The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 15 November 2014

South Ayrshire Council appoints new Heads of Service

South Ayrshire Council has now filled all posts within its revised corporate management team structure following the appointment of two new Heads of Service – one for Housing and Facilities and one for Policy and Performance.

David Burns, formerly Strategic Service Planning Manager for the Council’s Housing and Community Care service, takes up the post of Head of Housing and Facilities with immediate effect.

[Pictured: David Burns (left) and Mark Baker.]

And Mark Baker, currently Service Manager for Performance and Improvement at Aberdeenshire Council, has been appointed Head of Policy and Performance and will take up his post next month.

Both new Heads of Service have enjoyed extensive and successful careers in both the private and public sectors.

David, who lives in North Ayrshire with his wife and two children, started his career as a Youth Trainee with the housing service at Renfrewshire Council. Since then, he’s worked his way through the housing ranks – in both local authority and housing association sectors.

Notable achievements in his career include the reintroduction of Council new-build housing in South Ayrshire, regeneration of the Haldane estate in Balloch and – more recently – leading on social work service reviews within community care.

David, who referees junior football in his spare time, is a corporate member of the Chartered Institute of Housing and gained his Master’s Degree in 2003 while studying on a part-time basis.

He said: “I’m delighted to lead the housing and facilities team at such a transformational time for the Council. We’re making big changes to our facilities management service and reviewing our Housing Revenue Account budgeting – including rent levels – to ensure we deliver the services our residents require and deserve. These are big changes but ones I know we can deliver while making a difference for our residents.”

Mark – originally from Ayrshire – lives with his partner and has a 14-year-old son. He studied and worked in Aberdeen in the field of architecture, designing hotels and restaurants before specialising in large scale office refurbishments in the oil and gas sector. He joined Aberdeenshire Council as a consultant designer in 2003. 

From 2009, he led the mobile and flexible working programme called ‘Worksmart’ at a local and national level, creating the ‘new ways of working’ strand with the Improvement Service and colleagues across many public sector organisations in the UK and beyond.

As a result of this, he became Service Manager (Performance & Improvement) and, from 2010, has built and managed an award-winning team who support and deliver corporate frameworks for the performance and improvement cycle, mobile and flexible working, equalities, and scrutiny and audit support.

Mark said: “This is a challenging, but also an exciting time for South Ayrshire Council and I very much look forward to getting to work with my team to help steer the Council onwards on its improvement journey. I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to support the Council, elected members, communities and partners through this next phase and can’t wait to get started.”

South Ayrshire Council Chief Executive, Eileen Howat, added: “David and Mark’s appointments conclude a process that started back in May when we revised our corporate management team structure and I’m very pleased they will both be in post before the end of the year. 

“Their drive, leadership and direction – and that of the rest of the corporate management team – are of vital importance as we move forward and work to ensure we continue to deliver best value for our people and communities. My congratulations to them both and I look forward to working with them in their new roles.”

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

Friday, 14 November 2014

Scottish housing market boost as activity picks up after referendum

RICS UK Residential Market Survey, October 2014

Scottish house price growth remained steady as demand soared during October, according to the latest RICS Residential Market Survey.

Across Scotland new buyer demand witnessed a steep growth, as 81% more surveyors reported an increase in new buyer enquiries as activity intensified following Septembers referendum result. Meanwhile across the rest of the UK demand dipped to a net balance of -18%.  

In addition to stronger buyer interest, sales expectations remain positive with a net balance of 55% of chartered surveyors predicting a rise in sales over the next three months. Significantly, Scotland and Northern Ireland had the most optimistic view on house prices in the run up to Christmas (net balances of 36% and 37% respectively). 

Meanwhile, stock coming onto the market also saw the largest increase this year, with 39% of respondents reporting an increase in new instructions during October. Despite an increase in supply, demand for property continues to outpace and this was further witnessed in the lettings market where tenant demand continues to grow strongly across the country. Over the last quarter, this has particularly been the case in Scotland and rent expectations remain generally firm, with respondents’ anticipating an increase of around 2.5% over the next twelve months across the UK.

Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, said: “Despite the pick-up in the sales market, demand to rent property is growing and coupled with a drop in supply of new stock to let this is helping to underpin the rental outlook for landlords pretty much across Scotland.   

“Post referendum confidence in the market has seen a surge in activity, both in demand for property and an increase in homes coming onto the market. Last month’s announcement on land and buildings transaction tax may also have had an impact on the higher end of the market.”

Anthony Perriam MRICS, Rettie Borders, Scottish Borders, commented: “The return of confidence following the outcome of the independence referendum, and the recently announced changes to the stamp duty regime from April 2015, have brought many more buyers into the autumn marketplace than expected.”

CKD Galbraith offers for sale an attractive barn conversion in a peaceful Ayrshire rural hamlet

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is offering for sale No 1 The Hayloft, Knockdon, by Ayr, South Ayrshire, an attractive barn conversion in a peaceful rural hamlet.

Restored and converted from a traditional barn to an exceptional standard, No 1 The Hayloft is a wonderful country property in unspoilt rolling countryside in the lee of the Carrick Hills within the delightful hamlet of Knockdon, some 5 miles south of Ayr, for which offers over £249,950 are being sought. In recent years the original steading has been sympathetically converted to form an idyllic rural hamlet of country properties.

No. 1 The Hayloft is an impressive attached house beautifully appointed with spacious and excellent accommodation.  

On two storeys, there is a lounge with French door to the garden, a south facing sitting/dining room, dining kitchen, 4 bedrooms (2 ensuite shower rooms and master ensuite with dressing room), family bathroom and cloakroom.  

The fabulous fitted kitchen with contemporary floor and wall units and integrated appliances with superb granite tiled floor gives an indulgent feel to the room and French doors opening out on to the garden, luxurious bathrooms and white oak hardwood doors throughout the property.   

Each of the bedrooms have a Parisian-style balcony with French doors to bring in maximum light into the rooms.

To the front of the house, there are natural paving stones and the rear landscaped gardens are mainly to lawn, with an area of small colourful young shrubs and a patio seating area for outside entertaining. There is private parking for up to three cars.

From the top of Brown Carrick Hill is the highest hill close to Ayr, which gives great views all around, such as over Ailsa Craig to Ireland, west over the Isle of Arran and the Mull of Kintyre and north of Ayr.

In a wonderful peaceful setting, No. 1 The Hayloft is a lovely family home with spacious and flexible accommodation.

PDF available on

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

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS 
Tel: 01292 268181 
Fax: 01292 292300 

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

Trump Organisation and Glasgow Prestwick Airport announce strategic partnership

Prestwick selected as European base for Trump Aviation operations

This morning Donald Trump arrived at Glasgow Prestwick Airport to announce the Trump Organisation’s strategic partnership with the Scottish based aviation group. Prestwick has been selected as the Scottish base for all Trump Aviation operations which includes Mr Trump’s private Boeing 757 and Sikorsky 76B helicopter. 

Prestwick will serve as the main hub for not only Mr. Trump’s private aviation operation but in particular it will service the magnificent Trump Turnberry Resort which with Mr Trump’s investment of £250 million will transform it into the finest resort in the world.

Trump arrived in his signature Boeing 757 and celebrated the announcement alongside Glasgow Prestwick CEO Iain Cochrane, and Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, who each provided remarks hailing the importance and significance of this strategic alliance.  

Donald Trump, Chairman and President of the Trump Organisation said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Glasgow Prestwick Airport. They have a tremendous facility with a unique rich history. Their expert team and state of the art operation is perfectly aligned with our global client and member base that travel frequently to Scotland and to Trump Turnberry, one of the most beautiful destinations anywhere and home to many of the finest golf resorts in the world including the legendary Trump Turnberry and Trump International Golf Links in Aberdeen.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport provides the perfect gateway for private and corporate jet access to Trump Turnberry, the iconic golf and resort property recently purchased by Donald Trump, located just 20 miles south of the airport. As part of the partnership, Trump and Prestwick will be offering transfers via the luxurious Trump helicopter, executive cars or private hire.

