The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Alex Salmond and artist Gerard Burns visit CLIC Sargent’s Malcolm Sargent House

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond this week visited CLIC Sargent’s Prestwick holiday home Malcolm Sargent House. He was joined by artist Gerard Burns after the latter’s painting of the First Minister raised £51,500 for the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people.

[Pictured left to right: CLIC Sargent Community Fundraising Manager May Gilchrist, artist Gerard Burns and First Minister Alex Salmond, together with some of the children who have been supported by CLIC Sargent.]

Gerard’s ‘14 for 14’ exhibition was launched during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and featured 14 Scots who inspired him. The fundraising exhibition raised money for 14 charities – with proceeds from the auction of his portrait of Alex Salmond going to CLIC Sargent.

The First Minister was joined by Gerard as he presented the cheque to staff at Malcolm Sargent House and met with a group of young people and their families who have been supported by CLIC Sargent as he had a tour of the house.

First Minister Alex Salmond said:  “I am honoured that the highly acclaimed artist Gerard Burns asked to paint a portrait of me as part of his ‘14 for 14’ exhibition. Gerard is a fantastic artist, a real treasure of Scotland and he has done a marvellous job with this painting.

“CLIC Sargent offers essential respite for children, young people and their families who are inevitably going through a very difficult time, and I’m delighted that the painting has raised £51,500 for such a worthy cause.”

Every year, CLIC Sargent helps hundreds of families to take a short break, free of charge, at Malcolm Sargent House in Ayrshire. Offering holidays for young people and their families during and after treatment, as well as shorter breaks during the weekends or low season, accommodation and all meals are provided free of charge, giving families the chance to get away from the stresses of daily life and spend precious time together.

Burns said he decided to paint Scots who inspired him to mark 2014 as a landmark year for Scotland, with the recent Independence Referendum and Commonwealth Games and, and has organised the multi-charity event that celebrates each character he has chosen to paint, whilst raising funds for each of his sitters' chosen charities.

Gerard Burns said: “I was absolutely over the moon when the First Minister decided it would be CLIC Sargent who would benefit from the proceeds of this painting, because it is a charity that is very close to my heart and one that I have a longstanding commitment to support.  

“I am eternally grateful to the business community in Scotland who via this portrait, have donated so generously to this wonderful charity. By doing so they have made it possible for CLIC Sargent to continue their amazing work and in particular the services that Malcolm Sargent House provides, which is vital, particularly for families who are going through such a tough time.”
CLIC Sargent Community Fundraising Manager May Gilchrist said: "We were thrilled to welcome the First Minister and Gerard Burns to Malcolm Sargent House, and it was fantastic to see the artwork which raised vital money for CLIC Sargent.

“CLIC Sargent currently reaches two out of three children and young people with cancer and the money raised at auction from Gerard’s brilliant painting will help the charity to be there for even more families in need of support.”

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Scottish housing market stalls in September

RICS UK Residential Market Survey, September 2014

Demand dropped to lowest level since January 2013 during September, as referendum uncertainty hit  the Scottish market.

The number of new homes coming onto the Scottish market also decreased, with a net balance of 14 percent of respondents reporting a decline in new instructions, the lowest since September 2012.

Despite a the slow-down, greater confidence was evident with house prices, with a net balance of 33 percent of respondents reporting a growth in house price momentum in Scotland over the last three months. 

Sarah Speirs (pictured above), Director RICS Scotland, commented: “The effects of the referendum appeared particularly significant to the housing market during September, with a considerable drop in the number of interested buyers and stock coming onto the market. 

“Looking ahead, we expect to see an increase in supply and demand as the market settles, but with interest rates still at historically low levels and long-term house price expectations positive, households are not under any real economic pressure to sell. Next year, we expect the house price outlook to be far more subdued.”    

The longer term price forecast also looked positive with a net balance of 35 percent of respondents predicting price growth in Scotland over the coming three months and prices across the UK still expected to rise on average by 2.1% outside of London.

Kevin MacDonald, Inverness, Graham + Sibbald commented: “With the outcome of the referendum decided, it is now time to re-group and build upon the improvements seen in the market during the earlier part of 2014. Stability and security will be key factors to help maintain an active market through the winter.”

The slow-down in buyer activity stands in contrast to the Scottish lettings market, where demand has continued to grow solidly, despite new instructions to let not keeping pace with the rise in tenant demand.  

