The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 16 May 2014

Ayrshire’s farmland market remains buoyant

CKD Galbraith farm review

Specialists in rural sales and land management, CKD Galbraith has conducted an annual review of their farm sales for 2013, at a time when prices were driven up as a result of the high levels of demand and a shortage of land available.

CKD Galbraith has experienced a particularly successful 2013, being the leading firm in terms of the number of farm sales completed throughout the year, selling 39 farms with some substantial sales including six farms being over 500 acres in size. This equates to over 8,350 acres of commercial farmland being sold by the firm in 2013 at a value of just under £52 million.

Of the 39 farms sold by the firm last year, 10 were in Ayrshire, with sales totalling 940 acres and worth in excess of £5.1 million.  The average price achieved for good ploughable farmland in Ayrshire was £4000 per acre.

One of the  farms sold by CKD Galbraith in Ayrshire was Meikle Auchengree near Beith, with a seven bedroom farmhouse, farmshop, extensive buildings and 118 acres which sold in excess of the £690,000 asking price.

CKD Galbraith sold a number of small farms in Ayrshire in 2013, up to 200 acres in size. For many years the trend has been for such holdings, not economic on their own for modern farming purposes, to be sold in lots. Surprisingly  several of these farms sold as a whole with most but not all going to farmers.

Bob Cherry (pictured above), partner in the Ayr office, said: “The farmland market in Scotland is still very buoyant, and our figures for 2013 demonstrate a healthy picture. Farmland is often viewed as a ‘safe haven’ during times of economic turmoil, as it remains a less volatile asset than residential or commercial property, and we have continued to witness ongoing interest from non-farming parties as an alternative investment opportunity.

“Land prices should remain stable throughout 2014 after increasing last year, a trend which was influenced by the high demand for farmland suitable for vegetable, root crop, cereal and livestock production combined with high price of land elsewhere in the UK. Stimulus in price changes will likely come from greater focus on productivity per acre over any other factor, so whilst there has been a slight increase, we do not expect a significant shift in land prices over the coming year.  The Scottish referendum question has had no influence to date in the farmland market.

“Much of the interest in farms last year came from neighbouring and local farmers who have been particularly keen to increase the size of their bare land holding and benefit from economies of scale, as well as interest being experienced from English and European buyers.

“Once again good arable farms on the East Coast have sold extremely quickly with competing offers received at closing dates. Mixed stock farms were also in high demand with livestock farms sales having been slightly slower due to funding availability and the need to sell an existing holding before being able to purchase another. Furthermore, the recent drop in finished cattle prices does not appear to have had much of a detrimental impact on the levels of interest for bare agricultural land in primarily livestock areas.”

The firm has also been active in the private farmland sales market throughout Scotland and has also conducted sales in Northern England, achieving good results.  

CKD Galbraith has enjoyed substantial growth in both the number of farms sold and the level of experience it can offer to clients. In particular, Ian Hope, who is a Partner in the Alyth office, has unrivalled knowledge of the farmland market in Perthshire and Angus providing advice on both private and open market sales in this high value market where prices in excess of £10,000 per acre have been achieved. 

The firm’s breadth and quality of expertise in the rural sector also includes a team of seven qualified AMC agents operating across its regional networks, led by partner Robert Taylor in the Ayr office.

For further information contact:

Bob Cherry
CKD Galbraith 
7 Killoch Place 
Ayr KA7 2EA 
Ayrshire, Scotland 

Telephone:  01292 268181  

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 225 staff in offices across Scotland including Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso, Peebles, Alyth and Aberdeen, offering local knowledge, national expertise and enjoying an international presence.

The firm is Scotland’s largest and leading rural consultancy, managing in excess of 1 million acres of land across the country.

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

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

Thursday, 15 May 2014

South Ayrshire Council announces new corporate management structure to help deliver best value

A new corporate management team structure that will help ensure South Ayrshire Council is fit for purpose and can embed best value throughout the organisation was approved by Councillors today (Thursday 15 May 2014).

[Pictured: Eileen Howat, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council.]

The new structure – which will introduce changes at Executive Director and Head of Service levels – takes account of significant revisions to the Council’s operational responsibilities, such as the transfer of social work services to the new Health and Social Care Partnership and the creation of the Ayrshire Roads Alliance.

The approved changes will mean the removal of the Council’s Care, Learning and Wellbeing directorate and Executive Director post, the introduction of a new Director for Educational Services and the deletion of a number of Heads of Service posts.

