the trainer – jockey combination of Donald McCain and Jason Maguire teamed up on Swatow Typhoon (9/4 jt fav) to win the National Hunt Novices Hurdle.
Ayr’s next meeting is on this Thursday 21 February, with the first race due off at 2.20pm.
For more details on racing at Ayr call 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.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Vicon UK unveils £300 million Loudoun Castle masterplan

Proposals for a £300 million redevelopment of the former Loudoun Castle theme park site in East Ayrshire have taken a major step forward.
Ayrshire-based investment, consulting and project management company Vicon UK has been joined by investor FML to launch the ambitious masterplan, which proposes a world class championship standard 18-hole golf course, club house and educational golf academy, new whisky distillery, homes, retail and a food and drink ‘centre of excellence’ for the site.
As part of the plans, the 19th century Loudoun Castle itself will be fully redeveloped as the centrepiece to create a stunning five star hotel.
Loudoun Castle theme park, near Galston, closed its doors at the end of the summer season in 2010.
Vicon UK has submitted a notice of intention to lodge a detailed planning application for the golf course and golf academy with an in-principle application for the mixed use development on the 600 acre site.
The company will now work with council planning chiefs and consult with the local community in order to progress the planning applications.
Should this planning application be successful, Vicon is confident the project will create hundreds of new jobs in the construction and related industries and will channel over £300 million in investment over five to seven years into a community that would benefit greatly from new investment.
Vicon UK has pledged that local firms and contractors will be employed to deliver the project wherever possible. Kilmarnock-based Thomson Architects have already been appointed to create the blueprint for the site.
Neil Rattray, chief executive of Vicon UK said: “Since the closure of the theme park, there has been a great deal of interest in the future of the site.
“We have been working tremendously hard over a period of many months to ensure we attracted the right investor and have put together a realistic proposal that will deliver significant economic benefit to East Ayrshire.
“These plans have been created in consultation with the owner of the site, with the interests of Galston at heart and we are convinced that the people of Ayrshire and beyond will benefit hugely from this new investment in Scotland.
“There has already been significant consultation with the local community and we are confident we have its backing for these plans.
“We have already fully engaged with local elected members and Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley MSP Willie Coffey has welcomed this investment in Ayrshire and has given the overall masterplan his backing.
“We are committed to making this project a success and we will now work with our partners and stakeholders such as East Ayrshire Council to deliver a stunning development which will become a landmark centre of excellence destination in Scotland.”
It is anticipated the development will be powered by clean renewable energy. As part of the planning application, a renewable energy plan is proposed for the site, which will take the form of a district heating system incorporating PV solar systems and, potentially, a biomass plant.
The Loudoun Castle theme park was opened in the grounds of the 19th century country house in 1995. A number of the park rides have already been sold to other theme parks around the UK since its closure in 2010.
The Vicon team have significant business experience with residential and commercial property projects across Scotland and overseas, and have worked with clients including major pension and private investment funds.