The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 18 October 2013

Turnberry presents golf trophy in aid of UNICEF

Enthusiastic businesses gathered at Turnberry, the Luxury Collection Resort, last week to participate in a golf competition to raise funds for early education projects in Africa for the charity UNICEF.

[Pictured: Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort general manager Jordi Tarrida (centre) presents the “Road to Awareness” golf trophy to the winning team from foodservice wholesale distributor 3663.]
Turnberry associates competed alongside some of the resort’s local suppliers in the second annual “Road to Awareness” golf trophy, as part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ annual associate fundraising campaign of the same name.  Now in its 6th year, the Road to Awareness campaign aims to raise US$500,000 for UNICEF, the world’s leading organisation for children. 

The money raised will go towards education projects in Nigeria and Cameroon, giving thousands of children from some of the poorest and most remote communities the opportunity to go to school and get a better start in life.
The trophy was won by foodservice wholesale distributor 3663 whose team comprised of Alan Ho, Robert Smith, Darren Hall and John Tomlinson.  In total, the event raised over £11,000 for charity.

Jordi Tarrida (pictured above), General Manager, Turnberry Resort, commented: “The Turnberry community of suppliers and associates has been very supportive of the Road to Awareness Trophy again this year. It is a great honour to host such a good-spirited competition at our world leading golf course and to be able to raise much-needed funds for UNICEF.”
This is the second year the event at Turnberry has contributed towards the Road to Awareness fundraising initiative.  The money raised will be used directly in providing thousands of children access to literacy and numeracy training, as well as to organise awareness-raising campaigns about the importance of going to school and to train 150 teachers.   
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, 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 activity centre, Turnberry Adventures, offers guests a variety of distinguished outdoor activities including quad biking, archery and off-road driving. For more information, please visit  

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 as a collection of Europe’s most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 85 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 recognised as being among the world’s finest. For more information, please visit  


UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: 

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

South Ayrshire Council apprentice wins top award

South Ayrshire Council apprentice plasterer Kristofor Breingan (21) was named UK Apprentice of the Year at the APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence Apprentice of the Year Award ceremony which took place in Hickley, Leicestershire.

[Pictured: Kristofor Breingan, UK Apprentice of the Year.]

Kristofor is a fourth year apprentice plaster, having won the Scottish finals earlier this year he was invited to attend the award ceremony.

Speaking about the experience Kristofor said: “I was really excited being invited to the APSE awards ceremony, it was a great experience meeting the other finalists.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be named UK Apprentice of the Year. I can honestly say that I was shocked when they read out my name. I remember sitting in my hotel room later that night thinking that things like this just don’t happen to a young man from Prestwick.

“I have received excellent training and guidance from everyone I have worked with at the Council. Very importantly my four year apprenticeship has flown by as I have had – while working very hard – lots of fun along with way. 

“I would thoroughly recommend an apprenticeship with the Council to young men and women, you gain experience of work while learning within a large organisation.”

The judges were particularly impressed with Kris’s training log books, which show exactly how his training and learning has progressed. Another aspect of Kris’s work that interested them was his involvement in the Council’s voids team which helps bring empty properties back into rentable condition in the fastest time possibly. 

Councillor Robin Reid, Resources and Performance Portfolio Holder for the Council (pictured above) said: “To be named as APSE UK Apprentice of the year is an outstanding achievement and I am very proud of Kristofor Breingan’s success. 

“Kristofor has, like many of our other apprentices, worked very hard since he joined the Council and his dedication and determination to do well has paid off. I know that his colleagues in our property maintenance team are delighted with his success. 

“I am sure that Kristofor’s success will inspire many young men and women to apply for an apprenticeship with us in the future.” 

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

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Demand in Scottish housing market remains firm

RICS September 2013 UK Residential Market Survey

In tandem with increasing demand from potential buyers, house prices continued to grow in Scotland with 32 percent more respondents reporting rises rather than falls, says the September 2013 RICS Residential Market Survey.

Prices have remained steady in Scotland since Easter and, significantly, this growth was seen right across the UK. Last month, every part of the country saw prices go up, with the exception of the North East of England where prices fell modestly for the second successive month. 

With the Scottish Government’s recent launch of Help to Buy in Scotland, sales expectations look positive with a net balance of 56 percent more surveyors predicting a rise in sales in the coming three months. Additionally, buyers continue to access the market and demand increased during September with a net balance of 78 percent more surveyors reported rises in new buyer enquiries. Although a lack of homes coming onto the market resulted in the number of new instructions failing to keep pace with the burgeoning level of demand. 

Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, said: “It’s encouraging that the market is starting to improve in all parts of the country with more buyers looking to make a move and more sales going through. Even so, it’s a big concern that the supply of property coming to the market is lagging so far behind demand, particularly with the recent launch of Help to Buy in Scotland. This imbalance is likely to result in further upward pressure in prices over the coming months, particularly in popular areas.” 

Across the UK, each region saw supply increase as the recovery continues to spread from the South East of England to other areas. The South West and the North East, in particular, saw the number of new homes coming onto the market rise significantly. 

Craig Henderson, Graham & Sibbald, Glasgow and West Scotland, commented: “The market has continued to perform well within the established good markets, with competitive interest and closing dates in the good market locations. Prices are showing some modest uplift as a result and are close to Home Report Values.”

RICS housing market survey is the longest running monthly survey of house prices in the UK, collecting data since January 1978.  The survey is cited by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee at its monthly interest rate setting meetings.

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.

In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.

Over 100 000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.

RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

An AMBITION realised for businesses in Girvan!

