The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Outstanding people recognised by South Ayrshire Council

A Modern Apprentice, a homecare worker, a janitor, an education officer and an innovative project to help pupils gain work experience are all winners in South Ayrshire Council’s ‘Outstanding People Awards’ 2014.

The awards recognise those members of staff who go the extra mile to deliver a truly outstanding service to customers and colleagues throughout South Ayrshire.

This year more than 150 council employees were nominated for an award by members of the public and colleagues, in five service categories which were:  Service Excellence, Innovation, Sustainability, Equalities in Action and Inspirational Young Employee.

All nominees won bronze certificates of achievement. A judging panel then looked at all submissions and shortlisted 15 finalists – each receiving a silver award – from which the final five winners were selected.

Council Leader Councillor Bill McIntosh said: “Selecting the winners was a difficult task, as each of the fifteen finalists had shown an outstanding commitment to the Council and the people of South Ayrshire.

“Recognition of how that service is delivered is something I am passionate about – particularly in these challenging times when we all have to do more with less and our Outstanding People Awards let us do exactly that. 

“All fifteen nominees were winners in that regard and I’m delighted we were able to recognise and reward their commitment and dedication to public service.”

South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie added: “What our employees do on a daily basis really matters to our people and communities – that’s something I see for myself regularly. 

“The awards let us celebrate and show our appreciation for these exceptional people, who have consistently surpassed the expectations of their role at the Council – and that really is something we can all be proud of.”

The winners were:

Service Excellence

Finalists: Reckless Driving Wrecks Lives, Marian McAllister and The Council’s Young Scot Team

Winner: Marian McAllister (pictured above receiving her award) – a member of the Council’s Homecare Team, nominated for her commitment, compassion and willingness to always go the extra mile to enhance the lives of her clients


Finalists: Colette McGarva, Barassie Nursery staff and Work Out!

Winner: Work Out! – Work Out! addresses the need to engage young people in the latter stages of school who are at risk of disengaging and are less likely to reach a positive and sustained destination in life, by providing comprehensive vocational training and experience across a range of work sectors.

Equalities in Action  

Finalists: Lynn Crossan, Mary Platt and Fiona Ross

Winner: Lynn Crossan – In her role as Quality Improvement Officer, Lynn has played a key role in promoting equalities within our schools.  From ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ to ‘The LGBT Youth Awards’, she always has a valuable contribution to make.

(Lynn Crossan’s award was collected by Frank Cardle and there is no photograph for her.)


Finalists: Deborah Creedy, Murray Blackwood and Ayr Town Centre Heritage Initiative

Winner: Murray Blackwood (pictured above receiving his award)). Murray has demonstrated the real benefits that can be made through recycling and other energy saving measures in schools.  As School Janitor at St. Ninian’s Primary, he has taken recycling to a new level and made the school a shining example to others.

Inspirational Young Employee

Finalists: Shaunagh McCutcheon, Craig Currie and Amy Logan

Winner: Shaunagh McCutcheon (pictured above receiving her award). Shaunagh is a Modern Apprentice in Business Administration working at Throughcare in Holmston House.  She is committed and enthusiastic toward her Modern Apprenticeship and always smiling and happy to help clients.  She demonstrated exceptional leadership and organisational skills during the Modern Apprentice Challenge, in which she took a leading role.

Eileen Howat, South Ayrshire Council’s Chief Executive concluded: “I’d like to offer my sincere congratulations to all the nominees, finalists and to the winners.

“Of course, the real winners in this process are our service users, customers and communities who benefit each and every day from the care and attention our employees take to deliver the best possible services at all times.”

Also invited to the awards ceremony were nine Modern Apprentices who, while working and gaining valuable practical experience have also been studying. They all received certificates of achievement and were:

Craig McBlain 
Conor Stapley 
Fraser Dunn
Scott Farr
Lindsay McCormick
Karen McGarvey 
Laura Nicol 
Danielle Warner
Michael Smith

In addition to the winners announced on the night, a raffle held during the event raised £373 for the Council’s charities: Ayr Housing Aid Centre, Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, Gardening Leave, PDSA, Riverside Care and Share, RNLI (Troon and Girvan), SeAscape, South Ayrshire Women's Aid. 

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

Friday, 27 June 2014

South Ayrshire Council sets the wheels of debate in motion

Pupils from South Ayrshire secondary schools have taken part in a mock council debate, spending the day as local elected representatives as they met in session at Council headquarters in Ayr.

[Pictured: Provost Helen Moonie, centre left, is pictured with school pupils who took part in the mock council sessions. Also pictured are Councillor John McDowall, right, Councillor Margaret Toner, far right and Wynne Carlaw, South Ayrshire Council’s Democratic Governance Manager.]

