The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Festive message from South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie

At this time of year we all reflect on the past 12 months, but also look forward to the coming year with hope and expectation.

I know from talking to people across South Ayrshire that times have been difficult for many, however in the face of adversity our communities are showing remarkable spirit and determination.

Christmas is a time for giving, but I am happy that giving is becoming more commonplace. Even giving up some free time to pick up some shopping for an elderly neighbour will be welcomed.

Charities are an important part of today’s society, and our Council charities have been generously supported. However, Gardening Leave has decided to close its operations. I am saddened by this news, as they have helped many veterans. I would like to thank the volunteers and staff for all their hard work over the years.

Helping one another can extend beyond our borders, and the plight of refugees is something which has touched us all. Council staff responded to an appeal and donated much needed items to help refugees in camps around Calais.

As a Council, we are supporting the Syrian Vulnerable Person Relocation Scheme, and we will be finalising this assistance in the New Year.

An appreciation of different cultures and countries is helped through our twinning programme, which can forge lasting friendships. Ayr, Girvan, Maybole and Troon are all twinned with French towns, and in light of recent events; we have been in touch to lend our support.

Twinning is one way to promote South Ayrshire, as is the hosting of exhibitions such as the 2020VISION exhibition which showcased the work of 20 of the UK’s top nature photographers.

This exhibition was part of the Place Partnership initiative which is set to turn South Ayrshire into a hub for arts and culture. Many of the partnership projects highlight the pressures on our environment and this is something we all need to protect for future generations.

With this in mind, I was delighted to launch the Provost’s Footprint Challenge which involves all our schools. Pupils will compete to come up with the best ideas to tackle climate change and reduce our carbon footprint.

I have also been engaging with lots of young people over the past year, telling them a bit about the role of the Provost. One of the first things I tell people is that I am proud to represent South Ayrshire, and high profile events like the Scottish Airshow provide a great opportunity to be an ambassador.

At this time of year we should remember the men and women serving our country around the world. 

This year we have developed commemorative woodland at Rozelle in Ayr which we believe is the first of its kind in Scotland. There are breathtaking sculptures featuring soldiers from WWI and I am delighted that there are plans to develop the trail.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, we should all remember those that have to work at this time of year.

Charities, the police, fire and rescue service, NHS, Council workers and many more will all have to work over the festive period to ensure we have a peaceful Christmas and a safe new year.

I would like to wish you all the best for the festive season; I hope that the New Year brings you all you hope for.

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

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

UK Transport Minister opens new £7 million search and rescue base at Prestwick Airport

UK government Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill opened a new £7 million coastguard search and rescue (SAR) helicopter base at Prestwick Airport during a visit to Scotland. 

The minister officially launched the new civilian SAR service at Prestwick Airport, which will be operated on behalf of the UK Coastguard by Bristow Helicopters, after arriving on one of the Sikorsky S92 helicopter that will be dispatched to emergencies in the coming months.

Aircraft from Prestwick will serve west of Scotland, Northern England and Northern Ireland and be available to assist emergencies UK-wide when needed. The helicopters are equipped with the latest search and rescue technology including state-of-the-art night vision and improved onboard medical capabilities so they can operate in all weathers.

The new base is the latest stage of the £1.9 billion 10 year contract awarded to Bristow in 2013 to run UK services and joins Inverness which begun operation in April 2015. 

UK Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: "The new Prestwick Search and Rescue base will provide a vital emergency rescue service at sea, in coastal areas and inland throughout Scotland and the UK. The brand new state-of-the-art helicopters flying from here will be on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to reach those in need. Our investment has provided helicopters that can fly further and faster than the previous service and shows our commitment to helping keep Scotland safe". 

Operations under the new UK SAR Helicopter service successfully began in 1 April 2015 from Inverness and Humberside Airports, with services also commencing at Caernarfon in July, Lydd in August and St Athan in October. 

Earlier in the day, Robert Goodwill flew into Glasgow Airport where he met Amanda McMillan, Managing Director of Glasgow Airport, and Leader of Glasgow City Council Frank McAveety to talk about plans for a brand new rail link, jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments, that will offer fast, convenient travel times between the airport and Glasgow city centre and transform journeys for local people. 

The business case for 2 possible schemes — one a tram-train line, the other a light rail system — were approved at the Glasgow and Clyde Valley cabinet meeting on Tuesday (15 December 2015), and could be up and running by 2025. The link would be funded through the £1.13 billion Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal fund, which received £500 million from the UK government. 

Robert Goodwill also saw met representatives of the Jet 2 airline to see how a pioneering Glasgow Airport scheme on antisocial behaviour on flights is progressing. Duty-free alcohol for passengers boarding flights is being sold in tamper-proof sealed bags as part of a trial also being run at Manchester Airport.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Festive message from Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council

With the festive season in full swing, I have been reflecting on what we have achieved over the past year.

