The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 17 May 2013

Chef Mafiz Ali offers varied and delicious menu at Ayr Spice Restaurant in Minishant

Head chef Mafiz Ali at Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant invites you to cast your eyes over his delicious and varied menu at Choose something different for a change, or just settle for an old favourite! To book a table this weekend, telephone 01292 441413.
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
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.
Indian food can be simple or elaborate, humble or opulent, within a culinary tradition that is centuries old. The unique gift of Indian cuisine is its inspired use of exotic spices and the finest fresh ingredients. Proprietor Mafiz Ali and his team at Ayr Spice are determined to bring you the best of that tradition, and look forward to welcoming you.
Ayr Spice Restaurant is open 7 days a week from 12 noon until 10pm including Bank Holidays, Christmas and New Year. Takeaway and home delivery are also available.
Mafiz Ali
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant
The Old Minishant Memorial Church
22 Ayr Road
KA19 8EX
Tel: 01292 441 413
Ayr Spice Indian Restaurant is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Education Minister opens £8.3m Dreghorn Primary School

Dreghorn Primary School pupils welcomed some special guests this week as their exciting new £8.3m school was officially opened by Education Minister Michael Russell MSP.

Watch our film clip of the opening of  Dreghorn Primary School

The state-of-the-art building gives its learners the perfect environment for modern teaching – a huge step from their 100-year-old school.

Pupils have been at the very heart of the move to their new school playing an important role in the design of the building.

The new school features many elements which have been introduced specifically to improve important aspects of learning, including:

* High quality wi-fi access providing the ideal base for Curriculum for Excellence
* Hi-tech performance space
* Innovative outdoor learning, including a woodland walk, gardens and play areas
* Support and facilities for children with additional support needs
* Changing pavilion for outdoor sports
* Multi purpose gym and four outdoor activity areas

This flexible design - which boasts 13 classrooms and a dedicated early years class - ensures that pupils benefit from the diversity of quality education delivered.

A key element of the design was 'inclusion'. This has been translated throughout the building both in terms of the autism friendly colour scheme and therapy rooms meeting the needs of young people experiencing communication disorders.

Pupils at primary school are often those who are most aware of environmental issues and the importance of sustainability in all walks of life.

The new school has many features which specifically address environmental issues. Designed with the environment in mind, the new school utilises sustainable features such as rainwater harvesting, carbon dioxide monitoring and air-source heat pumps which minimise the carbon footprint and keep the air in the building fresh and, most importantly, healthy.

Mr Russell said: “I am pleased to be in North Ayrshire for the official opening of the new Dreghorn Primary School.

“This state of the art school will provide a better learning environment for young people, appropriate for delivery of Curriculum for Excellence and is a real credit to the local community.

“Providing the best possible school accommodation is vital to delivering the best possible education and the Scottish Government is committed to moving even more school pupils into quality accommodation by investing in the £1.25bn million Schools for the Future programme.”

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Education Attainment and Achievement, added: “The new Dreghorn Primary School is an ambitious project that provides facilities to deliver a modern curriculum fit for the 21st century, in line with the Curriculum for Excellence."

“This is a major investment for the village as a whole and has been well supported by the community. Their pride was evident when hundreds lined the streets as the pupils paraded from their old school to the new school last year.

“The pupils, parents and staff are rightly proud of their new school and recognise the positive impact it has already made.

“As well as excellent PE facilities and outdoor learning areas, the school also provides valuable support for children with additional support needs, recognising the need for specialist assistance while understanding that many families want their children to remain in mainstream schools.

“Our ambition is for a supportive, inclusive, and diverse school which, above all, allows our children to be safe, healthy, happy, active and fully prepared for life.”

Charlie Dunn, Regional Managing Director Scotland, at Miller Construction, added: “We are delighted to have delivered this high quality learning environment that will benefit pupils and teachers in Dreghorn for many years to come.

“Throughout the design and construction phases we worked closely with a wide range of stakeholders and we were pleased to have received a national Considerate Constructors Scheme award for our consideration towards the local community, workforce and the environment throughout this project.”