South Ayrshire Council’s brand-new AMBITION enterprise and employment programme which offers new or start-up businesses fantastic modern office accommodation, hands-on business support and mentoring – and even grant funding – is expanding, with a new facility now open in Girvan.

[Pictured (left to right) Councillor Bill Grant, Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure Portfolio Holder, Councillor Alec Clark, Ken Johnstone, Chair of Girvan and District Community Council, Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor John McDowall and Councillor Alec Oattes.]

The incubator unit provides the ideal location to develop and grow a new business, with The three permanent desks and one hot desk, which will accommodate up to five companies – three full-time and two part-time.

The library meeting room has been upgraded and the facility will be shared with the community. 

Complementing the practical support the unit provides is a package of mentoring, access to expertise and advice and hands-on support to ensure businesses get the best possible start and really get the chance to grow.

The Girvan incubator has been opened less than a month after the first unit at Heathfield in Ayr opened its doors for business – and a third facility, planned for Maybole, will be opening soon.

The AMBITION programme will see the Council invest £1.5 million over three years to support job creation and economic growth in South Ayrshire through four key strands:

*         AMBITION for Start-Ups

*         AMBITION for Business Growth

*         AMBITION for Employment

*         AMBITION for Social Enterprise.

AMBITION aims are to help create jobs, keep jobs, help businesses start-up, help businesses grow, increase the number of social enterprises and, ultimately, help improve the local economy in South Ayrshire in a lasting and meaningful way.

South Ayrshire Council Leader, Councillor Bill McIntosh, explained: “AMBITION is all about taking a bold – but lasting and sustainable – approach to help achieve economic stability and security for our communities and I’m delighted we can now do this in Girvan.

“AMBITION is an integrated package of support that is designed to create jobs, keep jobs, help businesses start-up, help businesses grow, increase the number of social enterprises and ultimately help improve the local economy in a lasting and meaningful way.

“It’s about doing something different, through enterprise, to achieve the best possible outcomes for our communities, which can not only change lives – it can make lives.

“Starting a new business can be a daunting prospect, but that’s where we step in, offering the advice, guidance and support to help you succeed and I would urge anyone starting up – or interested in starting up – a business to get in touch with us to see if Girvan fits the bill.

“Our support will also help businesses increase the number of people they employ and – crucially – helping people gain the skills, knowledge and experience they require to take full advantage of these job opportunities. 

“The incubators are a fantastic new way for the private and public sectors to work together, giving new businesses a dedicated business adviser, free business space, hot desk facilities, conference and meeting rooms, as well as access to finance and grant funding

“We have all that’s needed to support a business in getting started – all we ask in return is your AMBITION.”

For further information about the Girvan or the Heathfield incubator units or any other aspect of the AMBITION programme, call 01292 616265 or visit

The key activities under the other three strands of the AMBITION programme are:

• AMBITION for Business Growth.

Offers access to a variety of financial grants – from £500 to £10,000 – for growing businesses as well as access to a number of loan funding streams. 

• AMBITION for Employment

A wide range of programmes that offer both recruitment incentives and employment opportunities, with a particular focus on young people – including wage incentives where the Council contributions an element of wage costs; or the chance to gain some useful work experience, or the necessary skills and qualifications that will make residents more attractive to potential employers. 

• AMBITION for Social Enterprise

Offers a package of training and support to develop entrepreneurship and leadership capabilities, provide start-up and governance advice, and provide a mentoring programme for social enterprises with potential for growth.

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

Monday, 14 October 2013

Arts Club and exciting new programme of events at Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant

The beautiful function suite at Ayr Spice restaurant in Minishant is to become the venue for a wide variety of events in an exciting new programme including something for all tastes. There will be everything from an arts club to karaoke and indigenous, guest chefs from international cuisine cooking for the evening and then presenting demonstrations of their work, to psychic evenings – and much more. From November there will also be a monthly change of menu and a new healthy option on the daily bill of fare.

[Pictured: Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant proprietor and head chef Mafiz Ali with Jack McChesney who is organising a season of Arts Club events at Ayr Spice.]

One of the most exciting innovations will be an international buffet for special occasions. In a cooperative venture with Dalduff Farm, there will be Scottish food and, in co-operation with other indigenous chefs, Japanese, Korean and Spanish items will take their place alongside the well-known Bangladeshi specialities from Mafiz’s kitchen. The first of these buffets will be presented at pre-Christmas parties and the restaurant will engage more live entertainment for its special nights. Both individual and corporate bookings will be welcome with special rates for larger groups – bookings for Christmas and the New Year period are now being accepted.

Concert pianist James McChesney, now retired from his post as conservatory teacher in Austria and settled in Ayr, is founding an arts club. It will cover music, art and a Burns Supper and the venue will be the Bangladeshi restaurant Ayr Spice’s lovely function suite in the old church at Minishant. The idea is not to compete with existing facilities but to specialize in helping young artists from Ayrshire at an early stage of their careers.

There will be two concert-performances among the six annual events and two groups of young people are being targeted. There will be those who are still at school and doing exceptionally well on their chosen instruments or of course, voice – all youngsters who may, or may not eventually study music, and the second target group will be a little further ahead and will consist of those trying to find their way into one of the most competitive sectors known to mankind - the performing sector. These may still be students or even have completed their courses and be trying to break into the profession.

Any young performers who would like to be considered for such a performance should contact Mr McChesney direct by e-mailing with contact details and a possible 12 to 15-minute programme as well as quoting the instrument or voice category concerned. The respective tutors must be consulted before any approach is made and written permission will be required from the teachers concerned before any selection process or invitation to perform can be entertained.

Ayr Spice Minishant 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.