The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 5 July 2013

"The stuff that dreams are made of....."

"The stuff that dreams are made of. One of Mafiz Ali's magnificent curries at Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant. Telephone 01292 441413 now to book a table." 

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Turnberry waiter takes top honour in UK culinary awards

A young waiter at Turnberry, the Luxury Collection Resort in Ayrshire, has been recognised for the skill and passion she brings to her work by winning a prestigious, UK catering industry award. 

Caitlin Flannighan (pictured above), a native of Girvan, took the honour at the Academy of Culinary Arts (ACA) Annual Awards of Excellence 2013 after a finalists competition against 24 other waiting professionals representing the best restaurants in the UK, including The London Ritz, Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Le Gavroche. 

A graduate of Carrick High School, Caitlin joined the team at Turnberry in 2011 and was promoted to the role of Junior Head Waiter in the resort’s 1906 restaurant last year. 

The Award of Excellence recognises her passion and commitment for her work, something which Caitlin says is ideally suited to her personality. “I believe that communication, knowledge, confidence and people skills are all vital in this profession,” she said. “The high standards set by Turnberry and the diverse and thorough training they have provided have been a great foundation to help me develop my career to date.”

Jordi Tarrida (pictured above), General Manager of Turnberry Resort, said: “We’re delighted with Caitlin’s award success which is well-deserved. She has an excellent attitude, all the right personal elements and she takes a great pride in her work. It reflects Turnberry’s wider commitment to provide unique and personalised experiences to our guests.”

The Academy of Culinary Arts is Britain’s leading professional association for chefs and restaurants, and its patron is His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales.


Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scotland 

Turnberry is located on the stunning Ayrshire coast, offering elevated views over the Irish Sea, Ailsa Craig and mountains of Arran and Kintyre. First opened in 1906 as the world’s first golf resort, Turnberry quickly established itself as the premier destination for social and sporting events. The five red star resort underwent a multi-million pound renovation programme prior to hosting the 2009 Open on its legendary Ailsa golf course and becoming part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts much acclaimed Luxury Collection. The luxuriously appointed guest rooms include four lavish ocean-view suites and offer a perfect blend of Edwardian tradition and timeless design. The iconic Ailsa Course is currently ranked as Britain’s number one golf course by leading golf publications and consistently rated within the world’s best. For golfers, there is also the Championship Kintyre Course and the Arran Course, as well as the Turnberry Performance Academy. Turnberry is the perfect setting for food lovers, with a choice of unique dining experiences, including the signature restaurant 1906, led by Executive Chef Justin Galea, which offers classic dishes with a modern twist and a unique Chef’s Table experience. There is also the elegant Grand Tea Lounge, Ailsa Bar & Lounge, Duel in the Sun bar and Tappie Toorie restaurant overlooking the links golf courses and sea beyond. Turnberry has a well-established reputation for top class meeting and events facilities, specialising in bespoke boardroom experiences. There is also a luxurious spa offering a range of ESPA treatments. The onsite Outdoor Activity Centre offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including quad biking, archery and off-road driving. For more information, please visit: 

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts 

The Luxury Collection® is an ensemble of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world’s most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent d├ęcor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 75 of the world’s finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel’s distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit:

Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

South Ayrshire Council is here for you – in The Wallace Tower!

A brand-new South Ayrshire Council Customer Service Centre will open in Ayr town centre next week, creating a ‘one-stop-shop’ in the heart of the local community with easy access to information, assistance and advice on a full range of Council services.

[Pictured: Councillors enjoyed a tour of the
new Customer Service Centre in Wallace Tower.]

The Ayr Customer Service Centre opens to the public on Monday 8 July 2013, bringing one of the most iconic buildings in the town – The Wallace Tower on the High Street – back into use.

Only the ground floor of the new centre will be in use initially while the remaining renovation work to the masonry and windows – which will get underway shortly once the contract is awarded and the scaffolding is in place – is progressed.

