The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 5 December 2014

Coral and Ayr Racecourse announce new Scottish Grand National deal

By: Iain Ferguson

CORAL and Ayr Racecourse announced today that they had signed a new five year agreement for the Coral Scottish Grand National sponsorship.

[Pictured: Jockeys line up before the 
2014 Coral Scottish Grand National.]

Coral first sponsored the race in 2007, and during that time it has grown not only in prestige but also in value, with this year’s renewal carrying £210,000 in prize money -the second richest jumps race run on Saturday in the UK behind only the Crabbie’s Grand National.

And in 2013 the Coral Scottish Grand National was also the fourth biggest betting race of the year.

In 2012 the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival was elevated to be the main site for Channel 4 coverage on the day. On 12 April this year more than 1.3 million viewers watched the race on television, making it one of the most viewed horse races of 2014 in the UK.

Announcing the extension, which will see Coral sponsoring Scotland's richest and most prestigious jumps race until at least 2019, Simon Clare, Coral PR & Broadcast Director, said today: “The Coral Scottish Grand National is now one of the most watched and most bet on horse races in Great Britain, and the race continues to go from strength to strength.

“We have forged a strong and dynamic partnership with Ayr Racecourse, who are a brilliant racecourse to work with, and are committed to taking this fantastic event to new heights in the years to come.”

Ayr Racecourse Managing Director David Brown added: “The Coral sponsorship of the Scottish Grand National has become one of the most successful partnerships between a racecourse and a bookmaker in horse racing.

“The news that it is being extended by five more years is a huge boost to not only everyone involved at Ayr Racecourse but to racing as a whole.

“The Coral Scottish Grand National is one of the iconic races of the jumps calendar with a rich history, so it is fitting we have such a prestigious company as Coral as our sponsors.”

The 2015 Coral Scottish Grand National Festival will be run on Friday 17 April and Saturday 18 April.

Ayr Racecourse and the associated Western House Hotel are Founder Members of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Human influence important factor in possible global and UK temperature records

Early figures from the Met Office show 2014 is on course to be one of, if not the warmest, year on record both globally and for the UK.

Recent Met Office research also suggests breaking the existing global and UK temperature records is much more likely due to human influence on the climate.

Early figures suggest global record possible

The global mean temperature for January to October based on the HadCRUT4 dataset (compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit) is 0.57°C (+/- 0.1) above the long-term (1961-1990) average. This is consistent with the statement from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today.

With two months of data still to add, the full-year figure could change, but presently 2014 is just ahead of the current record of 0.56°C set in 2010 in the global series which dates back to 1850. The final value for this year will be very close to the central estimate of 0.57°C from the Met Office global temperature forecast for 2014, which was issued late last year.

Colin Morice, a climate monitoring scientist at the Met Office, said: “Record or near-record years are interesting, but the ranking of individual years should be treated with some caution because the uncertainties in the data are larger than the differences between the top ranked years. We can say this year will add to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last decade.”

UK’s run of warm months makes record likely

The UK’s mean temperature from 1 January to 25 November is 1.6°C above the long term (1961-1990) average, which means this year is currently the warmest in our UK series dating back to 1910. This would beat the record anomaly of 1.4°C set in 2006, but a cold December could change the final ranking for this year.

This year is also set to be one of the warmest on record in the Central England Temperature (CET) series, which goes back to 1659 and is the longest instrumental temperature series in the world.

Interestingly, while all months this year except August have seen above average temperatures in the UK, no single month has seen a temperature record. Instead the year has been consistently warm.

Phil Jones, Research Director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, said: “Spatially, 2014 has so far been warmer than the 1961-1990 average almost everywhere, the main exception being central and eastern parts of North America. For Europe, many countries in northern and eastern parts will likely have had near-record warm years.”

Human influence a likely factor

One warm year does not necessarily say anything about long-term climate change - these trends need to be looked at over longer timescales of several decades.

However, new research techniques developed by the Met Office allow for rapid assessment of how human influence might have affected the chances of breaking temperature records.

This technique, known as an attribution study, uses climate models and observations to see how likely an event would be in the real world and in a world without human greenhouse gas emissions - enabling assessment of how human influence has altered the chances of an event.

