The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 6 June 2014

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie marks 30th anniversary of Ayr and St Germain-en-Laye town twinning

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie has welcomed members of the St Germain Town Twinning Association to Ayr to mark the 30th anniversary of twinning between the French town and Ayr.

[Pictured: Provost Helen Moonie with Douglas Spring, Vice President of St. Germain Town Twinning, guests and members of the St Germain and Ayr Town Twining Associations.] 

The link dates to 1984, when the Ayr Town Twinning Association (ATTA) was founded in 1984 with the aim of fostering and encouraging links between individuals and groups. St Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, was chosen as Ayr’s twin town.

Members make friends with French people with similar interests and visit for short periods, staying in family homes as guests. 

Visits are then reciprocated by French guests, who come to Ayr. 

Presenting a commemorative gift to Douglas Spring, Vice President of St. Germain Town Twinning Association, Provost Moonie said: “The 30th anniversary of the St Germain and Ayr twinning link is definitely something to celebrate.

“It is a wonderful way to develop friendships, increase awareness and understanding of different ways of life, and to appreciate both the similarities and the differences between cultures.

“Over the last 30 years, there have been many visits, exchanges and events between St Germain and Ayr that have truly brought the spirit of twinning to life. 

“Thanks to the efforts of the Ayr and St Germain Town Twinning Associations,  twinning isn’t just something that’s referenced on a signpost into a town – it’s real, it’s practical, and it has allowed our ‘link’ to become a meaningful relationship and friendship.

“We’re very proud of those links and I congratulate both towns and the work of the twinners in each, with the hope they will go on to enjoy and celebrate many more milestone moments in this marvellous movement.”

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


South Ayrshire Council


Thursday, 5 June 2014

South Ayrshire Council appoints new Head of Legal and Democratic Services

Ralph Riddiough, currently a partner with law firm BTO in Glasgow, has been appointed as South Ayrshire Council’s new Head of Legal and Democratic Services and will be taking up the position in July 2014.

Ralph (pictured above) – who lives in Ayr and is a former Kyle Academy pupil – brings extensive legal experience and a strong background in corporate law to the post and will be a positive addition to the Council’s Corporate Management Team (CMT).

He said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Council from private legal practice at a challenging and exciting time. 

“As a local resident, I care deeply about South Ayrshire and what happens in the local area and wanted to make my mark in a meaningful way.

“This is an ideal opportunity for me to get my teeth into a very interesting and diverse range of work, all aimed at benefiting local residents - and that’s what really sold the job to me in the first instance.”

Welcoming Ralph to the Council and the CMT, Valerie Andrews, Executive Director of Resources, Governance and Organisation said: “Ralph’s broad experience of corporate legal practice and his people management skills are a superb addition to our team.

“He will play a big part in our improvement work and his blend of knowledge and skill will make an immediate impact and a positive contribution to this programme.”

Ralph is married and has three sons. He is a talented trombonist and plays in the Dalmellington Brass Band.

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

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

South Ayrshire Council celebrates official opening of new Kirkmichael Primary School

The new Kirkmichael Primary School, built by South Ayrshire Council on the site of the old school building, has been formally opened by Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder for the Council. 

Councillor Toner said: “The official opening of the new Kirkmichael Primary School building, in which we have invested £2.3 million, was a terrific event and everyone had great fun.

“Kirkmichael Primary School currently has 27 pupils. It is a small school with a big heart, and some very talented children who through song, dance, music and memories, told the audience all about the history of the school.

“We are committed to ensuring that children in rural areas have light and spacious learning areas, well equipped classrooms and activity areas which mean they are able to harness modern technology to help them reach their full potential.

“The wider community will also benefit from the new school building, as they can access the lifelong learning facility through a secure access area while the children are working."

The old school, built in the 1970s, was no longer fit to meet the needs of children in the 21st century, so a decision was taken by the Council to build a new school. Children and staff were temporarily accommodated in the McCosh Hall to allow the new school  to be built on the same site. 

The new school has a lot of natural light and this, combined with bold use of colours, provides the children with a great space to learn and have fun. There is a spacious hall which works as an assembly hall, dining area and gym with changing facilities.

Head teacher Karen Butchart said: “The new building has exceeded all our expectations, and the children were in complete awe when they saw their new school. The joy in their faces as they entered the building for the first time was very special.

“The building we enjoy today is the result of a huge investment by South Ayrshire Council, and is a bright, spacious modern school which has been admired and appreciated by everyone.”

Councillor Toner concluded: “The construction of Kirkmichael Primary School continues our commitment to rural schools in South Ayrshire, built less than two years after the completion of Colmonell primary in 2012. Giving our young people a stimulating learning environment is very important.”

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

June Monday racing action at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR Racecourse stages the first of six summer Monday fixtures on 9 June – June Raceday – and the seven race card is due off at 2.30pm with a six furlong maiden for two year-olds.

This is followed by a highly competitive mile handicap with £8000 in prize-money which will ensure a fair-sized field of handicappers and all the top northern yards including those of Jim Goldie, Michael Dods, Richard Fahey and Keith Dalgleish are likely to be represented.

The feature race of the afternoon is the £12,000 one mile two furlong handicap with a first prize of more than £7700. Middle distance specialists will be out in force for this higher than normal Monday afternoon pot.

The meeting closes with a mile apprentice handicap at 5.30pm featuring some of the top young jockeys on the northern circuit.

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.