These are Head of Children’s Services; Head of Community Care and Housing; Head of Education; Head of Policy, Community Planning and Public Affairs; and Head of Property and Facility Services.

As a result, the following new Head of Service posts will be established: 

Head of Finance and ICT, with responsibility for the administration of the financial affairs of the Council, as well as revenues and benefits
Head of Policy and Performance, with responsibility for best value, the Single Outcome Agreement, Council Plan, oversight of Service and Improvement Plans, performance and public affairs.

Head of Communities, bringing together the various strands of work with communities across South Ayrshire.

Head of Housing and Facilities, with responsibility for housing, facilities management and property maintenance.

In addition, the equivalent of one Head of Service post will transfer to the Shadow Integration Board for health and social care, and there will also be minor changes to other Heads of Service remits and titles.

Eileen Howat, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council, said: “The changes approved by members today are wholly designed to ensure we are a fit for purpose organisation. They will ensure we are structured in a sensible way that allows us to work efficiently and effectively, while continuing to deliver both high-quality services and best value for our communities.

“That will remain our focus at all times, and I am confident our new structure, which will be implemented as quickly as possible, provides the right basis for us to move the organisation forward to where we want to be.”

Changes to personnel within the new structure will be managed in line with the Council’s Managing Change Policy.

Full details of the proposed changes and the new structure chart can be found in the Council paper, which is available on the Council website,

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

Funding more apprenticeships in South Ayrshire

Thanks to funding being provided by South Ayrshire Council, electrical contractors who want to recruit apprentices in South Ayrshire can apply for a £2,000 wage incentive grant, for each of the three stages of the apprenticeship.

[Pictured left to right: Jim Bennet (Head of Learning & Teaching Skills) Gavin Murray (Director of STEM - Science Technology Engineering Material), Apprentice David Cowan, Apprentice Declan Taylor, Craig Johnston (SECTT- Training Office Electrical), Apprentice James McTaggart, Apprentice Blair Abercrombie, John McKissock (Vice President of Select), Ewan Granger (Curriculum Leader - Electrical Intallation & Construction Wind Turbine Technology).]
Funding is available for up to 20 new apprentice training places, and is offered in partnership with Ayrshire College, who will train the apprentices, SELECT (Scotland’s Trade Association for the Electrical Industry), and SECTT (Scottish Electrical Charitable Training Trust). Interested employers can access the funding by reserving a place with SECTT.

Eileen Howat, Chief Executive of South Ayrshire Council said: “Working in partnership with Ayrshire College, SELECT and SECTT we are helping young people, who aspire to be an electrician, to realise their dream. 

“This additional funding builds on the ten places that were funded in 2013, when we established an electrical apprentice training fund. These apprentices have almost completed the first year of their course, attending Ayrshire College Ayr Campus, and will continue their training in the workplace with their employer while attending the college.

”We are committed to encouraging young people to enter the world of work and to gain recognised training and qualifications that will support them in their chosen career.”

Jim Bennett, Ayrshire College Head of Learning and Skills, Construction Technology and Trades said: “This is a great example of how partnership working can make a real difference within the local community. This funding provided by South Ayrshire Council will support our local employers whilst securing the opportunity of modern apprenticeships for 20 people living within South Ayrshire. The electrical apprenticeship provides an excellent career opportunity within a dynamic and diverse industry with further progression opportunities onto HNC and Degree levels of study. I would encourage local employers looking to expand to take full advantage of this funding by applying to SECTT.”   

John McKissock Chairperson of SELECT said “The economic downturn led to a reduction in the number of apprentices that were being recruited and trained, and I was concerned that this would create a skills shortage affecting the industry in years to come. Improving youth employment opportunities and creating funding opportunities for local contractors were also important factors in my decision to promote the need for this funding. As a local contactor myself, I know that securing £2,000 of training grants for each apprentice each year is a great incentive for local firms to get involved.

“I am delighted to see the first beneficiaries of this programme complete their first year, and look forward to seeing them progress as they return to the workplace to build on the skills they have learned at college. I have been really impressed with the work of SELECT, SECTT, South Ayrshire Council and Ayrshire College.” 

Anne Galbraith, Chief Executive of SECTT said: “SECTT are delighted to be working in partnership with South Ayrshire Council. The Electrical Modern Apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity for both employers and apprentices. This additional funding goes a long way to support employers and the Scottish Government Youth Employment strategy. These high value apprenticeships contribute to the local economy and the Scottish economy.”

