The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Ayr Concert Series celebrates its 29th year

This autumn sees the 29th annual Ayr Concert Series, arranged by volunteers from Ayr Arts Guild for South Ayrshire Council and it promises to be one of the best yet!

[Pictured: Councillor Bill Grant (seated) with (left to right) Michael Hitchon, Lorna Gourly, Jim Coutts, Sally Rennie, and Pat Crook.]

From Friday 30 October 2015 to Friday 18 March 2016, six professional orchestral concerts will be performed in Ayr Town Hall, and the line-up again promises to deliver the very best music, led by the cream of international conductors. 

The series features three visits by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, two by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and one by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra last heard in Ayr Town Hall six years ago. 

The opening concert on Friday 30 October 2015 features Martyn Brabbins conducting the BBC SSO to play Ginastera’s Variaciones Concertantes, followed by Bach’s sparkling Concerto for two Violins with soloists Laura Samuel, leader, and Kanako Ito, associate leader.  The evening ends with Schumann’s Fourth Symphony, one of the most exhilarating works in the Romantic repertoire.  The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

That’s followed by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on Wednesday 11 November, conducted by Joseph Swensen celebrating the 150th anniversaries of Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen.  The atmospheric Pelleas et Melisande Suite recounts a tale of doomed love through some of Sibelius’s most expressive music, whilst his seldom heard Third Symphony is a study in wit, melodiousness and musical economy.  In between, SCO principal flute Alison Mitchell is the soloist in the idyllic evocations of Nielsen’s Flute Concerto. 

On Thursday 17 December, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra returns for its much loved festive special Christmas Classics 2015 concert in the Town Hall.  It’s a mixture of traditional carols for all the family, favourite works by Handel, Tchaikovsky, Malcolm Arnold, Irving Berlin and many more orchestral classics led by conductor Richard Balcombe and presented by tenor Jamie MacDougall, who holds the whole affair together with wit and panache. 

New Year 2016 gets off to a flyer on Tuesday 5 January, with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Conductor Emeritus Joseph Swensen.  New Year would not be complete without favourite Viennese waltzes and polkas.  The programme will be enhanced by Joseph Swensen playing 

Massenet’s gorgeous Meditation and his own arrangement of Three Romances by Clara Schumann, dreamy, characteristically noble and passionate.  The concert ends with The Blue Danube Waltz. 

Friday 29 January sees the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of the award-winning young German conductor Clemens Schuldt performing Ligeti’s roof-raising Concert Romanesc, Mozart’s delicious Bassoon Concerto with soloist David Hubbard and Brahms’s Fourth Symphony, which begins with a sigh and ends with a tempest.  Last heard in Ayr Town Hall in November 2009, it will be a treat to hear the RSNO play here once again. 

The Ayr Concert Series comes to a finale on Friday 18 March with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s leader Laura Samuel directing the strings in the Ouverture-Suite in C Major by Telemann before three more of the orchestra’s principal players join her for Haydn’s delightful Sinfonia Concertante.  Mozart’s Divertimento in F major for strings follows, then Beethoven’s First Symphony, premiered in 1800 and showing the influence of both Haydn and Mozart but also some characteristics of a new compositional style, bringing a perfect end to the 2015/16 season.  The concert will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3. 

Season tickets for the 29th Ayr Concert Series are now available by post from Ayr Gaiety Theatre, Carrick Street, AYR, Tel: 01292 288 235.  A season ticket for all six concerts costs £120 in the circle (reduced from £132) or £102 (reduced from £114) in the stalls, thus offering good savings.  Ayr Concert Series is a unique partnership between the local authority, the voluntary sector and the Scottish orchestras.  Individual tickets will be on sale from Tuesday 1 September. 

Councillor Bill Grant, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Carrier for Economic Development, Tourism and Leisure said:  “Music lovers will again be thrilled with the wide range of concerts to choose from and, better still, the superb value season ticket options now available, so make sure you don’t miss out on any of these orchestral gems in Ayr’s superb Town Hall. 

“It’s almost impossible to choose which concert to go to, as there really is something for everyone, so buy a season ticket now and make sure you hear them all! 

“Prices for all seats have been held steady for the last four years, making the Ayr Concert Series outstanding value for money.” 

Brochures containing details of all concerts in the Ayr Concert Series 2015/16 are available from all Ayrshire libraries, the Council Customer Service Centres, Ayr Town Hall and the Tourist Information Centre, Sandgate, Ayr. 

“Residents and visitors to South Ayrshire will be able to hear world class orchestras, internationally acclaimed musicians and globally successful performers, right here on their own doorstep.” 

Jim Coutts, Chairman of Ayr Arts Guild added:  “We’re proud to have been involved in this unique and productive partnership with the Council and Scottish orchestras, which is now approaching 30 years.  “In that time, we’ve hosted some of the most famous names in the business and the 29th series promises yet another impressive line-up of international musicians, all enhanced by the presence of some globally acclaimed conductors.” 

Councillor Grant concluded:  “It’s a magical medley of marvelous music, so please get your season ticket or season tickets soon, because it’s looking like another superb sell-out series for Ayr!”

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

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Scottish Sun Raceday offers top racing, entertainment and glamour at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson  

THE first Saturday Flat meeting of the 2015 season at Ayr Racecourse – Scottish Sun Raceday – takes place on 20 June, and promises to be a fantastic afternoon of racing, glamour and entertainment. 