Galston launches new regeneration project

Exciting new plans to regenerate Galston town centre were unveiled this week at the public launch of the area’s new Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

[Pictured at the launch ceremony, left to right: David Richmond, Galston Community Development Trust; Karen Walker, Private Sector Liaison Officer, EAC; Colin McKee, Heritage Projects Co-ordinator, EAC; Provost Jim Todd; Councillor Alan Brown; Councillor Tom Cook; Karl Doroszenko, Development Planning & Regeneration Manager, EAC.]

Galston is home to many fine buildings of historic and architectural value, however time, weathering and the prohibitive costs of repairs have led to some falling into disrepair. The CARS project offers grant assistance, support and advice to building owners enabling them to carry out sympathetic repairs, fitting them for use in the 21st century.

The project is jointly funded by East Ayrshire Council and Historic Scotland. All work will require to be carried out by experienced contractors using traditional methods which are suitable for older buildings. By helping owners to make their buildings wind and water tight, repairing roofs, guttering and windows, business and residential properties can be given a new lease of life.

Provost Jim Todd opened the launch event at Galston Community Centre which included a presentation by the Galston Community Development Trust, a charity set up in 2012 to oversee the future development of the town. East Ayrshire Council’s CARS team was on hand to discuss the proposals and answer queries from interested parties. 

Karen Walker, the Council’s Private Sector Liaison Officer, also gave a presentation on the work of the Private Sector Liaison Unit, including the availability of advice and loans available to undertake repairs to bring empty accommodation up to an appropriate standard for renting. Councillor Alan Brown gave the thanks at the end of the event.

Councillor Jim Buchanan, Spokesperson for Delivering Community Regeneration, said: “We’ve already had considerable success with the Kilmarnock and Cumnock CARS projects, helping businesses and residential owners to conserve their premises and creating and sustaining jobs in the building industry. 

“We’re obviously very pleased to be able to do something similar in Galston as this project will be a key element in revitalising the town centre and an important opportunity to secure investment for the town. We will continue to work closely with the Community Development Trust and with people and businesses in Galston and hope that owners will contact us about renovating their properties to help us make this project a real success for the town and its residents.” 

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Record employment rise for Scotland

Scotland has seen the largest quarterly increase in employment on record according to the figures published by the Office for National Statistics today.


The statistics show that headline employment rose by 54,000 in the three month period January to March 2013. This is the largest quarterly rise in employment in Scotland since the start of the series in 1992.
Scotland’s headline employment rate, which refers to the population aged 16 to 64, rose by 1.1 percentage points to 71.8 per cent. This is the largest increase in employment rate of any nation or region in the United Kingdom in this release and Scotland’s employment rate is again higher than the rate for the UK as a whole of 71.4 per cent.
Over the three months January to March 2013 total unemployment fell by 7,000. The rate fell by 0.4 percentage points to 7.3 per cent, with the figures now showing falling unemployment for the sixth monthly release in a row. The Scottish unemployment rate is lower than the UK rate, which rose by 0.1 percentage points to 7.8 per cent.  The employment rate in Scotland is now higher and the unemployment rate lower than in any other nation of the UK.
The Scottish youth labour market continued its strong performance of recent months with the youth unemployment rate down 6.4 percentage points over the year to January to March 2013.  The Scottish youth unemployment rate of 16.6 per cent is lower than the UK rate of 20.3 per cent and the Scottish youth employment rate increased by 4.3 percentage points to 56.3 per cent, higher than the UK rate of 49.4 per cent.
Welcoming the news First Minister Alex Salmond said: “Today’s figures show the largest rise in employment on record with an increase of 54,000 people in employment. Scotland also showed the largest quarterly rise in employment rate of all 12 UK countries and regions.
“Scotland is out-performing the UK with a higher employment rate and lower unemployment rate.  And our youth employment rate is continuing to make encouraging progress with more young people in work and youth unemployment falling again.
“The Scottish Government, our agencies and employers across Scotland have set a clear course for recovery. We are working hard to get people back into work and to create opportunities for our young people.
“The Westminster government’s continued pursuit of austerity over economic recovery is the biggest risk to Scotland’s economic recovery.  Without the tools of independence to do the job properly Scotland risks being caught up in the UK’s slipstream.  The Chancellor has the chance at the spending review in June to change his plans, accept his mistakes and learn the lesson that the key to economic growth is investment not austerity.
“One factor in our strong performance has been our success in attracting foreign investment to Scotland.  Scotland has been recognised by the Ernst & Young Attractiveness Survey as the top destination in the UK for Foreign Direct Investment in terms of job creation for the last two years - having previously been named leading ‘European Region of the Future’ in the 2008/09 Financial Times annual FDI awards. It is vital that we don’t see a situation where jobs are jeopardised by the UK Government’s obsession with Europe.
“We are committed to maintaining and building sustainable economic growth in Scotland and delivering the most competitive business environment anywhere in the UK.  With the full fiscal and economic powers of independence the Scottish Government could do yet more to strengthen our economy and create jobs."
Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance said: “Today’s figures show yet again that Scotland has lower unemployment and higher employment rates amongst our young people compared to the UK.
“These figures are clear evidence that the action we are taking to support young people into employment, including the Modern Apprenticeship programme, is making a difference.
“Next week marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2013, an opportunity to raise awareness of the opportunities of an MA for both employers and young people.  Ministers across the Scottish Government will be taking part in a number of events aimed at demonstrating the value that an MA can add to a business.”

