The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will draw the crowds to Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

AYR is bracing itself for another busy weekend when crowds of more than 20,000 head to the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival at Ayr Racecourse.

The three day extravaganza gets under way on Thursday, and Ladies Day is on  Friday, with Ayr Gold Cup Saturday attracting the biggest crowd of the week with around 12,000 expected.

Businesses are in for a bonanza as hotel rooms within a 15 mile radius of Ayr are nearly all sold out and restaurants, bars, hairdressers and taxi firms all in for a boom time.

Ayr Racecourse Sales and Marketing Manager Lindsey Smith said: “We are really encouraged by our advance sales both for entrance tickets and for corporate hospitality. We have also been given a boost with a weather forecast that says it will be dry with sunny spells, so our lawns should be packed.”

In addition to the racing there is live entertainment for three hours after racing, with bands appearing in the Horseshoe Bar, and in addition on Friday and Saturday nights West FM’s Colin McArdle appears in the Ayrshire Suite.

A jazz band will be playing on the lawns during racing on Friday and Saturday and a Beatles tribute act Penny Lane will be in the Tented Village on Saturday again playing before and during racing.

On Ladies Day on Friday the final of Ayr Racecourse’s Ladies Competition is held. Up to 27 ladies will have won a place in the final and each will draw the name of a horse running in the Bronze Cup.

The lady who draws the winning horse wins a fabulous Vauxhall Adam Glam 1.4 courtesy of Kerr & Smith, runner-up prize is a fabulous holiday for two to Dubai courtesy of Stewart Travel with the winner and a friend flying from Glasgow to Dubai with Emirates Airlines and enjoying four nights at the four star Vida Downtown Dubai a great location close to Burj Khalifa, Dubai mall. And third prize is cosmetic treatments from Coast Clinic.

Channel 4 will screen four races live on Saturday and celebrities visiting the racing over the weekend include TV football pundit Robbie Savage and Miss Scotland Ellie McKeating.

For more information on the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival 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.

Should buy-to-let investors stick or twist?

Scotland’s leading property consultancy, CKD Galbraith 
advises investors during the buy-to-let mortgage boom

Professional landlords have long existed, but alongside the ‘professionals’ there are those who own second homes, holiday homes or who have inherited property they are keen to hold on to. Additionally, demand for rented accommodation has increased steadily over recent years, and has encouraged more people to invest in property for rental purposes. 

A recent members report from the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) suggest that landlord optimism is now at a high, with 26% of existing landlords expecting to acquire further property to let during the next year. 

Shirley Kenyon, Head of Letting at CKD Galbraith, offers some salient advice to those considering investing further or those investing in property for the first time:

“For those considering a buy-to-let mortgage or looking for further property in which to invest should consider a number of points. Where are Scotland’s residential ‘hot-spots’? Cities such as Aberdeen and Inverness are offering attractive opportunities, and shouldn’t necessarily be written off in favour of the capital or properties closer to a landlord’s own area of residence. A good agency will manage the let from a localized office for you. 

“Secondly, although bricks and mortar do represent a safe investment you are still effectively borrowing to invest so do not over borrow. The mortgage still has to be affordable if your income took a hit, you suffered an illness or there were periods when tenants hadn’t been replaced.”

Bill Madigan is an experienced landlord with a large portfolio of properties let through CKD Galbraith. He began investing in property over 40 years ago and, having ridden out the many ups and downs of the UK mortgage market, had this to say: 

“For me buy-to-let mortgages offer a flexible and yet secure way of saving with property acting as a relatively stable form of investment. Generally my investments have provided a healthy return, and I believe that having the support and advice of a good agency like CKD Galbraith is invaluable.

“The company have always kept me abreast on legislation, market changes and importantly have ensured that my properties are occupied! Buy-to-let investments also offered me the means of funding a retirement income that wasn’t locked up inside a pension scheme.”

CKD Galbraith currently has a number of properties on the market in Scotland’s most sought-after locations and ideal for buy-to-let purposes, including:

Lauderdale (pictured above) is a detached two-bedroom bungalow within walking distance of the pretty highland town of Pitlochry, Perthshire. It has fantastic income potential and has been successfully let in recent years, achieving a rental income in the region of £550pcm.

Lauderdale has a guide price of £155,000. 

6 Pitstruan Place (pictured above) is situated in the hot-spot of Aberdeen, on a quiet west end street. It’s a spacious first floor flat with two good sized double bedrooms and many of its traditional features retained. The flat would make the ideal student let for those studying at either Robert Gordon’s or Aberdeen University.

6 Pitstruan Place is available for offers over £185,000.

10 Greenan Park (pictured above) is an excellent semi-detached house well located in the heart of Doonfoot on a quiet residential street, about two miles from the centre of Ayr town. Alloway Village, most famously known as the birthplace of Robert Burns (one mile) has local amenities including a shop, post office, doctors and primary school. 

10 Greenan Park is available for offers over £115,000.

5B Union Street (pictured above) is an attractive top floor flat in an excellent location in the centre of Kelso, one of the most popular towns in the Borders. This flat enjoys excellent outlooks across Union Street and the neighbouring roof tops. The property has an achievable rent of around £400 pcm.

5B Union Street has a guide price of £82,000.

Many more buy-to-let and property opportunities are available through CKD Galbraith so please visit
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.