Chartered surveyors also noted the continued positive impact of the Home Report on the housing market in Scotland, with 70 percent of respondents reporting that it has reduced the need for multiple surveys. RICS continues to work with the Scottish Government during the five year review process which will conclude at the end of this year.

About RICS

RICS is the world’s leading qualification when it comes to professional standards in land, property and construction.

In a world where more and more people, governments, banks and commercial organisations demand greater certainty of professional standards and ethics, attaining RICS status is the recognised mark of property professionalism.

Over 100,000 property professionals working in the major established and emerging economies of the world have already recognised the importance of securing RICS status by becoming members.

RICS is an independent professional body originally established in the UK by Royal Charter. Since 1868, RICS has been committed to setting and upholding the highest standards of excellence and integrity – providing impartial, authoritative advice on key issues affecting businesses and society. RICS is a regulator of both its individual members and firms enabling it to maintain the highest standards and providing the basis for unparalleled client confidence in the sector.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Fresh new look and modern facilities coming to the Citadel in Ayr

The Citadel Leisure Centre in Ayr is set to benefit from a fantastic, modern and vibrant new look, thanks to an investment of £450,000 from South Ayrshire Council.

The funding will see a new state-of-the-art gym being built, which will include modern ‘Life Fitness’ equipment to boost cardio-vascular training and ‘Hammer Strength’ resistant machines.

Much of the equipment will also be wi-fi enabled, allowing customers to watch TV, listen to music, or even download their workout data direct to apps on their smartphones – allowing their exercise regimes to be easily recorded and tracked for optimum performance. 

A multi-purpose training hub (called Synergy 360), designed for group and individual exercise programmes, will also be installed and the modernisation works will also convert the former cardio-vascular room into a superb, dedicated indoor cycling studio.

Completing the modernisation programme, the ground floor reception area will be re-configured to be more customer-friendly, making it easier for customers to access all sports and leisure facilities and get information and advice on what’s on, where and when.

To allow the work to get underway – and to ensure the new facilities can be enjoyed as soon as possible – the gym at the Citadel will be closed for approximately 10-12 weeks.

The health and fitness class programme will be unaffected and will continue as normal. All Citadel members have been informed of the closure and changes to their membership payment while work is ongoing.   

Councillor Bill Grant (pictured above), Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said: “The modernisation work at the Citadel is a superb development and will offer a fantastic new range of equipment in a brilliant, modern and vibrant environment.

“The use of latest technology through wi-fi will also enable customers to keep an eye on how well they are progressing, allowing them to tweak their fitness regime to meet their needs and goals through their phones or digital devices.”

If you’re a member at the Citadel gym, or thinking about joining in the future – or if you’re interested in how work is progressing and new classes on offer, keep up to date by Facebook (Sport and Leisure South Ayrshire), Twitter (@southayrshire) or speak to a member of staff within any of the Council facilities, or contact the Council on 0300 123 0900.

The Council will not collect any gym membership payments during October and November, and a reduced amount will be charged in December, with normal monthly subscriptions resuming in January 2015.  

Councillor Grant concluded: “It’s an exciting time for the Citadel, and I look forward to seeing the new facilities and classes up and running very soon – and just in time for us to make our New Year’s resolutions to keep fit, lead a healthier lifestyle and join the gym!

“And where better to do this than the bright and modernised surroundings at the Citadel?”

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

CKD Galbraith offer unique small Ayrshire estate with handsome Georgian house set amidst landscaped gardens with stabling, fishings and grazing land

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Barskaig, a beautiful small estate situated on the banks of the River Stinchar – one of the most productive salmon fishing rivers in Ayrshire.  

The property dates from 1802 and has been lovingly maintained by the present owners in keeping with the original Georgian character and charm.  

The accommodation is formed over 3 levels, and includes a wonderfully proportioned drawing room, formal dining room with bay window, a charming snug and a fully fitted kitchen with Aga.  

A useful utility room opens to the rear gardens and there is also a cloakroom and WC.  

Three spacious bedrooms and two bathrooms are located on the first floor with two further bedrooms and a shower room on the second floor.

Barskaig extends to approximately 11 acres and is naturally sheltered by the surrounding rolling countryside and some policy woodland.  

The house overlooks a formal lawn and the gardens have been carefully planted to provide year round colour and interest.  There are over fifty specimen Acers as well as various conifers, exotic ferns and palms.  

