The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 2 August 2013

South Ayrshire Council launches 27th Ayr Concert Series

This autumn sees the 27th annual Ayr Concert Series, arranged by volunteers from Ayr Arts Guild for South Ayrshire Council, featuring three Scottish Orchestras and seven International Soloists.

From Saturday 19 October to Friday 7 February 2014, six concerts will be performed in Ayr Town Hall and the line-up is once again stunning – with three visits by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, two by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and one by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

Music lovers will be thrilled with the wide range of concerts to choose from and, better still, the season ticket option that provides best value for money and ensures you don’t miss out on any of the evenings of marvellous music making.

The opening concert on Saturday 19 October features the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in a programme called Romantic Landscapes conducted by Jaime Laredo, violin, and featuring his wife Sharon Robinson, cello.  The atmospheric programme includes Dvorák’s Romance and Silent Woods, Saint-Saëns’ The Muse and the Poet, concluding with Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 ‘Scottish’.

On Friday 1 November, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, conductor Andrew Grams, plays Weber’s Overture Der Freischütz, Mozart’s Overture The Magic Flute and Wagner’s Symphony in C major.  Leading British horn player Richard Watkins will join the orchestra as soloist in Richard Strauss’ first horn concerto.

Thursday 19 December sees the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra return with their ever-popular Christmas Classics concert with conductor Stephen Bell and presenter Jamie MacDougall, tenor.

Always popular is the Scottish Chamber Orchestra New Year in Vienna concert to be held on Saturday 4 January 2014.  Nicholas McGegan is conductor and John Mark Ainsley, tenor, will perform a selection of well-loved songs by Lehár, Loewe and Coward, whilst the orchestra will play marches, polkas and waltzes, including Strauss’s Blue Danube Waltz.

The Orchestra of Scottish Opera comes on Saturday 25 January with their new Music Director Emmanuel Joel Hornak, and soloist Anthony Moffat who will play Barber’s Violin Concerto.  The concert will include Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, and conclude with Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5.

The season reaches its climax with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andrew Gourlay, and soloists Scott Dickinson, viola, and Yann Ghiro, clarinet.  The concert opens with Mozart’s delightful Symphony No. 7 and Bruch’s charming Double Concerto for Viola and Clarinet, and ends with Tchaikovsky’s last Symphony No. 6 ‘Pathétique’.

Councillor Bill Grant (pictured above), South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: “We’re privileged to enjoy a superb musical relationship with the Ayr Arts Guild and, once again, they’ve pulled out all the stops to organise a brilliant line up for autumn and into the New Year.

“Residents and visitors to South Ayrshire will be able to hear world class orchestras, internationally acclaimed musicians and globally successful performers, right here on their own doorstep.”

Jim Coutts, Chair of the Ayr Arts Guild commented: “We’re incredibly proud to have been involved in a unique and very fruitful partnership with the Council and Scottish orchestras, that now goes back more than a quarter of a century.

“Together, we’ve hosted some of the most famous names in the business and the 27th series promises to be another successful season in Ayr Town Hall.

“The impressive line-up of international musicians will be enhanced by the equally impressive group of acclaimed conductors.”

Season tickets for the 27th Ayr Concert Series are now on sale by post from Ayr Gaiety Theatre, Carrick Street, Ayr, KA7 1NU and individual concert tickets will be available from Monday 2 September 2013.

Brochures containing details of all concerts in the Ayr Concert Series 2013/14 are available in local libraries, leisure and tourist information centres.

Councillor Grant concluded: “This year, more than ever, it’s almost impossible to choose which concert to go to as there really is something for everyone, so buy a season ticket now and make sure you see and hear them all!

“And the best news of all is that all ticket prices have been kept at last year’s level – now that really is music to our ears!”

The Ayr Concert Series attracts investment from Enterprise Music Scotland supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland and support from South Ayrshire Council. 

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

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Turnberry to host the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open Golf Championship

Turnberry’s famous Ailsa course has been announced as the venue for the 2015 Ricoh Women’s British Open for only the second time in the Championship’s history.

