The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 28 November 2014

Boost for Ayr town centre

AYR town centre is set for a boost after a huge Scottish Government package was awarded to a local regeneration group.

The town's North Hub and Riverside Block areas will feel the benefit of £600,000 handed to Ayr Renaissance as part of the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund on Monday.


Based around the Sandgate and Newmarket Street area, the North Hub has been a long-term strategic base on which Ayr Renaissance has attempted to rejuvenate the town centre.

Running from the old Woolworths to the former Forum centre on High Street, the Riverside Block has also been an area where Ayr Renaissance have looked at revamping.


James Knox (pictured above), Chair of Ayr Renaissance, said: “I’m delighted we have been awarded this funding and that the Government has backed our strategy for Ayr town centre. Hats off to chief executive of AR, David Bell, for presenting such a compelling case. 

“The government is providing vital funding which will enable us to address the long-term decline in this historic part of the town centre. We continue to receive very strong support from South Ayrshire Council; however, this award will allow us to deliver our strategy more quickly and comprehensively than we could have previously. 

“I would like to thank all those involved in the judging process and I am pleased to see the government backing up their very welcome and strong policy decisions on town centres with hard cash.”


Councillor Bill McIntosh (pictured above), Leader of South Ayrshire Council, added: “Ensuring our town centres are vibrant, attractive and welcoming places is a key priority for the Council and today’s funding will certainly help achieve that for Ayr. 

“Crucially, it will allow Ayr Renaissance to progress its plans at a much quicker place, making a difference for our residents and visitors that much sooner and I look forward to seeing that come to fruition.”

The North Hub – once the very heart of the medieval town of Ayr which grew around its port trade and strategically located fortress. Ayr Renaissance is working with the Princes Foundation for Built Community to create a development there that will return that part of the town to its former glory.

The funding will also assist in redeveloping the block of derelict retail units which have come to be known as the Riverside Block, with plans to create accommodation and public space in the town centre in keeping with the historical architecture of the surrounding buildings.

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


CKD Galbraith offers for sale contemporary country house in secluded rural Ayrshire setting

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Woodend, a contemporary country house enjoying a secluded rural setting about a mile outside the town of Kilwinning, North Ayrshire.  


The property was originally a traditional farmhouse dating frm the mid-1800s, but has been cleverly transformed into a fine family home with a luxurious specification.

The accommodation of Woodend is almost entirely on one level with just a large games room on the first floor.  


The layout is practical and perfectly arranged for entertaining friends and family. A wide hallway with double height ceiling and shiny Amtico flooring sets the tone for the rest of the house. 


Doors lead off to the cloakroom, living room and kitchen whilst three shallow stairs rise to an inner hall opening to a large 30 foot conservatory which flows seamlessly through the centre of the property to the terrace at the rear.  


The kitchen is of particular note. RW Kuhlmann units are complemented by granite worktops and a Diplomat range cooker as well as a range of integrated appliances. Open plan to the kitchen is a cosy sitting area with a log burning stove.  The utility room lies adjacent to the kitchen. Woodend boasts five good sized bedrooms which are all ensuite. The master bedroom also has a dressing room and double doors which open to the terrace at the rear. A study and office complete the accommodation.

In addition to main house Woodend includes a separate detached cottage which was renovated by the current owners from a former farm building. The cottage comprises two double bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and shower room. There is also a private garden area at the rear.


Woodend is surrounded by landscaped gardens which offer a blend of formal manicured lawns and a well stocked pond which attracts local wildlife.  A decked area overlooks the pond – ideal for relaxed summer entertaining and there are also raised beds for home grown fruit and veg. The more recent addition of a quirky barbecue lodge ensures the party continues all year round and there is also a separate chalet housing a hot tub (pictured below).


To complete the perfect picture Woodend has stabling with three loose boxes, a tack room and a well fenced paddock of some 2 acres.

Offers Over £585,000 are being sought.

PDF available on www.ckdgalbraith.co.uk

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.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Briefing sessions held for town survey results

The findings from four independent town centre surveys undertaken in Girvan, Maybole, Prestwick and Troon have been presented to local businesses and community representatives in a series of information briefings – with results from a fifth survey, undertaken in Ayr – to be presented on Monday 1 December 2014.

Commissioned by the Council, the independent surveys (funded by the ERDF INTERREG IVA BIDS Project) asked South Ayrshire shoppers, residents and businesses for their views on their town centres – and encouraged feedback on how these might be improved.

In addition, the survey questioned how people used their local town centres for shopping, recreation, leisure and as a visitor destination.

Business and community representatives were invited to each of the information sessions – with further feedback encouraged and recorded on the findings.

Individual, detailed reports for each town are now being prepared and will be available online from South Ayrshire Council's website from Monday 8 December, after the Ayr session has completed and feedback noted.

In brief, the main findings from each town session were:


Girvan presented a mixed picture for the town centre with positive community support from shoppers and residents expressed towards the town retail services and environment. However, there was a contrary and less positive view among the businesses. Empty shops came up as an issue and like Maybole shopping leakage towards Ayr was seen as an issue. At the feedback session the positives from the findings about Girvan where re-enforced by those present but felt it was felt that there is the need to get the positive message out more widely to other south Ayrshire towns.


Maybole results indicated that the majority of town centre use is by local residents, with positive levels of local community support for shops and services. Those attending that the findings show traffic concerns in the town centre and that Maybole faces considerable challenges in minimising shopping 'leakage' from people going to Ayr town centre.



