The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 27 March 2015

Be prepared for property law changes, advise Frazer Coogans Solicitors

Recent major changes in the Scottish Land Register System together with commencement of the new Land and Buildings Transfer Tax from 1st April make it more essential than ever for buyers and sellers of property to seek advice from an experienced property solicitor. 

With six solicitors and experienced support staff working daily in all aspects of the property sector, Frazer Coogans Solicitors are well placed to handle any transaction.

Norman Geddes, Peter McNamara and Craig Currie bring expertise to the Agricultural and Commercial Property sectors. 

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans commercial team. Back row left to right: Peter McNamara, Craig Currie, Erin Leyden, Seated, front: Norman Geddes.]

Austin Thomson, Carly Brodie and Jacqueline Malcolm specialise in Residential Conveyancing.

[Pictured: The Frazer Coogans residential team. Back left to right: David Harvey, Gillian Bryan, Kelly Frame, Lorraine Kerr, Angela McFadzean, Anoop Christi. Front row: Jacqueline Malcolm, Austin Thomson, Carly Brodie.] 

Working together with drive and initiative they have helped place Frazer Coogans in the forefront of property conveyancing in Scotland. Recent figures issued by the Land Register of Scotland confirm Frazer Coogans to be the leading firm of solicitors in South West Scotland by number of properties registered last year. 

Frazer Coogans regularly deal with sale and purchase of farm and country properties of all types, commercial property including leases, and residential conveyancing. In the agricultural sector they regularly deal with tenancy issues, wind turbine and other agreements and are frequently asked to advise on issues arising in farm partnerships. They are happy to provide an initial discussion without commitment or charge and regularly make farm visits. 

Frazer Coogans chairman Norman Geddes said: “With a highly experienced and dedicated property team we enjoy providing advice to farmers, land owners and house purchasers. Tax advice is nearly always relevant to a property transaction and with Peter McNamara also being a Chartered Tax Adviser and a certified Trust and Estate Practitioner we are uniquely placed to combine property, succession and taxation advice.”

Frazer Coogans Solicitors are always happy to have a free initial meeting on any legal issue and welcome your call on 01292 280499. 

Frazer Coogans Solicitors 
Dalblair House, 
46 Dalblair Road 
Ayr KA7 1UQ

Frazer Coogans Solicitors is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

£590,000 for Ayr Gaiety

Theatre revamp takes centre stage

Long-term plans to restore Ayr Gaiety will take a step forward thanks to a significant funding boost, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has announced. 

[Pictured: Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil (right) meets Jeremy Wyatt from the Ayr Gaiety which has received a £500,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund and £90,000 from the People and Communities Fund to help boost its refurbishment plans.] 

A £500,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund will be used to repair the historic theatre’s stall seating and to invest in new lighting and sound technology. 

This comes on top of £90,000 from the Scottish Government through the People and Communities Fund for 2015/16, which aims to help communities tackle poverty and inequalities in their area. 

The £500,000 loan is one of the first allocations of funds through the £16 million Social Growth Fund. Since the fund opened in May 2014, £150,000 has been allocated to the Factory Skatepark in Dundee, £1 million to iPower to combat fuel poverty, and £250,000 to Kelvin Valley Honey.

[Pictured: Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil (right) meets Jeremy Wyatt from the Ayr Gaiety which has received a £500,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund and £90,000 from the People and Communities Fund to help boost its refurbishment plans.] 

Mr Neil welcomed the funding boost on a visit to the theatre. He said: “This loan will help the Ayr Gaiety Partnership regenerate its fantastic historic building. By renovating the theatre and improving the experience for audiences I’m confident that this will have a knock-on effect on the local economy, encouraging more people to visit and spend money in Ayr.

“It’s exactly the type of community led project that the Scottish Government is supporting across Scotland. 

“We recognise that social enterprises strengthen our economy and support our aims of creating a fairer society, but we need to have the right environment for them to flourish. That is why it’s crucial for us to provide direct support and investment through schemes like the Social Growth Fund. 

“This Fund encourages our entrepreneurs and enterprising organisations to think of innovative ways to tackle inequalities and help us to deliver a better Scotland.”

Since re-opening the theatre just over two years ago, the Ayr Gaiety Partnership has sold over 120,000 tickets, started a major skills and employment initiative, established work with young people across Ayrshire and taken on programming of four more venues. 

This investment for Ayr Gaiety is part of the overall £2.4 million refurbishment of the theatre, with plans including improvements to the heating and ventilation and renovation of the entrance and foyer. 

This funding highlights the Scottish Government’s support for our culture and heritage and demonstrates our commitment to maintaining and improving our cultural infrastructure.