We are progressing a number of exciting projects which could completely transform South Ayrshire. Working with partners, we are looking to bring the UK's first Spaceport to Prestwick; we are already recognised as leaders in the aviation, aerospace and technology sectors and if successful, we could be become the centre of the UK's space industry.

All of these sectors and many others could also benefit from plans to submit a regional growth bid to the Scottish Government. The bid sets out plans to tackle barriers to economic growth in Ayrshire.

Our aviation sector is thriving and I am delighted to welcome Bristow Helicopter Lt to Prestwick airport to run the new search and rescue service.

We are looking to attract even more business and new enterprises to South Ayrshire and we need to ensure that people living here can capitalise on any job opportunities.

We have our AMBITION programme which helps job creation and boosts skills and we are also investing in schools.

We are extending Marr College in Troon and work will start on the new Ayr Academy at Craigie in the New Year. The old Ayr Academy building could become a new home for Ayr Grammar Primary School. Plans are also progressing for new primary schools in Tarbolton and Dailly. Our investment in schools seems to be working as exam results continue to improve.

The new play park at Belleisle in Ayr is proving very popular and other improvements are set to make the park even more appealing.

I am hopeful that the Odeon cinema will move into the Kyle Centre in Ayr and Watt Bros recently moved to larger premises on Ayr high street. We are also looking to bring new Council offices into the heart of Ayr town centre, boosting footfall and improving access to our services.

Tourism remains a fundamental part of our economy, around 70,000 people from all over the country were mesmerised at the Scottish Airshow in September as the red arrows painted the sky red, white and blue.

With tourism and golf in mind, I am delighted that Royal Troon will host the 145th Open Golf Tournament in July. Up to 170,000 spectators are expected and our local businesses will benefit from this

I am also pleased that progress is being made on the refurbishment of both Belleisle and Troon golf clubhouses.

We are investing in sporting facilities across South Ayrshire. January will see work start on the new £5 million leisure facility in Girvan which is set to open in the spring of 2017.

There has been some sad news too this past year, former Provost Winifred Sloan passed away. She was a great ambassador for South Ayrshire and will be sadly missed.

Looking ahead, our Scottish Government funding has been reduced significantly for 2016/2017, so there will be some very tough decisions to make. We have already engaged with you to see how you would make savings of £1.6 million and I would like to thank everyone that took part.

The Scottish Parliamentary elections will be held on Thursday 5 May next year, so remember to register to vote.

It's the festive season and time for friends and family. However, not everyone is on holiday, so please remember those that continue to provide vital services at this time of year.

It's also a time of year when people may need a little help, so please remember to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, just doing a few small things could make a big difference.

I wish everyone a peaceful Christmas and a healthy and contented New Year.

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

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Trevor Nelson to DJ at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

Leading DJ Trevor Nelson, who presents shows on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, is to play a set after racing at QTS Ladies Night at Ayr Racecourse on Saturday 6 August. 

Trevor (pictured above) will take to the decks following the last race and entertain what is certain to be a huge crowd with a 90 minute set in the Ayrshire Suite at the course. 

His career has seen him awarded four Mobos for Best DJ, been presented with a Gold Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sony Radio Academy and in 2002 he was awarded an MBE for work with the Millennium Volunteers. 

Trevor has also presented and worked on a huge variety of television shows including BBC 3’s Grammys Coverage, Trevor Nelson’s Urban Choice on BBC2, Soul Nation on Channel 4 and he has twice been presenter for the Mobo Awards. 

Trevor has also released many top selling compilation albums his latest being The Trevor Nelson Collection 3. 

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “QTS Ladies Night is one of the social events of the year and with Trevor Nelson appearing next year it is sure to be an extra special evening. 

“We strive to provide the best possible experience for those visiting the course at nights like this. It is a real thrill to be able to welcome a star of Trevor’s stature to Ayr Racecourse to add to everyone’s enjoyment.” 

For more information on QTS Ladies Night call 01292 264179 or go to for more details. 

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.

Friday, 11 December 2015

‘Tough choices’ for Scotland in wake of UK austerity

Chancellor cut ‘one in every eight pounds’

Finance Secretary John Swinney has warned Scotland faces ‘tough choices’ in the wake of UK austerity, ahead of the Scottish Government’s Budget next week.

The Deputy First Minister (pictured above) has made clear that, with even more cuts imposed on Scotland by the UK Government’s Spending Review last month, Scotland faces an unprecedented pressure on public expenditure.

Taken together with the cuts imposed since 2010, the Scottish Government’s Fiscal DEL budget – the discretionary budget - will be 12.5 per cent lower than it was for this Chancellor’s first budget.

Mr Swinney will detail his plans for the next year in Parliament next Wednesday 16 December.

Mr Swinney said: “The Chancellor has imposed real terms cuts on Scotland every year from now until 2020, and more than a billion pounds of those cuts are still to come between now and the end of the decade.

“We have demonstrated that the UK Government didn’t have to take this approach. Debt and the deficit could have been reduced without this scale of cuts that has been chosen by the Chancellor.

“Now Scotland has to deal with the reality of the Chancellor’s decision. We face tough choices in the coming days.

“Against this backdrop, the Scottish Government is determined that we will defend and protect the key priorities that the people of Scotland expect us to deliver on. Critical pillars of Scottish life – our schools, hospitals and police – will not be sacrificed to the Chancellor’s austerity obsession.

“In recent years we have been able to deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland. More police, lower crime, better schools, tuition-free university education and a health budget that is at a record level.

“These commitments demonstrate the prioritisation of the Scottish Government. We are working to create a more inclusive economy, where every individual can fulfil their potential. That approach will be central to our Budget plans.”

Scotland’s Fiscal Departmental Expenditure Limit (Fiscal DEL) will have fallen by 12.5 per cent in real terms between 2010-11 and 2019-20 as a result of the Comprehensive Spending Review with 4.2 per cent of that reduction to come between now and 2019-20.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Ardrossan-Campbeltown ferry sets sail

Regular service brought in following successful pilot

A summer ferry service between Ardrossan and Campbeltown will be made permanent, Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay has announced.

The announcement follows a successful pilot service, which ran over the past three summers and transported an average of over 10,000 passengers and 2,000 cars per year.

The new service will be part of an enhanced summer timetable for CalMac services, which will be confirmed shortly and is due to come into operation next year. 

Mr Mackay said: “I’m very pleased to announce the ferry link between Ardrossan and Campbeltown will become a permanent feature of the CalMac summer timetable.

“The pilot service proved incredibly popular and I’m sure this announcement will be welcomed by passengers and the communities at either side of the route.

“This will be a real boost for the local economy, enhancing transport links to Campbeltown and the Kintyre Peninsula, as well as supporting the tourist trade by making it easier and more attractive for visitors.

“This new service is one of a number of enhancements being brought in as part of next year’s summer timetable, which will increase overall capacity across the Clyde and Hebrides network and make sure we get the most out of our ferry fleet.

“The enhanced timetable, along with our order for two new major vessels for the West Coast ferry fleet, underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to essential ferry services for the communities that rely on them and will ensure that our islands and remote communities remain attractive and accessible to visitors.”

CalMac's director of operations Drew Collier said: “Passenger numbers on this route during the trial confirm that the demand is there for a regular ferry link and we look forward to delivering this service next year in support of the local community in Campbeltown.”

CalMac will confirm the details of the enhanced timetable for the Clyde and Hebrides Services for summer 2016 in due course.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Glow Beauty Spa joins Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The latest company to achieve accession to full membership of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle is Glow Beauty Spa in Ayr, headed up by Ellie Fleming.

Ellie (pictured above) tells us: “I have worked in senior management for the last 20 years, managing large fashion stores with turnover in excess of £3.6 million per annum. I have travelled extensively, spending time in Los Angeles, where my family have several successful businesses.

“My latest venture is a large, luxury Day Spa in Ayr, Glow Beauty Spa, located on Beresford Terrace. We have been trading for 6 months, and have a team of 4 full time Spa Therapists who have been trained to the highest industry standards, having worked on board the Yachts of Seabourn, Steiner Cruise Lines, and in 5* Spas around the country, each having been selected for their knowledge, skills, and their love of customer service.

“At Glow we offer a full range of beauty treatments, as well as Face and Body Spa Treatments for both men and women, and we also have a large, fully stocked retail area, where you can purchase the products that have been used in your treatment.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors managing partner Norman Geddes commented: “We would like to extend a warm welcome to Ellie, and are confident that she will prove to be a great asset to our rapidly growing business community.”


Ellie Fleming
Glow Beauty Spa
31 Beresford Terrace 
Ayr KA7 2EU

Phone: 01292 280868

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Yvie Burnett to perform Caledonia at Coral Scottish Grand National

By: Iain Ferguson

Mezzo-soprano and X Factor voice coach Yvie Burnett is to sing Caledonia at the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse in April.

Yvie (pictured above), who has worked with some of the biggest names in music including Leona Lewis and Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody, will perform the song during the afternoon before the big race on Saturday 16 April.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The Coral Scottish Grand National is an iconic sporting occasion and we felt it would be fitting to have such a well- known Scottish singer as Yvie perform a song that has become somewhat of an unofficial national anthem for Scotland.

“It will be a very stirring and poignant way to launch the race on the day and I’m sure it will encapsulate the importance of this race which is the biggest horse race in Scotland.”

In addition to the X Factor Yvie, who is from Aberdeen, has also coached on Britain’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent and The Voice as well as working with Andrew Lloyd–Webber on Love Never Dies, the follow up to Phantom Of The Opera.

The Coral Scottish Grand National was a complete sell out in 2015 to ensure your place at this great event book in advance by calling 01292 264179 or go to for more details.

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.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ayrshire leaders welcome possibility of new direct flights between Prestwick Airport and London

By: Murdoch MacDonald

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle, Glasgow Prestwick Airport and leading local politicians have all pledged support for a call by a leading UK regional airline to open up a Battle of Britain airport near London to domestic commercial routes.

If implemented, this proposal raises the possibility of direct flights between Prestwick and London, which have not been available since Ryanair abandoned the Prestwick and Stansted route in 2011.

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, this week called on the Government to review the Ministry of Defence’s refusal to give consideration to opening up RAF Northolt to a limited number of new Flybe domestic routes, linking underserved regions to London.

Last week the Government’s Spending Review did not include Flybe’s proposal to operate twice-daily return services to an initial five UK regional destinations including Prestwick from Northolt. This was despite the opportunity this afforded to provide improved regional connectivity to London, regional access to Heathrow Airport and much needed additional contribution to Government finances.

The proposal, which is independent of any decision on the Airports Commission’s recommendations on airport capacity in the South East, would bring the advantages of additional runway capacity to serve UK passengers in the immediate term and without requiring any taxpayer funding.

Flybe also says that the lack of proper consideration for this proposal also means that the Ministry of Defence’s decision is walking away from substantial benefits:

Flybe routes out of Northolt would generate an estimated £3m in income to the Royal Air Force and a further £4m in Air Passenger Duty revenue to the Treasury. 

This proposal would benefit 300,000 passengers a year from all over the UK, giving them fast access to and from Central London and Heathrow, from regional airports not currently served by either Heathrow or Gatwick. Flybe would look to provide a fast bus link to Heathrow for connecting passengers.

Local Northolt residents would benefit as Flybe would use only its turboprop aircraft, which are quieter than the private jets that today mostly use Northolt. Flybe proposes that its flights would replace an equivalent number of existing private jet movements, so there would be no increase in the number of flights at Northolt. As Flybe’s Q400’s are quieter, total noise would reduce for local residents.

This proposal would immediately give many of the domestic benefits of additional runway capacity in west London, at no cost to the Exchequer, pending any opening of a third runway at Heathrow.

Flybe chief executive Saad Hammad (pictured above) said: “Northolt has for too long been the preserve of the elite with their private jets. The Government is in danger of turning its back on an opportunity that would benefit hundreds of thousands of people in giving immediate regional air connections to London and beyond through Heathrow’s long-haul network. 

“This proposal would raise £7m additional revenue per year for the government at a time when it is making painful fiscal decisions. The local residents of Northolt are also being denied an opportunity to reduce noise. Opening-up Northolt would provide many of the domestic benefits of additional runway capacity now without any additional noise impact.” 

RAF Northolt is currently used by private executive jets, VIP’s and RAF transport. Two-thirds of aircraft movements at Northolt are private commercial and less than 30% by RAF aircraft. The National Connectivity Taskforce described Northolt as a “grossly under-utilised national asset”. It is 15 miles from the centre of London and only 10 miles from Heathrow Airport. South Ruislip station (Central Line underground and Chiltern Railways) is easily accessible either on foot or by a short shuttle bus from Northolt airfield, with frequent fast services into London. The access road (A4180) has over 15,000 vehicles per day. Flybe’s services would add up to 250 vehicles per day, absorbable without the need for any additional road improvement. Flybe would plan to investigate, with Heathrow airport, a direct bus shuttle link between the two airports for connecting passengers.

Flybe is Europe’s largest regional airline, operating at 34 UK airports and carrying more than half of all UK domestic passengers. Routes that Flybe would like to investigate out of Northolt include Prestwick, Inverness, Liverpool, Teesside, Doncaster and Londonderry.

Commenting on Flybe’s proposal today, Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Richard Jenner (pictured above) said: “This is an interesting proposal which would have significant and welcome implications for Glasgow Prestwick Airport.   The opening up of RAF Northolt would add new routes and improve connectivity between Scotland and the south east of England, providing easy access to the centre of London and to Heathrow for connecting flights.”

John Scott MSP for Ayr (pictured above) commented: “The proposal by Flybe is an innovative one, and I would clearly welcome any plans that would establish a direct link between Prestwick and London.  I will be taking the matter up with the Minister for Transport to see what action can be taken to promote this idea.  Ultimately, we want to see direct links re-established between Prestwick and one of London’s main hub airports, but in the meantime the kind of solution being proposed by Flybe could be valuable in the short term.”

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council (pictured above) added: “We welcome the potential opportunity for any such London area flights from Prestwick.  We await developments with interest.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors managing partner Norman Geddes (pictured above) concluded: “This exciting proposal should be given urgent consideration by the UK Government.

“The re-establishment of direct flights between Prestwick and London would provide a significant boost to the Ayrshire economy, and help to promote the development of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.”

Friday, 27 November 2015

Celebrating Prestwick’s 40 years of friendship with Lichtenfels in Germany

Andreas Hügerich, Bürgermeister of Lichtenfels in Germany, was in Prestwick recently to mark over 40 years of friendship between the two towns.

[Pictured left to right: Back Row: Monica Faber, Lichtenfels overall Town Twinning President; Roland Dier, Lichtenfels Town Twinning Association President; John Park, Prestwick Town Twinning President. Front Row: South Ayrshire Provost Helen Moonie; Andreas Hügerich, Bürgermeister of Lichtenfels.]

Pen was put to paper at an official ceremony to commemorate the occasion and recognise the hard work of the twinning associations.

Since 1974, the two towns have enjoyed a special relationship and benefitted from exchange visits which develop language skills, broaden horizons and help forge friendships that last a lifetime. 

Business links have also been explored to mutually benefit the towns and help enrich local economies.

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

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Winifred Sloan dies

Former South Ayrshire Provost Winifred Sloan has reportedly died.

As a long standing member of the Conservative Party, Winifred  Sloan  held different political offices at local and national level, before being elected to the Kyle and Carrick District Council in 1992.

South Ayrshire Council was established in 1996 with Councillor Sloan representing the Ayr East Ward.

In 2006, Councillor Sloan was elected Provost by fellow councillors, which was a role she carried out until May 2012.

During her term of office, Winifred was the Council’s Veterans Champion and was heavily involved with the Armed Forces, being one of the founders of Veterans First Point Ayrshire. Even after she retired from Council, Winifred continued to be very active in the community, was Vice Dean of Ayr Guildry and was actively involved with Headway Ayrshire.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council has said: “We are all saddened to hear of Winifred’s passing, and our thoughts are with her family at this time. Winifred was a tireless advocate for the people of her ward and also an outstanding ambassador for South Ayrshire. She will be sadly missed, but fondly remembered.”

December meeting at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

Ayr Racecourse stages its first December meeting since 2009 on Monday 21 December with the seven race Christmas Party Raceday.

[Pictured: Final Assault wins at a recent Ayr Racecourse meeting. The Lucinda Russell trained horse could be in action again at Ayr on Monday 21 December.]

The action gets under way at 12.25pm with the Racing UK Winter Season Ticket Maiden Hurdle over two miles and continues until the finale, the Racing UK Standard National Hunt Flat Race at 3.30pm.

Highlight of the afternoon is the Watch Racing UK Today Just £10 Handicap Hurdle over two miles five furlongs due off at 3.00pm. This Class 3 contest should attract a big field with leading trainers including Lucinda Russell, Nicky Richards and Jim Goldie all likely to be represented.

Top jockeys in action should include Brian Hughes, Brian Harding, Craig Nichol and Peter Buchanan. Simply call 01292 264179 or go to for more details.

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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

UK energy policy ‘fails objectives’

Scottish Energy Minister Fergus Ewing tells 
major conference that UK policy must change

UK energy policy has been described as ‘inconsistent, incoherent and ineffectual’ by Scotland’s Energy Minister Fergus Ewing at a major energy conference.

Mr Ewing (pictured above) made the comments as he accused UK Government of failing to meet its objectives and jeopardising energy security at the International Tidal Energy Summit in London.

Mr Ewing said: “Last week the UK Government made a ‘dash for gas’ to replace the UK’s ageing nuclear and coal plants, a belated recognition of the UK’s energy crunch. While UK energy policy continues to increase bills and weaken security of supply, the Secretary of State’s new approach is inconsistent, incoherent and will be ultimately ineffectual.

“Inconsistent, as the approach is to build new capacity at the lowest cost and let the market decide which technologies prevail, but skews incentives towards more gas and nuclear power.

“Incoherent, as it rules out support for proven, cheap technologies like onshore wind and solar.

“And it will be ineffectual - we urgently need to tackle the parlous state of affairs that has allowed the capacity margin to dwindle to one per cent, yet there are still delays to bringing on new capacity, including the development of renewables in Scotland.

“Capacity margins will worsen when Scotland’s largest power station, Longannet, closes prematurely next year due to unfair transmission charges.

“Scotland is an energy rich country and the ideal base for exploiting our natural resources such as wave and tidal. The largest planned tidal development project in the world, Meygen in the Pentland Firth, will power 175,000 homes when complete. Orkney developer Scotrenewables has almost finished building its two Megawatt floating tidal turbine, while Edinburgh-based Nova innovation is in the process of installing five turbines as part of the Shetland Tidal Array.

“Marine energy has made huge advances in the last two decades and its development needs continued support, not least the face of worrying evidence that the UK is going to miss its EU renewables targets.

“The UK Government must change its course to provide more certainty for investment in new technologies and ensuring the next capacity market auction does more to bring new, clean power generation forward.”

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

CKD Galbraith offers for sale individual architecturally designed house in Ayr overlooking old racecourse and towards the Firth of Clyde

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Number 14 Racecourse View, Ayr, an individual architecturally designed house built in 1967 for the Lord Provost of Ayr at that time. 

Racecourse View is one of Ayr’s cherished addresses, and has many lovely homes which overlook the tended green of the old racecourse and towards the Firth of Clyde. 

The house has been carefully designed to take full advantage of the views with a first floor sitting room and a covered balcony.

The construction of the property is of particular relevance. Built around a steel frame the upper walls are copper clad and are maintenance free with a one hundred year life span. The roof was recently renewed, and in addition the double glazing has all been replaced. 

Internally the accommodation offers over 3000 square feet of excellent family accommodation. The entrance hall is bright and welcoming, emphasised by a full height ceiling and also has the unusual addition of a lift as well as stairs to the upper level. 

There is a bedroom with an ensuite shower room on the ground floor. 

The kitchen is fitted with a range of bespoke modern units designed for practical living and with the importance of light in mind. Patio doors open out to a decked terrace which is sheltered by mature trees and privately screened from neighbouring properties. 

The dining room flows through from the kitchen and onto a garden room beyond – all individual rooms but the continuous oak flooring and lack of doors give the rooms an open plan feel. There are also two useful utility rooms. 

Five bedrooms are located on the first floor, two of which have ensuite facilities, and there is a separate bathroom. 

The sitting room is a wonderful room with floor to ceiling windows offering far reaching views and a gas fire. An adjacent butler’s pantry is perfect for housing glasses and drinks and the covered balcony is the ideal spot to relax and soak up the views.

The gardens are easily maintained and equally as practical. Level lawns are fully enclosed and afford a surprising level of privacy. There is also a single garage with an electric door and a large carport.

Offers Over £549,950 are being sought.

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.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Top Ayrshire textile design talent selected for Hong Kong Showcase

Five designers have been chosen to take part in Scotland’s first ever textile and fashion showcase in Hong Kong.

25 designers applied for funding to be part of Scotland Re:Designed’s showcase in March 2016 at PMQ, one of Hong Kong’s most prestigious venues.

The five fully funded designers were chosen by a panel of expert judges including Director of Graduate Fashion Week, Martyn Roberts, David Watts, Fashion Business Advisor and former Business Support Manager at the British Fashion Council, SWG3 founder Andrew Fleming-Brown and Chris Hunt, founder of Scotland Re:Designed. The designers will promote Scottish fashion and design to Hong Kong consumers, media and industry at a series of pop up shops and exhibitions.

The successful designers include Ayrshire-based textile designers MYB Textiles of Newmilns, together with luxury knitwear brand Cats Brothers, Elizabeth Martin Tweed, menswear designer Kestin Hare, and printed silk specialist Silken Favours.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “Scotland is home to a thriving textiles industry with an annual turnover of £756 million which supports 9,500 jobs. Scotland Re:Designed is a fantastic opportunity to promote Scottish fashion in Hong Kong and I congratulate each of the five designers who were successful in securing a place at this prestigious event.

“Scotland Re:Designed is supported by the Scottish Government and we are committed to ensuring the profile of Scottish design and innovation remains high. I’m confident this event will demonstrate to the world that Scottish fashion is bold and exciting with a vibrant future.”

Chris Hunt, founder of Scotland Re:Designed, said: “We are delighted to be able to support five Scottish businesses in developing their brands further in the Far East through sponsorship from the Scottish Government.

“This showcase in Hong Kong will provide an unparalleled experience for the designers and will give them the chance to connect with invaluable contacts in the Hong Kong fashion, design and manufacturing industries.

“It is also an excellent opportunity for us to showcase Scotland’s fashion and textile community internationally; showing people across the world what we are capable of.”

MYB Textiles design director Margo Graham concluded: “We are delighted to have been included in this amazing opportunity to visit Hong Kong as part of the SR:D showcase group, commissioned by the Scottish Government.

"It presents an opportunity to raise the profile of the MYB brand, alongside other very talented companies and Scottish designers, in such an exciting potentially growing market.”

The SRD Hong Kong Showcase was first announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following her visit to Hong Kong in July.

For more information on SRD and the designers taking part in the Hong Kong showcase visit

Scotland Re:Designed

First launched at Scotland Week in New York in 2012, Scotland Re:Designed was created to facilitate fashion, accessories, interiors and textiles designers and manufacturers, giving them an opportunity to build their brand and businesses both in Scotland and on an international stage.

MYB Textiles

The company Morton Young and Borland Ltd was founded in 1900 in Ayrshire, Scotland, exclusively manufacturing Scottish Leno Gauze weave, later known as Scottish Madras. Morton Young and Borland has developed the name MYB Textiles over the past 20 years to add a contemporary edge to their proud heritage.

MYB Textiles houses the world’s only Nottingham Lace design team. This coupled with their specialist knowledge of Scottish Madras makes MYB an industry world leader. MYB Textiles are recognised worldwide for their commitment to ensuring the highest quality of production – driven by continual product and design innovation, new technology and a highly skilled workforce. This allows MYB to supply both volume and small runs of bespoke designs quickly, whilst maintaining the highest quality standards in the industry.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Scottish business people and politicians look to the future

More than 200 leading business figures gathered at the Scottish Parliament for the 10th Business in Parliament Conference on the 29th and 30th October 2015.

They discussed a range of issues affecting Scottish enterprise with politicians, among them First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The event was chaired by the Presiding Officer, Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP.

The Business in the Parliament Conference is hosted jointly by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. It aims to facilitate engagement between Scotland’s businesses and politicians and forms part of a regular and on-going Parliament and Government programme of engagement with business organisations and senior business leaders across Scotland. The aim of this unique partnership event between the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government is to engage Scottish business in discussion about how to encourage sustainable growth in Scotland’s economy. 

Now in its 10th year, Business in the Parliament brings together over 200 of Scotland’s leading business people with politicians from all political parties.
Two leading Scottish entrepreneurs Rosemary Eribé, MD and founder of ERIBÉ Knitwear and Lesley Eccles, Founder and Senior Vice President of FanDuel provided the key note address at the conference which focussed on the theme of “Opportunities for Growth – Scottish business priorities for 2020”.

Representing the diversity of the Scottish economy, ERIBE Knitwear is one of Europe’s largest hand-knitting companies based in the Borders. FanDuel is a global leader in transatlantic sports entertainment founded in Edinburgh.
The Convener of the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee, Murdo Fraser MSP, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, John Swinney MSP also addressed the conference, which was chaired by the Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick MSP and held in the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament.
Tricia Marwick said: “This event has become firmly established as a forum where business people can come together with politicians to debate the issues that really matter to them.  I was pleased to open the doors of the Parliament to our business community and to host a frank and lively discussion on the future of the Scottish economy.” 

Convener of the Economy Committee Murdo Fraser MSP said: “To be a successful and dynamic economy, our businesses must always be on the lookout for new markets, new technology and new opportunities to grow their business. So this year’s conference considered how Scottish businesses can capitalise on some of these exciting opportunities ensure we build a prosperous and productive economy for our future.”

Chic Brodie MSP (pictured below left) commented: “The future of Scotland depends on Scotland and how robust its economy becomes.  A meeting and conference with Scottish businesses is as important as business in Parliament and can take us towards that objective. The sharing of business plans and political strategy is very important.”

Elite Ayrshire Business Circle executive chairman and Frazer Coogans Commercial Solicitors senior director Norman Geddes (pictured above right) said “Once again this was a well-attended and informative Conference with excellent speeches by well-known business leaders plus the First Minister and other leading Scottish politicians. Each year all political parties participate and it provides a vital opportunity for the voice of Scottish business to be heard.”

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Nick Alexander lands double at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson

FIFE trainer Nick Alexander was the man in form at Ayr Racecourse this week saddling a double courtesy of Another Mattie and Calivigny.

The former, sent off at 9/1 in the two mile five furlong handicap hurdle and ridden by Brian Harding, was winning for the first time under rules on his 22nd start and crossed the line 10 lengths in front of nearest challenger Tantamount.

It was a win that delighted the trainer and he was back in the winners enclosure later in the afternoon with Calivigny (15/8 fav) in the three mile handicap hurdle. The horse had won at Ayr 16 days ago for the same jockey Stephen Mulqueen who rode a very confident race.

Nick would have landed his first ever treble but for a fall at the last by Frankie’s Promise, ridden by Brian Harding in the two mile four furlongs handicap chase. The seven year old gelding was clear when hitting the top of the obstacle sending his rider crashing to the ground. That left What A Dream (3/1) to land his second course win in 11 days for trainer Alison Hamilton and her nephew Jamie.

But Harding had better luck in the last race when he piloted My Little Cracker (10/1) to win the national hunt flat race for trainer Iain Jardine and Borders based owners Paul and Clare Rooney.

Lucinda Russell kept up her fine run of form by saddling Final Assault  (pictured above) (15/8 fav) to win the feature race, the three mile handicap chase, in the hands of Derek Fox.

Lucinda said afterwards: “It was a step up in trip for the horse and he did it well. He’s one of the best jumpers in the yard and we’ll look at the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle for him later in the month.”

Ayr’s next meeting is Christmas Party Raceday on Monday 21 December. For more information on racing at Ayr call 01292 264179 or go online at 

Vernon Kay to DJ at Racecourse

TELEVISION and radio personality Vernon Kay is to perform a DJ set at an exciting new race night at Ayr Racecourse next year.

The Family Fortunes star (pictured above) who is also the host of the morning show on new station Radio X will take to the stage following racing at the June evening meeting on Friday 17 June.

Vernon will play a 90 minute set in the Ayrshire Suite and is sure to attract a huge crowd eager to see him on what should a brilliant night.

One of the most recognisable stars on television Vernon landed a regular gig on Channel 4’s T4 in 2000 and also was a presenter for BBC2’s Top Of The Pops Plus.

He joined Radio 1 in 2006 and presented a weekly slot until he left the station in 2012.

Vernon has hosted a variety of shows for both BBC1 and ITV1 including All Star Family Fortunes and he is now in his 10th series and is also the host of a brand new game show for ITV1 Daytime called 1000 Heartbeats.

In September this year Vernon joined Chris Moyles and Johnny Vaughan on Radio X.

Now on 17 June at Ayr Racecourse Vernon will play his DJ set at this exciting new Race Night.

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.

Supply shortfall pushes house prices up further across Scotland

The October RICS UK Residential Market Survey shows house prices continuing to rise in Scotland as a shortage of new stock supports growth, despite a slight easing in recent buyer demand.

For the third consecutive month, prices are reported to have risen in all parts of the UK in October. In Scotland, 38% more chartered surveyors saw house prices rise rather than fall and the outlook for the coming year is positive with a net balance of 54% expecting to see further price growth. East Anglia has consistently outperformed over this period with a net balance of 91% of surveyors in the area reporting growth this month

Buyer demand levelled off in October following twelve months of steady growth while supply also remained broadly unchanged. Despite the moderation in demand, sales activity continues to rise in Scotland, with a net balance of 26% more respondents seeing an increase in transactions in October.

RICS Scotland director Sarah Speirs commented: “It is hard to get away from the issue of supply when it comes to the current state of the housing market. The legacy of the drop in new build following the onset of the global financial crisis is now really hitting home with both the sales and letting markets continuing to show demand outstripping supply on a month by month basis.

“RICS would like to see a commitment from the next Scottish Government administration that delivers a definite plan for delivering attainable targets across all housing tenures to ensure that supply needs are met.”

In the Scottish lettings market, demand is also continuing to outpace supply in the three months to October*. This has been the trend nationally for some time, with the growth in demand continuing to outstrip that of supply. Unsurprisingly, rental expectations remain strong, with a net balance of 12% of respondents expecting a rise in rents over the next three months.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

CKD Galbraith offers for sale a traditional country house on the banks of the River Ayr

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Privick Mill, a traditional country house built around 1820 and situated on the banks of the River Ayr. 

The River Ayr is the longest in the county at 41 miles long and flows from its source at Glenbuck Reservoir to its estuary at Ayr and the Firth of Clyde. In a good season in excess of 500 salmon might be caught on the river, with good runs of brown trout and grayling. The Annbank Fishery is located nearby, offering Grade “A” trout for fly fishing, and there is also a local Angling Club.

The accommodation of Privick Mill is well proportioned and has retained much of its original charm. 

However it does require a degree of modernisation and upgrading to modern day standards. 

There are three good-sized bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, whilst on the ground floor there is a sitting room, dining room, WC and kitchen. A further bedroom, garden room and shower room can be accessed from a rear porch, which also leads into the kitchen.

The land of Privick Mill extends to about 16 acres. of which approximately 12 acres provide good grazing in fenced paddocks. There are a number of useful outbuildings which adjoin the house, forming a sheltered courtyard, including three good-sized stables and a large workshop. 

The original stone mill lies adjacent to the house and offers excellent scope for development subject to planning permission. The gardens are sheltered by mature woodland and slope gently down to the river bank.

Offers Over £325,000 are being sought.

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.