Turnberry, the Luxury Collection Resort in Ayrshire and host of the Open Championship on four occasions, was the scene of the Women’s British Open Championship in 2002 when Australia’s Karrie Webb won this prestigious title for a third time. The stunning location of the Ailsa course makes Turnberry one of the most scenic golf destinations in the world.  

A top-quality links, the Ailsa course was the scene of the 1977 Open Championship and provided the stage for the famous ‘Duel in the Sun’. In brilliant sunshine, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson went head-to-head over the final two days, with Watson eventually finishing a shot clear of his rival — and 11 shots ahead of the rest of the field. Turnberry also hosted the Open in 1986 (Greg Norman) 1994 (Nick Price) and more recently in 2009 (Stewart Cink). 

Webb’s triumph at Turnberry in 2002 saw her open with a stunning first round 66 and close the tournament out with the same score. She came from three strokes back in the final round to clinch victory with a flawless final round over the Ailsa Course. In winning, she became the first player to win the Championship three times. 

Webb, who has won over 50 international titles in her illustrious career including seven Major titles and is currently ranked World Number 6 on the Official Rolex Rankings, commented: “I am really pleased to hear that the Ricoh Women’s British Open will be returning to Turnberry. I have wonderful memories of winning the 2002 Championship and I can’t wait to return in 2015. Turnberry is one of the best courses I have played so I hope I can continue on from where I left off in 2002!  

Webb continued: “All the players enjoyed the experience of competing on the famous Ailsa course last time round so I think this news will be very enthusiastically received by everyone.” 

Shona Malcolm, the LGU’s CEO said: “We are delighted to be returning to Turnberry which has welcomed the Championship back with great enthusiasm. This decision continues the Championship Committee’s commitment to ensuring that the world’s best women players showcase their talents on the world’s best golf courses in years to come. As the history books show, Turnberry provides a wonderful stage for Major golf and I am sure we will see another dramatic Championship in 2015. We are grateful to EventScotland for its continued support and to South Ayrshire Council for recognising the value to business and tourism in hosting a Championship of this quality.”  

Jordi Tarrida (pictured above), General Manager, Turnberry Resort, added: “We are very proud of our reputation as one of the world’s most renowned golf resorts and our history as a Major Championship venue. Hosting the Women’s British Open in 2002 was a fantastic experience so we are delighted to be working once again with the LGU and IMG and bringing the 2015 Championship back to Turnberry.” 

The 2015 event will see the Championship played in Scotland, the Home of Golf, for the third time in five years following Carnoustie in 2011 and St Andrews this year. Scotland’s regular hosting of the event is part of a 10-year investment by EventScotland which will see the Championship played in the Home of Golf every second year until 2019. 

Paul Bush, chief operating officer of EventScotland added: “It has long been our desire to see the Ricoh Women’s British Open Championship played one some of Scotland’s best and most iconic courses and Turnberry undoubtedly falls into that category. Scotland is the Home of Golf and it is fitting that one of the most prestigious titles in women’s golf will return again in 2015, allowing us to showcase our unrivalled golf tourism credentials to the world. The LGU, IMG and Ricoh have done a fantastic job in growing the event since we began our partnership with them back in 2010 and everyone in Scotland is looking forward to welcoming the players, media and guests to Scotland in 2015.” 

Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council concluded: “Ayrshire lends itself to providing golf courses to meet the needs of all levels of golfers including world class professionals. South Ayrshire has a unique and historic place on the international golfing map, with two current Open championship courses, as well as being the home of Open championship golf, having staged the first ever event at Prestwick in 1860.  We are delighted to be the destination partner for the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2015 at Turnberry’s Ailsa course and look forward to welcoming the players, officials and spectators to what, I know will be another fabulous staging of this wonderful championship. It will provide a further opportunity to showcase globally the great golf tourism destination we have here in Ayrshire and Arran, and bring a boost to our local economy. We are committed to providing support for this golf tournament and ones in the future.”  

Prior to Turnberry, The Royal Birkdale Golf Club will host its sixth Women’s British Open in 2014, continuing a strong association with the event that goes back to 1982 when Marta Figueras-Dotti took home the coveted title. The Championship returned in 1986 when England’s Laura Davies triumphed. Sophie Gustafson won in 2000 and five years later Korea’s Jeong Jang claimed her first professional victory by defeating Gustafson and another Korean, Young Kim, by four shots on 16-under par 272. In 2010 Yani Tseng, Number One on the Rolex Rankings, came out on top.  