Prestwick shoppers and residents said the town had a good variety of quality retail outlets, food and drink restaurants. Parking, traffic and public seating were flagged as concerns, but, on balance, the survey findings showed that it was seen as a well maintained town centre with a positive feel.


Troon results showed a positive picture for the town, with a high recognition of its quality shops and local business. Those attending the feedback session were surprised by residents suggesting the town needed more discount stores. Some retailers indicated that some shoppers feel Troon only had shops offering expensive goods – and this might be driving some shoppers away from town.

Commenting on the first four information sessions, Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: “The town centre surveys were undertaken by an independent research firm who interviewed shoppers, businesses and residents, so we could get a really good handle on what people thought – and what was actually happening.

“I’m especially pleased the results of the survey have been made available so quickly and it’s clear that people are passionate about their towns.

“What really came across was the consistency in what people said at the time of the survey and the feedback being received at the sessions.

“Both the findings and the feedback point to some interesting differences in how residents use their town centres and how local businesses perceive this. We need to get behind this and find out how – and why – those differences arise and how we can work to close any gaps.

“The information sessions offer an excellent insight into how we can improve the support we offer our town centre businesses and shops in order to help build prosperous, sustainable and vibrant town centres.

“In turn, these will benefit and attract our local residents, more businesses and shops, as well as visitors and, working together, that’s a great ambition for us all to aim at!”

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


Tuesday, 25 November 2014

More new homes for Scotland

New build completions at their highest level in over three years 

The number of new homes built in Scotland is at its highest level for over three years, new figures have shown.

Official statistics released today show that across all sectors, 4,583 homes were completed in April to June this year, the highest quarterly figure since 2010, and 29 per cent higher than in the same quarter last year. 

The latest completion figures also bring the Scottish Government closer to its target of delivering 20,000 homes for social rent by March 2016, with 80 per cent of homes completed. 


Commenting on the latest statistics, Housing Minister Margaret Burgess (pictured above) said: “I welcome the fact that the number of new homes built across all sectors is at its highest level for over three years, and I am particularly pleased that we are nearing our target of delivering 20,000 homes for social rent by March 2016.
 
“The Scottish Government ‘s investment in affordable housing, together with measures to support the industry and help people into home ownership, have undoubtedly helped to stimulate housing supply. 

“Making sure everyone in Scotland has access to good quality housing is a vital part of the Scottish Government’s drive to secure economic growth, promote social justice, strengthen communities and tackle inequality.

“As part of this effort we have delivered over 4,500 new council houses since 2009 and have acted to preserve Scotland’s social housing stock by abolishing the Right to Buy from 1 August 2016, which will protect up to 15,500 social houses from sale and safeguard social housing for future generations.

“In addition, the supply of affordable housing continues to be a high priority for us, and we are now three quarters of the way towards our target of 30,000 affordable homes by March 2016. This commitment is underlined by our £1.7 billion investment in affordable housing over the current parliamentary term, which supports an estimated 8,000 jobs each year.”


Monday, 24 November 2014

Further funding boost for Girvan leisure facility

People in Girvan and South Carrick have 250,000 reasons to smile today (24 November) after the planned leisure and community facility at Girvan received a quarter of a million pounds from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. 


[Pictured: Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council and South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) chairman Andrew Sinclair are joined by Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Bill Grant; local Councillors, Alec Clark and Alec Oattes; SCCL board members; and representatives from the Council to celebrate the funding award.]

The £250,000 funding award means 90 per cent of the £5 million capital costs to build the new facility are now in place – with the outcomes of funding bids to the Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund and sportscotland for the remaining £500,000 expected very soon.

The new facility – a partnership project between South Ayrshire Council and South Carrick Community Leisure (SCCL) – will transform the harbourside in Girvan. It’s scheduled to open in 2016. 

The facility will comprise a 25 metre pool, a two-storey soft play area, a superb fitness gym with around 40 fitness stations, a flexible multi-purpose studio that can be used for arts, culture and community events. It will also have a café area where people can keep an eye on the sport and leisure activities underway throughout the centre or simply sit back and enjoy the stunning views out to Ailsa Craig.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “Everything is really starting to shape up now to get work started on the new facility and I’m delighted with this latest funding award, which takes the community’s fundraising success to the halfway mark.

“The progress with the fundraising is now matching the pace and progress of our own planning, which moves forward every day. We’re well on track to have all the funding in place very soon, we’re about to appoint the contractors to complete the design and build the facility, and we’re just a couple of years from a fantastic new community resource opening its doors to the people and communities of Girvan and South Carrick.

“That’s really exciting and I’m very proud of how much the Council and South Carrick Community Leisure have achieved over the last few months. 2015 is going to be a momentous year for the project and then it will be all eyes to 2016 for getting the facility up and running!”

Andrew Sinclair, Chair of SCCL, added: “I’m chuffed with this funding award, which means Girvan and South Carrick will have a new swimming pool – and so much more – in two years’ time. It really feels like we can start the countdown now as things are moving on at a swift pace.

“We’re waiting to hear about our final two funding applications – fingers crossed there’s more good news to come! – and we’re about to take the design of the building to the next stage, moving us ever closer to work starting on the ground. That’s amazing progress and marks the start of our ambitions becoming a reality for our local communities.  

“I remain hopeful that we can achieve our fundraising target before the end of year and then we can hit the ground running.”

The Regeneration Capital Grant Fund has been developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with local authorities to deliver new and improved infrastructure in deprived areas.

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