The pupils debated four motions in accordance with South Ayrshire Council’s standing orders and a lively debate was enjoyed as amendments were tabled and discussed in front of an audience of other local councillors and teachers.

The motions tabled all related to the United Nations Convention on the rights of the child and were:

• Young People in Scotland have the right to lead an active and healthy life

• Young people in Scotland should have the right to unrestricted internet access for educational purposes

• Young people in Scotland should not be recruited by the Armed Forces until they reach the age of 18 years

• Young people in Scotland should have the right to vote at 16 years.

Hosting the event, Provost Helen Moonie said: “Getting young people to assume the role of councillors and present, debate and discuss motions in a live chamber setting is a fantastic way of introducing them to the excitement of politics, as well as sharpening their debating skills.

“I was amazed by how passionately and articulately the young people took to their task and learned a great deal about some of their own views in the process.

“Young people represent the future of our local area and their tastes, interests and ideas will have a significant influence for the next generation and beyond.”

Daisy Bradshaw from Girvan Academy who presented the motion ‘Young people in Scotland should have the right to unrestricted internet access for educational purposes’ added: “I really enjoyed being in County Hall in front of other real councillors and the process of doing business was intriguing.”

Keir Anderson of Kyle Academy presented the motion that ‘Young people in Scotland should not be recruited by the Armed Forces until they reach the age of 18’ agreed adding: “This was an excellent experience and actually debating live in a real council chamber, with Provost Moonie overseeing us was brilliant! I’d love to do it again and certainly won’t rule out a career in politics!”

Provost Moonie concluded the day with a vote of thanks to all participants and added: “This has been a superb event and I’ve really been impressed with the quality of debate.

“The motions were challenging and well argued, and the amendments were equally well presented.

“I hope this exercise has given our young people a better insight on how to present their views and ideas and how local democracy might work for them.

“And who knows - maybe in the near future we might be welcoming some of them back as democratically elected representatives for their own electoral ward.”

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

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kilmarnock Campus construction officially underway

First Minister performs sod-cutting and announces 
figures demonstrating £830m+ college investment

First Minister Alex Salmond has today (Wednesday, 25 June) visited the construction site of the new £53 million Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus to formally mark the start of the redevelopment.

The First Minister and College Principal Heather Dunk OBE were joined by the first apprentice to be employed, Rachel Kyle – also a student of the college – for a sod-cutting ceremony on the site of the former Diageo bottling plant.

Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus NPD (Non-Profit Distributing) support of £53 million reached financial close earlier this month, bringing the total NPD funding for Scotland’s college estate to £330 million. The visit comes as the First Minister announces that the Scottish Government has invested over £500 million in capital funding for Scotland’s college estate from 2007-2013, over and above the £330 million NPD investment.

The new building will create a stimulating learning environment that is ‘welcoming, accessible and flexible’. It will include a health and wellbeing centre, hair and beauty salon, a learning resource centre as well as sector leading facilities for sport and science, technology and engineering. 

At the sod-cutting ceremony on-site, the First Minister said: “Ayrshire College’s new £53m Kilmarnock Campus will play a huge part in the on-going regeneration of the town. Being built on the former Diageo site, it will deliver state of the art learning facilities, as well as create more than 170 construction jobs, apprenticeship places – like Rachel Kyle, whom I met today – and numerous work placement and training opportunities.

“Ayrshire College Kilmarnock Campus is the third college benefiting from a combined total of £330 million NPD funding, with work also underway at both the £228m City of Glasgow College campus and the £52m Inverness College campus. Diggers are already on site and I’m sure staff and students are eager to start enjoying their new state-of-the-art campus when it opens in 2016.

“This is the latest in a long line of investments in Scotland’s college estate. I’m delighted to announce that we are supporting investment of over £830 million between capital and NPD supported projects since 2007 to ensure we deliver a first rate education and that Scotland’s young people have access to state of the art facilities. These facilities will also help us to develop a truly world class vocational education system in line with Sir Ian Wood's recommendations on the development of Scotland's young workforce. 

“Our investment in Scotland’s infrastructure as a whole – including schools, hospitals and roads - is set to top more than £8 billion over the next two years, supporting around 50,000 full time equivalent jobs across the Scottish economy.” 

Rachel Kyle is the first apprentice to be employed through the construction project. Rachel said: "My new job is exciting, I am grateful to be a part of this project and look forward to the future. It will be a learning curve but what a place to learn on such a massive commercial project. Work ethic is changing and a lot more women are gaining employment within the construction industry.