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

CKD Galbraith offer charming Ayrshire country cottage set in beautiful gardens in a convenient location

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Darwhilling Cottage, a lovely country cottage located in a sought after location 2 miles from the popular village of Fenwick, East Ayrshire, for which offers over £350,000 are being sought.

Quitely situated with beautiful rural views, Darwhilling Cottage is a beautifully presented detached cottage offering generous accommodation of some 2407 sq ft set in a plot of some 0.73 acres adjoining open countryside.

The living accommodation comprises a lovely lounge / dining room with a welcoming open fire and wooden beams.

The dining kitchen has a range of fitted units with access to the garden. There are 4 bedrooms on the ground floor, including a lovely master bedroom suite overlooking the sunny back garden with shower room and a bespoke fitted wardrobe. The cosy sitting room with woodburning stove has patio doors to the garden and the sun room is a fabulous addition to the house from which to enjoy the beautiful gardens. There is a family bathroom and curved stairs lead to the family room on the first floor and a large floored attic area with excellent potential for conversion and extension.
There is an integral garage and there are beautiful sheltered garden grounds and a small area of woodland. There is a mix of colourful flowering shrub borders and a large patio area for entertaining and relaxing.

The garage could easily be incorporated into the house to provide further living accommodation if required, and subject to obtaining the appropriate consents.

In 1761, the Fenwick Weaver's Society was formed, this was the world's first co-operative society.  It began when a small group of self-employed weavers met in secret in the village to sign a pledge of loyalty to one another and “to make good & sufficient work and exact neither higher nor lower prices than are accustomed.”
PDF available on
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
Independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a founder member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 13 May 2013

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie welcomes round-the-world yachtsman back to Troon

Gerry Hughes, a Scottish teacher who was born profoundly deaf, has become the first deaf person ever to sail single-handed around the world past all five capes.
South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie was in Troon to see Gerry Hughes off at the start of his epic journey, and was there to welcome him home.
Provost Moonie said: “Gerry Hughes is a truly inspirational person. He has achieved a personal ambition to successfully sail around the world and at the same time clearly demonstrated to other people what can be achieved with sheer hard work, determination and skill.
“Sailing is very popular in South Ayrshire and I am pleased that Gerry chose to sail in to Troon Marina to mark his return home.”
Gerry Hughes, 55, from Glasgow set sail last September leaving behind his wife and two daughters as he embarked on the ultimate sailing challenge which only around 300 people have completed in history (compared to over 1500 that have made it to the top of Mount Everest).
Now, Gerry is part of an exclusive list of solo-circumnavigators joining the likes of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Francis Chichester, achieving a life-long ambition and raising awareness of the deaf community to the wider world.