Commenting on the Met Office and World Meteorological Organisation’s announcement that global and UK temperatures in 2014 are on course to be the warmest on record, Scotland’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Aileen McLeod (pictured above) said: “Increasing global temperatures are one of many ways that human activity is changing our climate, which is why we are determined that Scotland should play its part in international efforts to keep global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius. 

“We have a comprehensive package of policies and measures in place to meet our emission reduction targets which includes expanding renewable energy production, improvements in energy and resource efficiency in households and industry, transition of transport to a lower carbon basis, expansion of renewable sources of heat, and sustainable land use. Good progress is being made and we are over halfway to our interim target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020.” 

Peter Stott, Head of Climate Attribution at the Met Office, said: “Our research shows current global average temperatures are highly unlikely in a world without human influence on the climate. Human influence has also made breaking the current UK temperature record about ten times more likely.”

Monday, 1 December 2014

First Minister makes major economic speech

Nicola Sturgeon puts economy at heart of agenda, announces continuation of CEA and welcomes addition of Sir Harry Burns to help align economic growth with tackling inequality

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made her first address to Scotland’s businesses in a major economic speech delivered at Scottish and Southern Energy in Glasgow today. 

During the address to more than 70 representatives from Scotland’s business community, the First Minister put the economy at the heart of her agenda and announced the continuation of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) chaired by Crawford Beveridge. 

The First Minister also announced the CEA would continue to benefit from the world-leading expertise of Nobel Laureate Professor Joseph Stiglitz and welcomed the addition of Sir Harry Burns, former Chief Medical Officer to the Scottish Government, to the CEA.

Speaking from Glasgow, the First Minister said: “Today, I am making clear that a strong, growing economy with a thriving business base is essential to the overall success of our country.

“I am also announcing that I will strengthen the role of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers, to ensure that my government has access to the best possible advice as we developed new policies to grow our economy.

“I want the Council to focus more keenly on two key - and related - challenges.

“Firstly, on how we enhance our competitiveness: looking at how we use existing powers to make our economy more competitive – a key part of this debate will always be about how we compete with London, and we need to consider both its economic value and the benefits of its proximity as well as the significant challenges it poses.

“London has a centrifugal pull on talent, investment and business from the rest of Europe and the world. That brings benefits to the broader UK economy. But as we know, that same centrifugal pull is felt by the rest of us across the UK, often to our detriment. The challenge for us all is how to balance this in our best interests. 

“The second big challenge is how we better align the objective of economic growth with the need to tackle inequality. To support this focus, I have asked Sir Harry Burns to join the Council and I am delighted that he has agreed. 

“Sir Harry is now Professor of Global Public Health at Strathclyde University. I know that, working with Professor Stiglitz and other members, he will bring a valuable perspective to the work of the Council. The Council’s focus on competitiveness and equality reflects the fact that these are crucial areas if Scotland is to build on the relative success of recent years and face up to the challenges that lie ahead.”

The First Minister continued: “Today I want to make three basic points to our businesses: the first is that your success underpins the prosperity and wellbeing of every community in Scotland. It’s vital for me and my government to work closely with you to help you succeed – and I intend that we do so. 

“My second point is that our drive as a government to tackle inequality in our society is also a key part of our support for business. We believe – in common with many economists across the world – that equality and cohesion are good for growth, as well as good for individuals.

“My third point reinforces my first. Creating greater prosperity and fairness isn’t something any government can do alone – it has to be a shared national endeavour and I am asking you to be part of it. 

“I want to hear your ideas about how we can grow the economy faster and more sustainably and better support you to compete, innovate and export. I want today to open up an ongoing dialogue with you about our shared ambitions and how we achieve them.

“We welcome SSE’s announcement that all who work on the Caithness-Moray subsea cable will be paid the living wage. This is exactly the kind of economy we want to build: one where the benefits of growth are shared widely and fairly.”

Sunday, 30 November 2014

The latest bumper weekly edition of the "Elite Ayrshire Business Circle News" has just been published

The latest bumper weekly edition of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle News has just been published, featuring all the latest local, national and international news of interest to Ayrshire business people. 

[Pictured: Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman 
Norman Geddes (left) and managing director Murdoch MacDonald.]

In addition to the top stories on the front page (click on any headline to access the article in full) we offer six specialist sections - (Business, Leisure, Environment, Technology, World, Health) - which can be accessed via the horizontal menu bar at the top of the front page, beneath the masthead. 

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