“Once I finish my apprenticeship and degree I would like to stay with McLaughlin and Harvey with hope to become an Assistant Site Manager, working on more projects to gain experience. I would love to move on to be a Manager and take on my own site with a view to working locally in Ayrshire.

“Do not let stereotypes put you off: 11 or 12% of construction workforce are women – let’s make this bigger. If you have the drive and the enthusiasm in construction then go for it – it’s the best job in my eyes.”

Ayrshire College Principal Heather Dunk OBE said: “This is a historic day for Ayrshire and we are delighted to be moving forward with this significant investment for the young people of our community in Ayrshire.”

For more information on Ayrshire College’s new Kilmarnock Campus, CLICK HERE  

College NPD projects are part of the £2.5bn pipeline of projects to be delivered by NPD as announced in the Scottish Government’s 2011-12 budget. NPD ensures that private sector returns are capped, that there is no dividend bearing equity and any surplus is directed in favour of the public sector. For more information on NPD schemes CLICK HERE 

A further selection of photographs taken at this event has been posted by the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle in an album on Flickr CLICK HERE 

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Corton approval gives green light to homes, jobs and economy boost

A vibrant new community that will create hundreds of new homes, businesses and jobs – as well as an annual boost of around £40 million to the Ayrshire economy – was unanimously approved by South Ayrshire Council this week for development in Ayr. 

The mixed use development at Corton in Ayr – which is subject to referral and approval by the Scottish Government – will provide an attractive and distinctive place for people to live, work and enjoy their leisure time as part of a sustainable new community.

The approved development, from applicant LXB RP (Ayr 1) Ltd, includes 750 new homes – 188 of which will be affordable housing; a business park with offices, business space and workshops; a Sainsbury’s supermarket; a neighbourhood shopping centre; a new hotel; a petrol station; a primary school; community facilities and parkland; walking, cycling and safe vehicle routes; and a park and ride facility. 

Corton is designed to be well connected to Ayr with a high quality bridge over the A77, and safe walking and cycling routes from Ayr seafront to Ayr hospital, providing seamless links between the new community and the rest of the town.

It will provide around 2,700 construction jobs over the 10 year development of the site, which is expected to get underway early next year. And the completed development will create around 1,000 new jobs for the local area.   

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “The approval of this major planning application is the first step towards delivering the right kind of development in the right way within the south-east Ayr area and that has always been our priority.

“The plans lay the groundwork for a dynamic, inclusive and accessible community that will significantly enhance this part of the town, creating jobs, providing investment, constructing affordable homes and delivering the infrastructure improvements required to make such a development work.    

“We have always had high ambitions for the development of the wider south-east Ayr area and Corton is the first step on the route to achieving exactly that. It’s a vital development that will ensure South Ayrshire is open for business and investment and can readily welcome new residents and families.

“Its potential to boost our economy is not just of local importance – but of national significance – and establishes a very firm base for solid economic growth over the next 20-30 years.

“Obviously the application is now subject to scrutiny by Scottish Ministers, but I am confident that they too will see the benefits of such a development and that it won’t be too long before Corton stops being just an ideal and starts becoming a reality for the people and businesses of South Ayrshire.”

The planning application is available CLICK HERE 

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

Monday, 23 June 2014

Success for southern raiders at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

NEWMARKET raiders grabbed the spoils at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday, winning no fewer than four of the seven races. 

Set against a backdrop of beautiful sunshine and attended by a crowd of almost 6,500 it was a fantastic afternoon’s racing, with the highlight the £40,000 Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes, a Listed race over the minimum five furlong trip.

The winner was Hay Chewed (17/2) (pictured above in the green and white colours) held up under Tom Eaves hand, then hitting the front over a furlong out and staying on well to win by a length from the 16/1 chance Inyordsreams. 

This Newmarket winner was trained by Conrad Allen and should win again in the not too distant future. 

Another southern trainer Willie Haggas saddled Squats (8/1), to win the opening maiden under Liam Jones, while Roger Varian had his first ever Ayr winner with the well-backed Pretzel (10/11 fav) in the mile handicap under a very confident Freddie Tylicki. The final Newmarket winner was the track Alan Bailey trained Strictly Silver (4/1) who won the Arnold Clark Handicap. 

The only Scottish-trained success came via Spirit of Alsace in the final race, a six furlong handicap. 

Trained by Jim Goldie and ridden by apprentice Jack Garritty, the 7/1 shot showed terrific battling qualities to get up and beat Signore Piccolo by half a length. 

The Reluctant Suitors syndicate includes Gordon Thom of New Hall Stud in Coylton, who will no doubt be planning a career as a brood mare for the winning horse. 

Ayr’s next meeting is the Federation of Small Businesses Family Day on Sunday 6 July. For more information or to book tickets 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.