The Wallace Tower is the latest of the customer service centres established by the Council across South Ayrshire, with four improved centres in Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon opening their doors at the end of last year.

Staffed by a dedicated customer services team, the aim of all five centres is not only to enhance access to Council services and information, but also to create community hubs – a focal point for local people who want to find out what's happening within their communities – with locally-created artwork and photography on display and information on local events and activities readily available.

The modern and eye-catching Wallace Tower Customer Service Centre brings together a number of Council services that were previously only available from Council offices across Ayr, meaning customers often had to move between locations just to conduct all Council-related business. The Wallace Tower ‘one-stop-shop’ will bring all that together in one central location. 

Services available include:

Access to money advice & welfare rights

Births, deaths and marriages extracts

Blue Badge applications & collections

Building standards & planning applications 

Clothing grant & free school meal applications

Council payments

Council Tax enquiries & payments

General Council information 

Housing enquiries & repairs

Leisure bookings & payments

Licensing applications

Parking permits

PC & telephone facilities to contact Council services

Private interview rooms

Report issues including cleansing, dog fouling, fly-tipping, graffiti, roads & street lighting

Special uplifts & waste enquiries

Verification of benefits supporting documents

This list will be further expanded later in the year when the remaining works to the masonry and windows on the first floor of the building are completed and the upstairs area can be used by specialist services such as benefits and housing.

Councillor Philip Saxton, South Ayrshire Council's Customer First Portfolio Holder, said: "It’s taken a long time to ensure that this historical building was restored sympathetically with due regard to conservation requirements, but the transformation to The Wallace Tower is nothing short of stunning and I’m sure the local community will appreciate the time and effort that’s been put in to create such a first-class customer service facility.

“From the moment any customer walks through the door, they will receive excellent service in quality surroundings and that’s exactly what this project is all about – being here for our customers. I want our customers not only to be impressed by the look and the layout of the new centres but, more importantly, by the services provided and the ease with which they can engage and interact with the Council. 

“I’m very proud of this new centre and what it means for our customers. I can assure everyone in the local community we’ll be working to meet their needs every day.”

The new Ayr Customer Service Centre in The Wallace Tower, 172-176 High Street, Ayr KA7 1PZ will open for business at 8.45am on Monday 8 July 2013.

The Council’s customer service centres are open from 8.45am-4.45pm (Monday-Thursday) and 8.45am-4pm on Fridays:

• Ayr:  The Wallace Tower, 172-176 High Street, Ayr KA7 1PZ.
• Girvan: 17-19 Knockcushan Street, Girvan, KA26 9AG
• Maybole: 64 High Street, Maybole KA19 7BZ
• Prestwick: 2-6 the Cross, Prestwick KA9 1AN
• Troon: Municipal Buildings, South Beach, Troon KA10 6EF.

For more information on the Council’s customer service centres, visit 
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

New funding from People's Health Trust available for local groups in South Scotland

Local groups and organisations with great ideas to make their communities an even better place to live are now invited to apply for funding to turn their ideas into reality. 

People’s Health Trust has just launched Active Communities in Dumfries and Galloway, North, East and South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders, North and South Lanarkshire – a funding programme for local people wanting to create fairer places to grow, live, work and age. 

Using money raised by HealthEngage through The Health Lottery, People’s Health Trust is looking to invest in projects that support people living in the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Dumfries and Galloway, North, East and South Ayrshire, Scottish Borders, North and South Lanarkshire.   

Active Communities is a funding programme for not-for-profit groups with an income of less than £350,000a year, seeking investment of between £5,000 and £25,000 a year, for projects lasting up to two years.  The projects should take place within a small area for a small group of people, such as 20 or 30 streets or a couple of villages.

John Hume (pictured above), Chief Executive, People’s Health Trust, says: “We’re looking to support ideas designed and run by local people which help create even stronger links and ties within communities. Whether it’s a tenants and residents’ mediation group or a computer skills group for older people, we’re interested to hear about it.”