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

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

CKD Galbraith offer a contemporary country property in Ayrshire with practical equestrian facilities

Leading Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Number 6 Barlosh Court, Sinclairston, Ayrshire, a charming property enjoying an elevated south facing position overlooking the surrounding countryside.  

Forming part of a small courtyard development created from a former farm steading, Barlosh Court lies in the heart of rural Ayrshire, yet is just over 10 miles from Ayr town centre.

The property offers deceptively spacious accommodation over two levels and a good level of specification.  

The living room and dining room take full advantage of the surrounding views with double aspect windows and the breakfasting kitchen offers a range of modern units with excellent storage and a range of integrated appliances.  

Three bedrooms are located on the first floor – all have en suite facilities and in addition the master bedroom has a walk-in wardrobe.

The gardens and land of Barlosh Court are perhaps of equal importance as the house itself. The gardens are practically laid out with an enclosed lawn, sheltered patio and raised beds used for growing fruit bushes and vegetables. In addition there is a greenhouse. Private parking and additional visitor parking spaces are also provided.

The present owners of number 6 have added excellent equestrian facilities including three timber framed stables, a tack room and a hay store.  All are supplied with power and water. There is also a floodlit outdoor arena which overlooks the paddock of approximately 7 acres.

Number 6 Barlosh Court is a contemporary house surrounded by rural farmland with excellent bespoke equestrian facilities.

Offers Over £330,000 are being sought.

PDF available on

For further information contact: Fiona Fulton (pictured above) at:

CKD Galbraith 
7 Killoch Place 
Ayr KA7 2EA 
Ayrshire, Scotland 

D/L Tel: 01292 292535
Switchboard:  01292 268181  
Fax: 01292 292300 

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

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Graham + Sibbald complete Booker Cash & Carry warehouse sale and lease-back in Ayr

The Booker Cash and Carry warehouse in Ayr has changed hands recently for £1,473,000.

Selling agents Graham + Sibbald, who recently opened a new office in Ayr, spent time researching the property, lease and background and it sold quickly following significant interest from various investors across the UK.

Fraser Lang, Partner, Graham + Sibbald, commented: “Our knowledge of the local market in Ayrshire, together with our investment specialist Sandy Gilmour, meant that the investment deal was concluded quickly and efficiently.  This is the first investment deal conducted through the new Graham + Sibbald Ayr office and we are confident there will be many more in the coming months.”

The large warehouse, approximately 40,229 sq ft, is of steel frame construction and is leased to Booker until 2021. Booker Wholesale is the UK’s largest wholesale operator.

Graham + Sibbald acted as the selling agent and recently opened a new office in Ayr to complement the firm’s well established presence in Kilmarnock and bring the total number of Graham + Sibbald offices to 14.

EY&CO and Andrew Reilly Associates were purchasing agents on behalf of a private investor.

Graham + Sibbald, chartered surveyors, established in 1959

The firm has 29 Partners, 16 Associates and 200 members of staff across 14 offices

Experts in Commercial, Residential and Construction, the firm also has specialists in Investment, Asset Management, Healthcare, Licensed Trade and Leisure, and Planning

Graham + Sibbald 
12 Alloway Place 

Tel: 01292 271030  
Fax: 01292 271031 

The firm of Graham + Sibbald, Chartered Surveyors is a member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 12 May 2014

May double header at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

AYR Racecourse stages a two-day May meeting with the Racing UK Raceday on Wednesday 21 May, followed by the Wallaces TCB Raceday on Thursday 22 May.

[Pictured: Diman Waters (centre) wins at the 
opening May meeting at Ayr Racecourse in 2012.]

The opening afternoon kicks off with the six furlong EBF Nairn Brown 50th Anniversary Maiden Stakes for two year olds and traditionally this type of race at Ayr attracts some quality juveniles from leading yards.

The highlight of the afternoon is the £12,000 Racing UK 10th Anniversary Handicap over five furlongs, which should see a big number of runners vying for the valuable prize.

The longest race on the day is the Watch On 3 Devices Handicap over one mile seven furlong Fillies Handicap, while the final race on the card, the Racing UK Android App Racinguk.Com/Mobile Apprentice Handicap at 5.20pm, featuring some of the up and coming jockeys of the future.

The second day also features seven races, with the feature being the Smirnoff Vodka Handicap over a mile. There are also qualifiers for the Betfair Scottish Sprint Series Final and the Betfair Scottish Mile Series Final.

There is entertainment after racing on both days with the first race each day at 2.20pm and gates open at 12.20pm.

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.