The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 30 May 2014

South Ayrshire Council’s ambitious plans for Maybole businesses

South Ayrshire Council’s £1.5 million AMBITION programme, which offers hands-on business support and mentoring, grant funding and dedicated business incubator units for new enterprises, has arrived in Maybole.

Based in the former social work offices on the High Street, AMBITION for Maybole becomes the third suite of bespoke office premises, offered free to start-up companies and enterprises to help them succeed – providing the ideal location to develop and grow a new company.

The Maybole incubator has space for eight businesses to work out of the unit on a full-time basis, with additional meeting, conference and hot-desking facilities also available.

Complementing the practical support the unit also offers a comprehensive 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.

To date, a total of 24 businesses have either started, or are in the process of starting, thanks to the support offered by AMBITION with 6 currently benefiting from free Incubation space and support. 

The AMBITION programme will run over the next 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. 

The overall aims are 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 South Ayrshire in a lasting and meaningful way.

South Ayrshire Council Leader, Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above) explained: "AMBITION is all about taking a dynamic and sustainable approach to help achieve economic stability and security for our communities.

"The Maybole incubator joins Ayr and Girvan as an excellent example of how we can support new businesses with a dedicated business adviser, free business space, hot desk facilities, conference and meeting rooms, as well as access to finance and grant funding all on hand.

"It's about driving the economy forwards to deliver the best possible outcomes for our communities, which can not only change lives – it can make lives.”

Maybole joins the incubators in Ayr and Girvan, which have already seen an online fashion business launched and an Italian company investing in South Ayrshire.

In addition, the AMBITION programme has committed business support which has already created 223 new jobs and is well on track to deliver the target of 1,000 new posts by 2016.

Councillor McIntosh continued: “Having such business support in the very heart of the community will help to lessen the pitfalls for any local person wanting to take the plunge and follow their dreams, and I would urge anyone starting up – or interested in starting up – a business to get in touch with us to see if Maybole could be their new home.

"We have all that's needed to support you – all we ask in return is your AMBITION.”

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

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

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Five winners in two days for trainer Jim Goldie at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

TRAINER Jim Goldie was on fire at Ayr Racecourse’s two-day May meeting last week, saddling an incredible five winners.

[Pictured: Another For Joe wins at Ayr Racecourse on Thursday completing a treble on the day for trainer Jim Goldie.]

The Goldie bandwagon started rolling at the Racing UK Raceday on Wednesday when Goninodaethat won the first division of the Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap with Gary Bartley riding at odds of 5/1. And  Monel  (7/2) with Graham Lee on board won the second division.

On Wallaces TCB Raceday on Thursday the in-form Uplawmoor-based trainer had three winners. Young apprentice Jack Garritty partnered two of the horses - Classy Ann, a 9/1 chance won the Whyte & Mackay Handicap by a length and a quarter from Bunce while Sleeper Class (8/1), a half-sister to Classy Anne won the Jack Daniels Handicap.

Jim’s three timer was completed by Another For Joe in the Magners Cider Handicap. The 7/2 chance won comfortably and should be back in the winners’ enclosure soon.

The star horse on show over the weekend was Uncle Dermot, who made the 712 mile round trip from Brendan Powell’s Upper Lambourn and won on both days.

Graham Lee rode the horse on Wednesday to win the Hamilton Brothers and Kubota Handicap on Wednesday and on day two, Connor Beasley was in the plate when this game gelding won the feature race, the Smirnoff Gold Handicap. 

Other interesting winners included The Wow Signal (5/2), a nine length winner of the EBF Stallions Racing UK 10TH Anniversary Maiden on Wednesday under Phil Makin for trainer John Quinn and Casterbridge (6/4 fav), ridden by Jason Hart,  won the Coca-Cola/British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden  on Thursday.

The next meeting at Ayr Racecourse is on Monday 9 June with the first race at 2.30pm. For more information or to book tickets call 01292 264189 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.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Scottish Government support for film and TV sectors

Culture Secretary outlines how independence 
can boost £400 million sector

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has set out how the additional powers of an independent Scotland could support increased TV and film production and help the economy.

Radio and TV production currently employs 3,200 people and had a turnover of £400 million in 2011. However, Ms Hyslop emphasised that the sector in Ireland employs over 6,000 individuals, with Ireland’s RTÉ national broadcaster alone employing almost 2,000 people, against 1,200 employed by the BBC in Scotland – demonstrating what more could be achieved with full control of financial powers.

In a speech to the Royal Television Society in Glasgow, Ms Hyslop highlighted the Scottish Government’s commitment to not only continue, but to build upon current tax incentives for the industry in an independent Scotland.

Ms Hyslop said: “Our radio and broadcasting sector is a £400 million industry of enormous importance to Scotland and employs 3,200 people – as well as the many self-employed and freelance staff vital to the sector. And in addition to TV and radio, we also know that the film and video sector are enormously valuable. 

“The Scottish Government values the contribution that filmmaking, animation and television production make to Scotland’s rich cultural life, with public sector investment in support for the screen sector, across production, education, training and exhibition, increasing to £21 million in 2012-13.

“We have consistently championed Scotland as a location for international film and TV productions, and we work hard to ensure Scotland is widely recognised for its world-class talent, crews, facilities and breath taking locations. Scottish Ministers are firmly committed to supporting a sustained increase in production.

“Scotland is a creative and dynamic country, and we must be ambitious to do more. Our sector lags behind that of nations comparable in size, such as Ireland and Finland.

“Of course, creating a Scottish Broadcasting Service will do much to address this. But we can and must do much more.

“When you examine the support given in other countries, the potential of Governmental support to encourage the sector is clear. For example, it is telling that in the face of the economic difficulties of the last few years, Ireland has not just maintained but progressively strengthened its support for the sector and continues to do so. In fact, next year it will increase its support still further. 

“We are already taking the action we can to support the industry under present constitutional arrangements – we are currently considering a number of proposals for developing and operating a Scottish film studio. 

“But with the powers of independence we could do much more for this vital industry. Independence would change broadcasting for the better, both for the industry and for the public.”

Scotland’s Radio and TV production sector had a total turnover of £205,600,000 and employed 3,200 people in 2011, with a gross value added per employee of £89,135, the highest for any element of the Scottish Government’s key growth sectors, except for oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and distilling.