The 2014 Ricoh Women’s British Open will be played 10 – 13 July and is showcased, as always, on BBC Television and around the world. 

The Ricoh Women’s British Open was founded by the LGU in 1976 and is staged in conjunction with IMG, the world’s largest sports marketing company. The event has been co-sanctioned by the LPGA and LET since 1994 and gained Major status in 2001. 

Ricoh, the leading technology provider of Managed Document Services and Production Printing, has been the title sponsor of the Ricoh Women’s British Open since 2007.  

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

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

QTS Group sponsors 'unmissable' Ladies Night at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

THE QTS Group has strengthened its already strong links with Ayr Racecourse by becoming sponsors of one of the biggest meetings at the track.

QTS Ladies Night on Saturday 10 August follows on from the highly successful sponsorship of the Scottish Champion Hurdle which the Drumclog based company supported for the first time in April.

Mixing glamour, racing and fabulous entertainment this is one of the ‘can’t miss’ nights of the year.

Alan Macdonald, Chairman of Ayr Racecourse (pictured above) commented: “I am naturally delighted that QTS are further cementing our already strong working relationship by agreeing to be title sponsors of Ladies Night.

“It is undoubtedly one of the real social occasions of the Scottish racing calendar and provides Ayr with one of biggest attendances of the year. Having a major company like QTS as sponsor is a huge boost.”

Alan McLeish, QTS Group Managing Director (pictured above) added: “We have sponsored the Scottish Champion Hurdle Race this year, and it was a great success. Our decision to sponsor the Ladies Day was an easy one as we are proud to support such a successful local event.  

“We are really looking forward to working with Ayr Racecourse again, and I’m sure the day will go down as one of the best events they have on their racing calendar. We are all extremely excited about this year’s QTS Ladies Night.” 

Founded in 1992 originally as a tree surgeon business QTS now provides an extensive range of engineering infrastructure and training services to major organisations across the rail, utilities, construction and public sectors.

The group 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. 

There’s an added bonus for ladies who are judged to be the Best Dressed on QTS Ladies Night – they will receive a coin and a place in William Hill Ladies Day Final on 20 September at the course.

That day up to 24 finalists will each draw the name of a horse running in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup  and the girl who lands the winning horse will win the star prize - a Vauxhall Adam Jam 1.4 with an ‘Urban Pack’ ‘Intellinik Infotainment System’ in white with ‘I’ll be black roof’ courtesy of  Kerr & Smith.

Runners up prize is a Fred Olsen 10 night Fjords, Mountains and Glaciers Cruise on board Boudicca with full board. This sails from Greenock and is for two people and is sponsored by Stewart Travel. Third prize is Laser treatments in the form of a photofacial or a non-ablative skin re-surfacing package by The Coast Clinic, Ayr.

And the Best Dressed Man on August 10 will receive a prize of £300 of Slaters Menswear vouchers.

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.

Jockey Paul Mulrennan scores fine July hat trick at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

JOCKEY Paul Mulrennan was the man to follow at Ayr Racecourse on Monday when he rode a hat trick of winners.

He opened the day by riding Les Gar Gan (13/8 fav) to land the Bet & Watch with Racing UK’s App Maiden Stakes for trainer Keith Dalgleish and then rode a double for Michael Dods on Beat The Tide (15/8 fav) in the one mile five furlong handicap and Le Chat D’Or (7/2 fav) in the feature race, the 33 Racecourses Live On Sky 432 Handicap.

[Pictured:Jinky (2nd right) winning for
trainer Linda Perratt at Ayr on Monday.]

Linda Perratt saddled Jinky, an 8/1 chance, ridden by Tom Eaves to win the Download The Free Racing UK App Handicap while Jim Goldie scored his 11th Ayr success of the season with Monel (7/1) who got up on the line under Graham Lee to win the Watch Racing UK On Sky 432 Handicap.