[Pictured: Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil visits the Ayr Gaiety which has received a £500,000 loan from the Social Growth Fund and £90,000 from the People and Communities Fund to help boost its refurbishment plans.]

Ian Welsh chair of Ayr Gaiety Partnership said: "This investment couldn't have come at a better time for us. We now need only around £300,000 before we can go ahead with our plans, so we are now on the 'home straight.’

“With a fully restored theatre we will be able to put on an even better programme of shows and put our business on a sustainable footing. 
“More than this, a modernised and fully equipped theatre will play a key role in our plans to provide training and employment opportunities to young people. It will boost the innovative BA in technical theatre we launched recently with the University of the West of Scotland. And form the core of an ambitious programme to provide practical training in stage technical skills which will eventually see hundreds of young people securing qualifications and jobs."

The £16 million Social Growth Fund is comprised of £8 million of loan repayments from recipients of the Scottish Investment Fund which have been reinvested by the Scottish Government, and £8 million from Big Society Capital.

The Fund is managed by Social Investment Scotland (SIS).

Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of SIS, said: “Ayr Gaiety Theatre delivers many social and economic benefits to the local community and we are delighted to assist with its renovation plans.

“This funding commitment from the Social Growth Fund has paved the way for significant commitments from other funders which have enabled this project to come to life. 

“Once the renovation is complete, the theatre will provide Ayrshire with a truly first class facility, which will deliver positive social impacts for many years to come.”

More information about the Ayr Gaiety Partnership is available HERE

The theatre’s revamp comes on top of the wider regeneration of Ayr town centre, which received £2.25 million through the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regneration Fund in 2009/10. 

The full list of 197 projects being funded by the People and Communities Fund are listed HERE 

Since Social Investment Scotland (SIS) was established in 2001 it has invested over £43 million in almost 180 organisations across Scotland. Loan finance via Social Investment Scotland is available from £10,000 to £1 million and is aimed at community enterprises and social businesses that might find access to finance from mainstream providers difficult. 

SIS also manage the Scottish Investment Fund on behalf of the Scottish Government, which has seen £31.8 million invested in 67 third sector organisations since 2008, with the loan repayments being reinvested in the Social Growth Fund, to match an £8 million investment from Big Society Capital. BSC is an independent, UK wide organisation set up to grow the size of the social investment marketplace across the UK. 

For more information about SIS CLICK HERE

Trump Turnberry transformation on course

Details behind the multi-million pound plans to renovate Trump Turnberry have been revealed for the first time as the project to substantially upgrade the world’s first ever golf resort takes shape.

[Pictured: Mr Donald J. Trump, Chairman 
and President of The Trump Organization.]

An extensive 18 month refurbishment programme is now underway and the resort will re-launch on 1 June 2016 when the redesigned Open Championship golf course, The Ailsa, will be available for play for the first time.

In May, Trump Turnberry hotel will re-open its doors following an extensive upgrade to world leading standards, which includes the lavish refurbishment of all hotel bedrooms.

The detailed and sensitive project requires a partial closure commencing 27 September 2015 until mid to late May 2016 when improvements to the hotel and Ailsa course are carried out.

During this time, the new club house, The Villas and golf academy will be open for business with tee times available to members and guests on the Kintyre, a challenging course which hosted the qualifying rounds for the Troon Open Championship in 2004.

Detailing the changes, Mr Donald J. Trump, Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, commented; “In close consultation, we will be refining the great Ailsa Championship course including lengthening, re-grassing and making certain changes, many of which have been sought by the R&A for over 25 years. This work will be carefully and studiously crafted and when completed, will bring this already amazing masterpiece to a level that even it has never attained.

“At the conclusion of our hotel rebuilding, we will have exquisite new suites, magnificent ballrooms, restaurants and meeting facilities plus a sprawling and luxurious spa. When completed, Trump Turnberry will be the finest resort of its kind anywhere in the world.” 

Included in the exciting plans being revealed for the first time are the following improvements:

• The upgrading of conference and banqueting facilities with the creation of The Caledonia Ballroom, The Old Tom Morris Suite and The Ailsa Craig Suite, as well as three new meeting rooms and a luxurious business centre. (March 2015)

• The creation of a new world class 18 hole pitch and putt in front of the hotel designed by the internationally renowned golf architect Martin Ebert.

• The creation of a new Lobby bar featuring over 250 whiskies within the Grand Tea Lounge.

• The launch of the refurbished clubhouse, pro shop with largely extended retail facility, The Duel in the Sun restaurant and a purpose built east facing viewing balcony in April 2015. 

