The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 25 October 2013

RAF says farewell to South Ayrshire

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie led tributes to RAF Prestwick personnel as they bid a fond farewell to Prestwick and South Ayrshire before moving to southern England. 

The RAF has had a proud association with Prestwick since 1936 and has been an integral part of the UK’s Military Air Traffic Control Services in that time, being awarded the Freedom of South Ayrshire in 2009. 

They held a farewell parade through the streets of Ayr to thank people for their support over the years. There was an inspection of their ranks in Pavilion Road in Ayr, a flypast by an RAF Leuchars Typhoon Jet and then a procession through the town centre where they took a salute at the Wallace Tower.

Provost Moonie, who hosted a civic reception to mark this special occasion said: “I can say with certainty that those who serve at RAF Prestwick, and those who have served in the past, will be missed by the Prestwick community.

“The large numbers of people who gathered in Ayr to pay tribute to RAF Prestwick, and watch the service personnel parade as free men and women of South Ayrshire, sent out a loud clear message that their departure to Swanwick is a sad time for us.

“RAF Prestwick is an outstanding professional operation, which has made a vast contribution to the world of aviation and military history.  

“Importantly the servicemen and women have blended seamlessly into our communities and made a great contribution to our local economy. The departure of RAF Prestwick will leave a big hole in the lives of Prestwick people.”

[A set of 12 photographs taken at this event can be viewed on Flickr - CLICK HERE. You can click on any image in the set to access larger sizes.]

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

Thursday, 24 October 2013

South Ayrshire Provost makes new French connection

Provost Helen Moonie was recently welcomed to Torcy in France as part of a visit to celebrate 25 years of the town’s twinning with Girvan.

Provost Moonie was joined by Torcy mayor Guillaume Le Lay-Felzine, who hosted a special event to complete the silver anniversary celebrations, by signing the Torcy charter document – having already signed a similar charter in Girvan earlier this year.

[Pictured: Provost Moonie is welcomed to Torcy by Mayor Guillaume Le Lay-Felzine and members of the Torcy town twinning association.]

Provost Moonie said: “In May of this year, it was a pleasure to welcome members of the Torcy Town Twinning Association to Girvan, and I’m delighted to be in France for the second part of this important celebration, to recommit our two towns to the principles and benefits that come from town twinning.

“During the last twenty five years, many contacts have been established and lasting bonds of friendship have been built – and some of these now cross generations as the sons and daughters (and even the grandchildren) of the original town twinners develop friendships of their own. 

“Even with all the technology and social media available to us today you still can’t beat getting together in person and we’ve seen regular exchanges visits between schools, family house swaps, cultural and sporting trips - and much more besides.” 

Mayor Le Lay-Felzine and Provost Moonie then signed the new charter with Provost Moonie concluding: “Our signatures represent a re-dedication to working more closely together, deepening our mutual understanding of our wonderful communities and our countries.

“I hope, 25 years from now, the Torcy and Girvan town twinning associations will still be flourishing and celebrating 50 golden years of twinning and offer my warmest congratulations to each and every person for their invaluable contribution to this twinning success story.”

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

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Halloween karaoke, children’s party and psychic night on offer in November at Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant

Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant proprietor and head chef Mafiz Ali is about to embark upon a revolutionary new programme embracing events for all tastes over the coming season. 

The very first of these will be a “Kurryoke” night on Friday 1 November when a Karaoke programme will be offered together with curry and rice for the sum of only £9.95. Diners are invited to come along in Halloween fancy dress.

Only three days later on Monday 4 November Silly Billy will present his Magic Show at a children’s party for local primary school pupils.

Three days after that on Thursday 7 November, one of the restaurant’s major new policies will begin to be implemented when indigenous Spanish chef Guillermo de la Orden (pictured above) of the new hot tip restaurant in Glasgow, the “Malaga Tapas”, will cook for the evening and present a cookery demonstration. There will also be flamenco dancing at this event. Tickets, which include the price of a full, Spanish meal, are now available from Ayr Spice for £15.95.

In cooperation with Dalduff Farm and various indigenous chefs, the restaurant will also present an international buffet at some of its many events during the coming season. On these evenings, the first of which will be the psychic evening starring Sally Buxton on Tuesday 12 November, the buffet will include Scottish items from Dalduff Farm as well as Far Eastern specialities (including Sushi), items from continental cuisine and of course, the restaurant’s own well-known and delicious Bangladeshi food. 

The new policy is to provide the people of the region with a venue that offers international cuisines prepared exclusively by indigenous chefs from the countries concerned.