Leading apprentice Jason Hart rode Save The Bees (3/1) for his guv’nor Declan Carroll to win the Read Hayley Turner Every Friday Handicap.

Ayr’s next meeting is the QTS Ladies Night on Saturday 10 August. For more information 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.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

CKD Galbraith reports signs of sustained revival in the Ayrshire property market

Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbraith, today reported encouraging signs of a sustained revival in the Ayrshire property market, having experienced continued growth in the sector. 

[Bob Cherry, partner in CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office.]

Following research conducted by CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office for the second quarter of 2013 (1 April – 30 June), the firm noted an increase in the number of agreed sales, more property viewings being conducted and a rise in the number of new potential purchasers registering with the firm in Ayr.

Highlights from the report (Q2 2013) for Ayrshire include:

Number of sales agreed this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2013 has increased by 40% 
Viewing figures have increased by 69% compared with the figures  for the same quarter in 2012   
The number of new potential purchasers registering with the firm in Ayr has increased by 19% this period against the same quarter in 2012 
71% of purchases made by local buyers; 29% by national buyers
The average time taken to sell a property by the firm in Ayrshire was 13 weeks as oppose to six months in the previous quarter of this year 
Average price of property sold by CKD’s Ayr office standing at around £399,000

Bob Cherry, partner in CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “The summer seasonal market returned with a bang, with recent improvements in the weather helping to boost confidence in the sector. 

“Our Ayr office has noted an improvement in the sector amongst both buyers and sellers with a significant increase in agreed sales, number of viewings conducted and new buyers registering with our office. However, we have noticed a shortage of attractive cottages and houses available under the stamp duty threshold of £250,000 where demand remains strong. 

“We have been very encouraged with our findings for the second quarter of this year, which supports industry reports indicating a revival in the Scottish property market. It is encouraging to see heightened confidence at all levels of the property ladder, a trend we predict will continuing throughout the year.”

CKD Galbraith’s sales teams operating across the whole of Scotland handled in excess of £400million worth of property (2012/13 financial year) ranging from cottages and conversions to country houses, farms and estates. 

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 250 staff in offices in Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Aberfeldy, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso, Peebles, Alyth and Aberdeen. 

The partnership provides the full range of property consulting services across the residential, commercial, rural and renewable energy sectors throughout Scotland. CKD Galbraith also enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.

To find out more about CKD Galbraith visit or follow on Facebook: and Twitter:

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

Monday, 29 July 2013

South Ayrshire Council hosts sports days at Girvan, Ayr and Troon

In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games next year, South Ayrshire Council’s Active Schools Team, supported by Sport Development and Community Sport Hubs, has presented three Legacy Events in Girvan, Ayr and Troon, to improve local awareness of the Games and offer local communities the opportunity to try different sports and take part in sport and physical activity. 

[Pictured: Councillor John Hampton, Youth Champion for South Ayrshire Council and local Councillor Nan McFarlane joined in the fun at Troon beach.]

The events bring together young coaches, young ambassadors and sports leaders who have all taken part in the Council’s Active Schools programme in school – and, in the continued superb summer weather, Troon beachfront hosted the last of the Legacy Days on 27 July.

It featured rowing, sailing, football, petanque, badminton and athletics and more – and gave visitors the chance to meet some of the superb young sports coaches and ambassadors who have worked behind the scenes to deliver the series of successful Legacy events.

In addition, a special event, part of The Scottish Beach Volleyball Tour, was organised by Troon Volleyball Club and had beach-goers lining up to watch, with no shortage of requests to take part!

Younger children enjoyed face painting and DJ Jen McGinlay had people dancing on the sand, with nearby catering helping to satisfy the appetites the sports and activities had helped to work up!

The free events were part of Games for Scotland’s programme, designed to inspire, motivate, engage and engender pride in the people of Scotland in the run-up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. 

Managed by EventScotland, Games for Scotland they formed a key part of the Scottish Government's commitment to deliver a lasting legacy as a result of the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland.

For those who took part in Girvan, Ayr and Troon, it was a sizzling summer of sport to remember – all in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games next year!

A set of downloadable photographs taken at the Troon event are available on Flickr. CLICK HERE.

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