Iain Cochrane, CEO, Glasgow Prestwick Airport commented: “We are very excited to be working closely with The Trump Organisation going forward and are delighted that Prestwick has been chosen to be the European base for the Trump Sikorsky helicopter.  Forging a new partnership between the airport and The Trump Organization will undoubtedly be mutually beneficial to both parties. However it will also bring significant opportunities for the region as more inbound visitors travel to visit the legendary Trump Turnberry Resort.” 

Glasgow Prestwick is the only airport in Scotland to have its own railway station and prides itself with exceptional customer service to meet every individual requirement on the day to ensure the travel experience is efficient, safe and friendly at all times. Earlier this year Trump finalised his purchase of the legendary Turnberry golf resort, now known as Trump Turnberry, and has since begun a £200 million redevelopment with improvements dedicated to the Ailsa course as well as the hotel and related amenities.

“The synergy of Trump Turnberry and Prestwick Airport working together is crucial for both parties as we further develop golf and tourism in Ayrshire and Scotland. I am looking forward to working with the wonderful team at Prestwick to continue to create the perfect destination for the global golfer and traveller,” said Ralph Porciani, General Manager, Trump Turnberry.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “This is a positive development for both Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Trump Turnberry and further enhances Ayrshire’s position as a fabulous golfing and tourism destination. It also epitomizes the many different facets of the Glasgow Prestwick Airport business and is a great example of joined-up working in action.”

Trump Turnberry and South Ayrshire Council are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Invitation from Donald Trump

We would like to extend an invitation to all members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle to attend a press conference on Friday this week 14 November hosted by Donald Trump and Iain Cochrane at Prestwick Airport at 11am.

Please note the following important information as the event takes place in an 'air side' location at Prestwick......specific directions will be provided along with your invitation..

• Only guests who have RSVPd to Kirsten by 5pm on Thursday will be admitted on the day.

• All guests MUST have photo ID by way of driving licence or passport.

• Guests who arrive slightly early will have the opportunity to view the Trump Boeing 757 and helicopter.

The event will announce an exciting new strategic partnership between Prestwick Airport and the Trump organisation.

Please e-mail me to receive your invitation.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Almost 13,000 new Modern Apprenticeships

On course to meet 25,000 target

Almost 13,000 people have started a Modern Apprenticeship (MA) this year – more than half of the annual target number.

The figures have been published by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), who work with employers and training providers to support MA places, paying a contribution towards the costs of training.

[Pictured: Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth 
and Women’s Employment Angela Constance.]

During the first half of the financial year 12,993 people have started an MA – 52 per cent of the annual target of 25,000 new starts each year. 

More than three quarters – 78 per cent – of those new starts were taken up by people aged between 16 and 24 years old, providing tremendous career opportunities for those young people.

Modern Apprenticeships offer work-based learning in a range of industries and sectors including tourism, engineering, life sciences and ICT.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Training, Youth and Women’s Employment Angela Constance said: “In the previous three years more than 77,000 Modern Apprenticeship places were created. 

“That’s 77,000 people offered a new opportunity which support not only them, but their employer and the wider economy. 

“Modern Apprenticeships form a significant part of the Scottish Government’s pledge to support youth employment and earlier this year we announced that we will increase the number of places available year on year from 25,000 to 30,000 by 2020. 

“Today’s figures make for encouraging reading and show we are well on track for at least 25,000 new starts this year and show a strong foundation for our planned expansion which will support more young people and more businesses across Scotland. 

“I look forward to celebrating the successes of this programme at the Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards tomorrow evening.” 

SDS Chief Executive Damien Yeates added: “The number of Modern Apprenticeship places shows the commitment to the national training programme from industry and employers.

“They support Modern Apprenticeships because they benefit businesses and the economy, as well as helping young people build for the future. 

“Skills Development Scotland will continue to work with partners to provide Modern Apprenticeship opportunities and widen access to national training programmes.”

To view the Modern Apprenticeship figures CLICK HERE 

To promote the benefits of work-based learning Skills Development Scotland supported more than 250 visits by employers and Modern Apprentices into schools across the country last week. 

The week was arranged to coincide with the 13th Annual Scotland’s Modern Apprenticeship Awards, which recognise and commend the achievements of individuals and employers involved in the Modern Apprenticeship programme.