In addition Barskaig offers excellent stabling within a traditional stone and slate building, a tack room, feedstore, garage and garden equipment store.  An all-weather riding arena lies to the north of the house as well as a general purpose shed, summerhouse and large greenhouse. Five excellent paddocks are all well drained and fenced with an electrical connection.

Fishing rights along a 250 yard stretch of the east bank of the River Stinchar offers a reliable run of sea trout and salmon. The river forms the western boundary of the property and the Barskaig beat has two good holding pools.  

Barskaig offers the complete sporting package with a wonderful Georgian country house at the heart and is available at offers over £775,000.
PDF available on

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

Tel: 01292 268181   
Fax: 01292 292300 

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

Monday, 6 October 2014

South Ayrshire Council works to maximise use of Ayr High Street

South Ayrshire Council is actively looking at ways in which the traffic flow could be improved and the number of pedestrians increased in Ayr High Street, to make sure Ayr town centre is the best it can be.

Following extensive consideration of the issues facing the High Street, a detailed survey will now be carried out which will include traffic counts and roadside interviews to provide up to date information on use of the High Street and what traffic management solutions will work best.

A number of options will be tested using software that can simulate traffic movement of private vehicles, buses and taxis.  

The options that will be tested are:

• Reopen vehicle access to River Street from the A719 Main Street.

• Unrestricted vehicle access to High Street with right turn to New Bridge Street for all buses only.

• As above but with the bus lane at New Bridge removed to permit vehicles from the High Street to turn left onto Sandgate or right onto New Bridge Street.

• Creation of a short two-way section of High Street at the junction with new Bridge/Sandgate to permit access to a new car park facility either at the rear of the Affleck Building or on the site of the old Woolworths retail unit, with bus lane over New Bridge retained.

• Reversing the current direction of traffic flow on the High Street while retaining one way traffic flow only and removing all vehicles access restrictions.

• Unrestricted two-way traffic flow on the High Street.

• Full pedestrianisation of the High Street.  

Any changes will then be considered in consultation with local residents and visitors, public transport operators, local businesses and statutory stakeholders.

Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “We have been working on this project for a long while as it is vital that we gather the fullest information we can before we make any decision. We must be positive that any changes we make will ensure a vibrant Ayr town centre now and in the future. 

“We want to establish a traffic management system in the town which will enable us to maximise the potential of our local economy. This means a system that makes the town centre more accessible, improves the environment for businesses and is right for people living and working in and around the town.”  

James Knox, Chair of Ayr Renaissance said: “Improving access to the town centre is a key objective for us. Whenever we consult with retailers and businesses, the subject of accessibility to the town centre for shoppers and visitors always comes up. We have been working together on this and I look forward to finding out what realistic options are available as soon as possible.”    

Councillor McDowall added: “We need to study the results very carefully and balance different interests and views. Making sure that we get access right is vital for a vibrant and successful town centre.

“If any of the options show potential to improve the accessibility, and footfall without an adverse impact on the rest of the town centre, then further appraisal work will be needed to allow the Council to decide on their next steps.” 

The detailed survey work will take place before the end of 2014, with results available in the early part of 2015.   

Further details on the traffic modelling options can be found HERE.

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

Camerooney wins Betfair prize at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

VETERAN horse Camerooney (pictured below) was the star performer at Ayr Racecourse’s September Finale Raceday last Tuesday when winning the £15,000 Betfair Scottish Mile Series Final Handicap in the hands of apprentice Nathan Allison for trainer Marjorie Fife.

The 11 year-old was a 16/1 chance and made all the running to win by a length and a quarter from the Keith Dalgleish trained Hanalei Bay.

Linda Perratt saddled Pitt Rivers to win the Racing UK Anywhere Available Now Handicap at generous odds of 20/1 ridden by Paul Mulrennan who also rode hot favourite Juncart (4/5) to win the Maiden Stakes from Westhoughton. Kevin Ryan who trained the winner also saddled Dominic Cork owned by Janis McPherson to win the nursery handicap in the hands of Fergal Lynch at odds of 4/1.

Favourite backers were rewarded when Mick Channon’s Jersey Brown won the last at 6/4.

The final meeting of the 2014 flat season at Ayr takes place this Thursday 9 October with the first race due off at 2.10pm.

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.