The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 7 March 2014

Souter’s Inn rises from the ashes

Souter’s Inn, the popular destination eatery at Kirkoswald, near Turnberry in the heart of Burns Country, has risen from the ashes and reopened to the public following a devastating fire. 

Having opened six years ago as Souter Johnnie’s Inn on the site of the former schoolhouse attended by Robert Burns, the popular inn was devastated by a fire two years ago prompting owner, Bill Costley of Costley & Costley Hoteliers, to pledge to fully restore it to its former glory.

Whilst the resurrected Souter’s Inn has retained its traditional thatched exterior, inside, the former traditional pub has been given a distinctly contemporary feel, with exposed brickwork and oak featuring throughout. This fresh modern outlook is reflected too in its menu.

Bill Costley (pictured above) said: “I’m pleased to be able to make good on my promise to reopen Souter’s after the fire forced its closure. We may only have just reopened, but already Souter’s has exceeded our most optimistic forecasts and we’re delighted with the response and support we’ve received from locals and tourists alike.

“With a strong emphasis on the quality of our food offering, customer service and contemporary design, Souter’s is ideally located to cater for a brief lunch or refreshment before or after a round of golf, or a sightseeing trip to Burns Country and the many attractions of the West Coast.”

Souter’s is populated by warm and friendly staff offering menus designed to ensure that there is something to tickle everyone’s taste buds with rustic menus featuring popular staple dishes complemented by a range of hand-made cakes, pastries, chocolates and ice-creams.

“The difference between us and other food retailers is that we produce 100 per cent of our own produce – and customers can really taste the difference,” said Costley.

With capacity for 130 diners, Souter’s is adjacent to the old graveyard where the world famous drouthy cronies, Tam o’ Shanter and Souter Johnnie, are buried. A unique destination, the inn sits alongside a garden centre and a tea room, with other retailer outlets due to be announced in the coming weeks.

As with all Costley & Costley hotels and inns, Souter’s Inn is located within minutes of some of the world’s premier championship golf courses at Royal Troon and Turnberry.

Weekend racing action at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

IT'S weekend action for the first time this year at Ayr Racecourse with the two day totepool meeting today Friday 7 March and tomorrow Saturday 8 March.

There are seven races both days with big fields expected for Ayr’s traditional pre-Cheltenham fixture.

Friday’s opening race is the We’ll Double Your Deposit At Totepool Casino Novices’ Hurdle at 1.50pm and the final race is due off at 5.10pm.

The feature race on the opening day is the Download The Totepool Live Info App Handicap Chase over two miles four furlongs at 4.35pm.

Saturday’s highlight is The Best Odds Guaranteed At Handicap Chase for the Hugh Barclay Trophy over three miles one furlong at 4.15pm. This will attract some decent horses from northern yards for what should be a competitive race.

The main supporting race is The Toteexacta Pick The First And Second Handicap Hurdle for the Ayrshire Yeomanry Cup at 4.50pm.

Leading jockeys likely to be in action en route to the following week’s Cheltenham Festival include Jason Maguire, Peter Buchanan and Ryan Mania.

First race on Saturday is at 1.55pm with the final race at 5.25pm and Waterfront will play in the Horseshoe Bar until approximately 8.30pm and there will be a disco in the Ayrshire Suite. On Friday Bakerloo Line play in the Horseshoe Bar after racing.

For more information on racing at Ayr 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.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Success for Klin Group at Scottish Property Awards

The Klin Group has been recognised at the inaugural Scottish Property Awards 2014, winning the award for Town Centre Project of the Year for the restoration and transformation of Kilmarnock’s Opera House.

[Pictured: the Klin Group team at the Scottish Property Awards.]

The event, which took place in Edinburgh, celebrates the best new commercial and public property developments in Scotland. 

The judges recognised the coordinated effort to create high quality, modern accommodation for over 250 Council staff in the heart of Kilmarnock via private enterprise.

The former building was subject to a devastating fire in 1989 and was regarded as causing economic blight and being a barrier to town centre regeneration. The Klin Group repaired and conserved the B listed façade and rebuilt and modernised the interiors. The Opera House was built in 1875 and had been derelict for 22 years.

The redevelopment is considered a significant boost to the regeneration of Kilmarnock Town Centre and has resulted in increased footfall, which has helped stimulate the local retail trade and contribute to the town centre economy.

Marie Macklin (pictured above), CEO of The Klin Group, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised by the Scottish Property Awards for our work and commitment to the Kilmarnock Opera House development. This is a project very close to my heart, which succeeded due to tenacity, innovation and partnership working. I'm incredibly proud of this restoration project and the benefits it has delivered, and continues to bring to the Kilmarnock area.”

The event was well attended by over 450 of Scotland’s top property experts and followed an open competition which attracted 61 entries from 45 companies including developers, agents, funders and architects. 15 awards were presented in total.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mother’s Day treats at Turnberry

As plans for this year’s Mother’s Day celebrations get underway, Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort, is inviting guests to take part in a range of elegant and indulgent treats at the five red star hotel on the Ayrshire coast.

The award-winning Turnberry Afternoon Tea is a relaxing way to spend quality time with family in the elegant Grand Tea Lounge at the heart of the hotel.  With unrivalled views towards Ailsa Craig and Arran, guests can enjoy the Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea served with a glass of Moet & Chandon champagne for £32 per person, from Friday 28 March until Sunday 30 March 2014.

Turnberry’s signature restaurant, 1906 (pictured below), will also be serving a Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch on the 30th March 2014.  Families can enjoy a delicious three-course meal of traditional favourites.  The Mother’s Day Sunday Brunch costs £28 for adults and £14 for children.

Alternatively, those wishing to surprise their mother this year can give the gift of Turnberry with a voucher for one of the many unforgettable experiences the resort has to offer, including spa treatments, adventure activities, luxury accommodation and fine dining. 

For all Mother’s Day enquiries and reservations, please call 01655 331000.

Gift vouchers are also available from the website at

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

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to welcome Chinese delegation at Turnberry on Friday

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is looking forward to welcoming a Chinese delegation to its next business breakfast networking meeting at Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort this Friday 7 March 2014. 

The meeting will start at 8am with a presentation by Turnberry general manager Jordi Tarrida.

The Chinese delegation will include Deputy Consul-General in Scotland Zhang Huazhong, Consular Attaché Zhu Ge, and Bank of China manager Wang Dong. They will be joined by James Brodie from the China-Britain Business Council.

A complimentary cooked Scottish breakfast will be served.

There is no charge for attending this meeting, and all Ayrshire business people are cordially invited.

Places are still available.

To book, please e-mail Murdoch MacDonald at: