Friday, 6 March 2015
Work to restore an iconic conservatory in South Ayrshire got the thumbs up from Jim McColl, a celebrity gardener from the Beechgrove Garden programme, when he visited the conservatory to see the progress for himself.
[Pictured left to right are Jim McColl, Professor Gordon Wilson, Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, Councillor Bill Grant, Norman McLean, Chairman of Friends of Belleisle, and Councillor Allan Dorans.]
South Ayrshire Council has been working in partnership with Belleisle Conservatory Ltd to reinstate the conservatory. For the last five years the enthusiastic and dedicated members of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd have worked tirelessly to raise funds and work with the Council to get the refurbishment work started.
Councillor John McDowall, Sustainability and Environment Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “Belleisle Park is currently undergoing many changes that will improve facilities for local people and visitors. This has been achieved through vision, hard work and the Council working in partnership with others to bring about changes.
“Belleisle conservatory lies at the heart of the park and its refurbishment, which has been championed by Belleisle Conservatory Ltd will be a welcome addition to the park facilities. Once the conservatory is restored it will be the venue for a range of activities and exhibitions. I am sure the conservatory will bring back happy memories for many people and younger people will have the thrill of discovering what an exciting place the conservatory is.”
“The Council has contributed nearly one million pounds to the Belleisle Park masterplan. £580,000 is needed to complete the conservatory project and so far Heritage Lottery has provided £400,000 and Belleisle Conservatory Ltd has raised £94,000 from trusts, charities and personal donations. This is a phenomenal achievement by Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, which is a charitable company run by enthusiastic volunteers.”
Professor Gordon Wilson of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd said: “We are delighted that work has now started on reinstating Belleisle Conservatory to its former glory and we would like to thank everyone who has supported the project. Our team is planning to develop the building as a popular centre, open to the general public where activities and events will take place. From horticulture to arts, from education to culture, there will be something to suit everyone. “We still need around £100,000 to complete it and would encourage people to donate to the project, or become a member of Belleisle Conservatory Ltd, and help us create a lasting legacy in Belleisle Park.”
There are many ways in which you can support the Belleisle conservatory project:
• Become a member, at just £25 for a family membership per year, it’s a great value way to get involved and do your bit.
• Donate what you can at www.justgiving.com (search for Belleisle Conservatory Restoration) or send us a cheque to BC Ltd, 4 Beresford Terrace, Ayr KA7 2EG
• Buy an engraved pane of glass or engraved floor tiles and become a sponsor.
After seeing the work for himself Jim McColl said: “As an Ayrshire man I have been an admirer of Belleisle and its conservatory for many years. It is now very satisfying to see work beginning on the restoration. I extend my congratulations and best wishes to all my friends in Belleisle Conservatory Ltd and in South Ayrshire Council.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better value per acre than in other parts of the UK according to the latest RICS/RAU Rural Land Market Survey.
The average UK price per acre during the final six months of 2014 was £10,067, a record high for 11 months in a row. Although Scottish land prices have grown steadily over recent years, it remains significantly cheaper to purchase farm land here at an average of just £4,375 per acre. This figure also reflects the fact that a broader range of land types have been offered for sale in Scotland.
According to rural experts despite the uncertainty cause by the Referendum and CAP reform, English buyers are now turning their attention to north of the border where good quality pasture land is at least 40% cheaper than the rest of the UK.
Simon Brown (pictured above) of leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith explains: “Demand will continue to hold prices up in Scotland and we remain optimistic and expect competitive bidding to continue. The firm have managed a number of successful sales resulting in English buyers sealing the deal. Farmers and those looking to invest from the South are aware what excellent value Scottish farm land represents, especially good arable land.
“CKD Galbraith have been instructed and sold some 55 agricultural properties over the past year, totalling 11,950 acres of land. During the final quarter of 2014 the firm sold around 2500 acres of prime farmland to English buyers.
“We are finding purchasers coming from south of the border more frequently due to the short supply of agricultural land on the open market and the high price of land in both England and Wales.
“English farmers are now taking a keen interest in Scottish units and are principally focussed on farms which can operate as stand-alone units with good infrastructure and fixed equipment.
“Confidence in the Scottish farm market was not dented by the Referendum in 2014 and we don’t envisage the implementation of CAP review or land reform will affect the stability of land prices over the next 12 months.”
About CKD Galbraith
CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 225 staff in offices across Scotland including Edinburgh, Stirling, Perth, Cupar, Inverness, Castle Douglas, Ayr, Elgin, Galashiels, Kelso, and Aberdeen, offering local knowledge, national expertise and enjoying an international presence.
The firm is Scotland’s largest and leading rural consultancy managing in excess of 1 million acres of land across the country.
CKD Galbraith provides the full range of property consulting services across the residential, commercial, rural and renewable energy sectors throughout Scotland and northern England. The partnership also enjoys a successful relationship with its associate firm in London, CKD Kennedy Macpherson.
7 Killoch Place
Ayr KA7 2EA
Tel: 01292 268181
Fax: 01292 292300
CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.
Tuesday, 3 March 2015
The Leader of South Ayrshire Council has welcomed the recognition of the Council’s role – and the input of the multi-agency group it led – in the run-up to the Scottish Government’s acquisition of Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Councillor Bill McIntosh was responding to the publication of an Audit Scotland report on the government’s acquisition of Glasgow Prestwick Airport in November 2013. The report highlights the multi-agency efforts led by the Council as “a good example of public bodies working together to achieve a common goal”.
Councillor McIntosh (pictured above) said: “Glasgow Prestwick Airport is vital to both the Ayrshire and the Scottish economy, and it was imperative that we did everything we possibly could to keep the airport in operation and retain the thousands of jobs it supports, both directly and indirectly.
“With our public sector partners, we considered every possible scenario and identified what scope there was for us to influence a positive outcome for this vital transport hub and aerospace cluster.
“The fact that we’re now 15 months down the line with a clear vision and strategy for the airport in place, a strong and strategic management team in post and all efforts fully supported by the Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Aerospace Stakeholder Group – which is chaired by the Council – shows just how far we’ve come.
“It also shows the actions taken were the right ones to secure a strong and sustainable future for Glasgow Prestwick.
“We know there’s still a lot of work to do and we’re ready to face that challenge, with our public and private sector partners, to support the airport’s return to commercial viability, which is the ultimate objective.
“It’s a very exciting time for Glasgow Prestwick – not least with the UK spaceport bid process underway – and the commercial turnaround of the airport and the renewed development of the surrounding aerospace sector will help achieve the maximum economic benefits for Ayrshire and Scotland.
“That’s something we all want to see, and we will continue to do everything we can to make that happen.”
South Ayrshire Council is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.