“Applying couldn’t be easier - it’s about local people telling us what would make their local community an even better place grow, live, work and age. It’s an online process with a step by step guide from start to finish.”

The closing date for applications is midday on Monday 15 July 2013.

To find out more about Active Communities, visit:

Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam are both heading for Ayr Racecourse

Loveable children's characters Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam are coming to Ayr Racecourse!

Peppa is the special guest at the totepool Armed Forces Family Raceday on Sunday 7 July and will be making five appearances at intervals throughout the day.

And Fireman Sam, the ‘hero next door’ will leave Pontypandy to visit Ayr Racecourse’s Glasgow Fair Festival Family Raceday on Monday 15 July when he will also be making five appearances at intervals during the afternoon.

All entertainment both days is absolutely free and there’s a fantastic line up to suit all ages.

In addition to Peppa Pig making appearances on 7 July and Fireman Sam doing likewise on 15 July there is a host of fun lined up - and of course seven races both days.

An inflatable Lazer Quest, fun fair rides, mega fun trampolines, pony rides, face painting and glitter tattoos, sand art, a fantastic creative station with a variety of arts and crafts, a circus and magic show plus an equisizer for children to hone their jockey skills.

And before racing on 7 July there will be two pony races AND a colourful mascot race before the horse racing action begins.

On Glasgow Fair Family Raceday on 15 July there will be a panto dame race before the first official contest.

Ayr Racecourse marketing manager Lindsey Smith said: “Family Days at Ayr are always special and this year will be even more so with appearances from Peppa Pig and Fireman Sam. We feel we have some amazing entertainment for children of all ages!”

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

Monday, 1 July 2013

Ayrshire salutes Armed Forces

The people of Ayrshire and beyond saluted Armed Forces personnel past and present when they turned out in their hundreds and enjoyed a special event held on the Low Green in Ayr. 

Serving military personnel, veterans, the three Ayrshire Provosts, elected members, Reverend David Gemmell, Council officers and members of the public showed their appreciation for the Armed Forces at a commemorative flag raising ceremony at the Place St Germain-en-Laye, near the Esplanade in Ayr. 

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie hosted a Civic Reception for military personnel, after the flag raising, before the fun day opened on the Low Green.

There were various activities and displays by the Armed Forces including a static helicopter display, a climbing wall and inflatable assault course and military vehicles. A range of charities that support service personnel past and present, representatives from community groups and charities had stalls at the event. With a range of activities for children, food and beverages and performances from Dunaskin Doon Brass Band it was a fun filled family day. 

Provost Moonie said: “We have a strong connection with the military in Ayrshire and South Ayrshire, which was clearly demonstrated by the large number of people who attended the Armed Forces Day event at the Low Green.

“This special day gave us all an opportunity to show our support for military personnel past and present, the brave men and women who serve their country, protecting us and putting the needs of others before their own. Their families also make sacrifices, with their loved ones being away from home often for long periods, and it was wonderful to see them enjoying themselves too.

“We are committed to supporting our service personnel and this annual event is one way to do it, sending out a clear message that we appreciate our servicemen and women.”

North Ayrshire Provost Joan Sturgeon said: “Armed Forces Day gives us the opportunity to recognise the bravery and dedication of soldiers who are carrying out difficult jobs, often thousands of miles away from their families. 

“We take time to remember all of the forces who have died in war every year on Remembrance Day, and Armed Forces Day gives us the opportunity to recognise and show our respect for the men and women who continue to serve in some of the world's most dangerous regions.” 

East Ayrshire Provost Jim Todd said: “I was honoured to take part in the ceremony to mark Armed Forces Day and to have the opportunity to show our support and recognition. Each and every one of us greatly appreciates the outstanding contribution made to our society by the Armed Forces. The challenges they face and the roles they play are made a little bit easier when they know that their communities back home are proud of them and wish them well.”