• The creation of a luxurious two bedroomed suite and the Halfway House for the Ailsa course will be located within the iconic Turnberry Lighthouse.

• The repositioning of 1906 restaurant to its original location from when the hotel opened.

• The creation of a new Crystal Ballroom named in recognition of the six original crystal chandeliers which are a historic feature of the room.

• Development of the new destination spa, The Trump Spa by Ivanka Trump.

• The creation of a masterpiece, The Donald J Trump Ballroom, situated at the north elevation of the hotel facilitating 500 guests with panoramic sea views.

• Extensive renovation of the self-catering Villas at Trump Turnberry and the creation of a new family centre will take place with work commencing in the winter of 2016 completing spring 2017.

Meanwhile, works to complete the £5m refurbishment of the clubhouse continue as a priority in preparation for hosting the RICOH Women’s British Open which takes place at Trump Turnberry 30 July – 2 August 2015.  The new clubhouse will open its doors in late April 2015, also in time for the summer golf season.

Trump Turnberry is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Ayrshire cheese gets European protection

Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese is due to be granted official recognition from the EU – affording it extra protection against unauthorised imitation.

Food Secretary Richard Lochhead announced today that the popular Scottish cheese, distinctive for its nutty flavour and unique production methods, will be awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under the EU Protected Food Names (PFN) scheme.

The distinction means that consumers are guaranteed they are buying the genuine, premium product, which can now only be made in the area around Dunlop, with milk from Ayrshire cows, using the same traditional methods.

The announcement brings Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese into the same category of protection as Orkney Island Cheddar. Other popular Scottish products already awarded this status include Stornoway Black Pudding, Arbroath Smokies and Scotch Beef.

Mr Lochhead said: “In Scotland we have an abundance of delicious, high quality food and drink, enjoyed at home and around the globe. Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese is a fantastic example of this and I am delighted that, following Scottish Government support, it will now benefit from protected status.

“Protected status lets consumers know they’re buying the genuine article. It is great news that we now have 14 Scottish products benefiting from that and I hope more will follow.

“This is an important boost for the Scottish dairy sector ahead of a Parliamentary debate that will be held about the industry on Tuesday. We are currently planning to launch a new Scottish dairy brand that will make it easier to identify dairy products that are made here in Scotland. This is particularly welcome timing, as the Year of Food and Drink is a great opportunity to promote Scotland’s fantastic natural larder.”

Ann Dorward, who produces Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop Cheese at West Clerkland Farm in Stewarton, said: “I am delighted that Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop is going to receive PGI status. We have been working towards this for almost two years and it’s wonderful to hear that we will be officially recognised.

“Traditional Ayrshire Dunlop differs from others Dunlop cheeses due to the traditional production method, the rich creamy milk from Ayrshire cows, the weather in this part of the country, and the techniques and craftsmanship that can be traced back to the 17th century.”

Other Scottish products with PGI status are: Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar, Stornoway Black Pudding, Shetland Lamb, Orkney Beef, Orkney Lamb, Scottish Farmed Salmon, Scottish Wild Salmon, Scotch Lamb, Scotch Beef, Arbroath Smokie, Native Shetland Wool, Teviotdale Cheese (not in production) and Bonchester Cheese (not in production).

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Huge prize money on offer at Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse

By Iain Ferguson

THREE of the principal races at next month’s Coral Scottish Grand National Festival at Ayr Racecourse have received significant prize-money increases, as the build-up to Scotland’s biggest richest race meeting continues. 

[Pictured: Scotland’s leading hope in the Coral Scottish Grand National is the Lucinda Russell trained Lie Forrit.]

The Coral Scottish Grand National on Saturday 18 April itself has a prize fund of £210,000, £10,000 up on 2014,  while the highlight of the opening day, Friday 17 April, the Hillhouse Quarry Handicap Chase not only has Listed status for the first time but also a £15,000 boost with £40,000 now on offer. 

And the biggest increase comes in the main supporting race on Saturday, the QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle, which has £100,000 in the pot compared to £70,000 last year. 

In all there is more than £580,000 to be run for over the 15 races, which is sure to attract some top horses from leading yards throughout the UK and Ireland. 

Entries for both the Coral Scottish Grand National and the QTS Scottish Champion Hurdle are due by noon on Tuesday 31 March, and from then on in the intrigue will build. 

Scotland’s leading hope in the big race is the Lucinda Russell trained Lie Forrit, while the Ayr Racecourse management are hoping that Irish training legend Willie Mullins will have a few entries for the meeting. 

Advance ticket sales are going well, and discounts are available on tickets booked and paid for seven or more days in advance. 

For more information or to book tickets call 01292 264179 or go online at  

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.