Tickets for all of these events can be obtained from the restaurant, or by e-mailing Ayr Spice Minishant Restaurant general manager Jack McChesney at 

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.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Ayr Racecourse to host next Elite Ayrshire Business Circle meeting at Western House Hotel

All Ayrshire business people are cordially invited to attend the next business breakfast networking meeting of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, which will take place at 8am on the morning of Friday 8 November. 

This meeting will be hosted by our friends and fellow-Founder Members at Ayr Racecourse in the Ballroom of the Western House Hotel, and is the second leg of our Big Debate on the Scottish Independence issue, featuring a major address by Nosheena Mobarik (pictured below), chair of CBI Scotland, on behalf of the Better Together campaign.

And, as usual, the meeting will also afford another excellent opportunity to network with other top Ayrshire business people in a friendly and informal environment.

A complimentary buffet breakfast will be served.

This event is free of charge, but booking is essential, so please e-mail the number of places you wish to reserve, together with the names and job titles of the proposed attendees to

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Scotland forges stronger links with India

Bilateral trade agreements of over £8 million secured by Minister

Business, education, diplomatic and cultural connections between Scotland and India have been further strengthened through a visit over the past week by External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf to Delhi and Mumbai.

[Pictured: External Affairs Minister Humza Yousaf at a VisitScotland event during his visit to Delhi and Mumbai.]

More than £8 million in bilateral trade agreements on clean water supply and healthcare were secured during his six-day programme, along with a further £6.5 million of investment in Scotland.

As well as accompanying the Queen’s Baton to New Delhi on the first leg of its international relay, ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Mr Yousaf met government representatives and existing and potential investors and hosted or attended events to promote and demonstrate the strength and breadth of relationships between Scotland and India.

[Pictured: The Queen’s Baton sets off from Glasgow to New Delhi on the first leg of its international relay, ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.]

Mr Yousaf said: “I was overwhelmed by the warmth of the welcome I received in New Delhi and Mumbai, and by the enthusiasm for Scotland that I encountered at every turn. 

“The Scottish Government is determined to capitalise on the economic opportunities of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games to provide a lasting legacy for Scotland. And as one of the world’s fastest expanding economies, India is a top priority market for our companies. 

“Bilateral trade of this kind clearly generates jobs in Scotland, and the business agreements signed during my visit have illustrated that Scotland is appreciated as a nation that embraces and promotes innovation. Our remarkable strengths in education, technological innovation and leading edge research and development also ensure that Scottish companies are ideally placed to take advantage of this market.

“And we in Scotland should be gratified by the real and lasting difference that’s being made by projects supported by our International Development Fund which are significantly improving the lives of some of India’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

[Pictured: Humza Yousaf visited the Nizamuddin urban renewal initiative in New Delhi – a project to restore the Mughal Emperor Humayan’s 16th century tomb.]

Features of the Minister’s visit included:

* announcement of a strategic agreement between Scottish technology company Dryden Aqua and Indian firm SVS Aqua to help improve the supply of clean drinking water in arsenic-affected water-stressed regions in India

* announcement of a distribution agreement between Perthshire-based company this-tel and Indian-based IT company Crane Global Solutions Ltd for its digital pen and associated e-health technology that will initially be sold into the Indian healthcare sector following a successful trial in a cancer hospital in Hyderabad and is expected to generate £4.6 million in exports. 

* announcing the construction of a new £6.5 million whisky distillery in Glenrothes, creating 15 jobs and generating a predicted £3.6 million in new exports to India, Africa and the Far East, in a partnership between Indian beverages group Kyndal and John Fergus & Co Ltd

* announcing that some of India’s most talented music acts will take part in next year’s Celtic Connections line-up in Glasgow, marking the beginning of the cultural calendar for the 2014 Commonwealth Games

* announcing a partnership introducing formal regulation of dental nursing to India, alongside National Occupational Standards, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Coatbridge College and Kuravackal Educational and Charitable Trust in New Delhi

* highlighting Scotland’s influence on the unique restoration of a UNESCO world Heritage Site during a visit to the Nizamuddin urban renewal initiative in New Delhi

* announcing Scottish Government funding for next week’s Power of Youth summit in New Delhi, which brings together 30 of the world’s most prominent young entrepreneurs to share ideas and expertise

* hosting a showcase of Scottish higher education to encourage more Indians to choose Scotland as a place to live, work, visit and do business

* finding out at first hand how international development projects funded by the Scottish Government are making a strong and lasting impact on some of India’s poorest communities.

Published by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.