The seven-race card features one of Scotland’s best known races - the £40,000 Scottish Sun/British Stallion Studs EBF Land O’Burns Fillies’ Stakes, a Listed Race over five furlongs. This contest has been won by some well-known horses over the years including the Alan Berry trained speedster Look Busy in 2008 and Margot Did, who was ridden to victory in 2011 by Hayley Turner.

[Pictured: Hay Chewed wins the Scottish Sun 
Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes last year.]

Other racing highlights include the Scottish Sun On Sunday Handicap over a mile, and the Scottish Sun Handicap also over a mile, both with £25,000 in prize-money. 

After racing, the fabulous James Honey Band plays in the Club Stand, with West FM disk jockey Colin McArdle in the Grandstand, with the fun continuing for three hours. 

And during the afternoon Ayr’s famous ladies competition will be launched, with several lucky ladies winning a bronze coin which guarantees them a place in William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Ladies Day Final on Friday 18 September. 

That day there will be some fabulous prizes to be won, in keeping with the status of the Racecourse’s ladies competitions. 

There will be a total of 25 ladies in the final, and each will draw the name of a horse running in the William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup on 18September, with prizes awarded to the ladies who have drawn a horse that comes first, second or third. 

For more information on Scottish Sun Raceday or any other race days at Ayr 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.

CKD Galbraith offers for sale a lovely Ayrshire Georgian farmhouse with stables and land

Leading independent Scottish property consultancy CKD Galbraith is offering for sale Midton of Balgay, by Kilmarnock, a traditional farmhouse built of white rendered stone under a pitched slate roof. 

It is thought to date from the late 1700s, but has been thoroughly modernised and extended to create a modern day family home with a sensible layout, well-proportioned rooms and an attention to detail throughout. 

The property overlooks its own grounds of some 9 acres and enjoys total seclusion and panoramic country views, yet is just a few miles from the main town of Kilmarnock. 

Internally the property is well equipped for country life with tiled floors and a shower room off the utility room.  

The kitchen is undoubtedly the hub of the house and is fitted with a range of soft cream units complemented by wooden worktops and a cream range. Natural light floods the room from two ceiling windows and an internal window draws light in from the hallway.  

The drawing room is also worthy of note. Almost 40 feet in length, the feeling of space is further enhanced with the wonderful high ceiling and triple aspect windows. There is an elevated seating area within the room with a polished oak floor.  

A conservatory and sitting room provide more informal living space and there is also a separate dining room.  

Three bedrooms are located on the first floor. The master bedroom has an ensuite shower room. There is a further bedroom and adjacent bathroom on the ground floor. 

The attention to detail continues outside and the grounds of Midton complement the house beautifully. A level lawn at the rear is interspersed with mature trees and is a haven for playing children.  

The tarmac courtyard at the front is a practical, easily maintained area with access to the large adjoining barn and garage. Additional outbuildings include stables, a general purpose shed and a hay shed - all are well maintained. The grazing land is well fenced and divided into 4 paddocks. 

Offers Over £520,000 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.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Dead trees removed from Burns Statue Square

In the interests of public safety, South Ayrshire Council has removed trees in Burns Statue Square in Ayr that had died of Dutch elm disease.

Councillor John McDowall, Environment and Sustainability Portfolio Holder for the Council said: “We took a decision to remove the trees as we have a responsibility to ensure the public are safe, and dead trees are a public safety risk. The trees and their stumps will be removed over the next few days.”

Officers from the Council will consult with local Community Councils over the next few months and take on board their suggestions and comments about the species of the new trees that will be planted. 

The trees that are selected will then be planted at the appropriate time of year to give them the best start possible. 

Councillor McDowall concluded: “We had to remove the trees and we must now look forward to planting healthy new trees that will enhance Burns Statue Square and be a great backdrop to the statue of our national Bard Robert Burns.”

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

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Scottish trainers dominate totepool Raceday at Ayr Racecourse

By: Iain Ferguson 

SCOTTISH based trainers stole the show at Ayr's totepool Raceday on Monday saddling four winners out of the eight races with Jim Goldie bagging a double. 

Keith Dalgleish set the ball rolling when Dark Defender, a 14/1 chance,  won the opening six furlong maiden stakes under a confident ride from Phillip Makin holding off Birkdale (9/4) by a length and a quarter. 

[Pictured: Dark Defender (right) wins 
Monday’s opening race at Ayr Racecourse.] 

A superb late surge saw Goldie's Funding Deficit (12/1), the mount of Fergal Lynch, land the seven furlong Bet totetrifect Handicap and later in the card the Uplawmoor trainer and Irish jockey teamed up again when Tiger Jim (15/2) won the £8,000 plus prize in the feature race, the six furlong Handicap. 

Lucy Normile's Royal Duchess recovered from a bad start to win division one of the totepool Betting On All UK Racing Handicap after being sent off the 15/8 favourite under Sammy Jo Bell who said afterwards: "My foot came out of the irons at the start and I almost fell off. Thankfully I recovered and she's won well." 

Another female jockey to ride a winner was Emma Sayer who partnered Blue Jacket, owned by her father Andrew and trained by her mother Dianne to win the second division of the totepool Betting On All UK Racing Handicap. 

Ayr’s next meeting is on Saturday 20 June with the feature being the Land O’Burns Fillies Stakes, a Listed Race over five furlongs. 

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.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Donald Trump opens new Trump Turnberry Clubhouse

The new Trump Turnberry Clubhouse, the iconic home of golf on the world famous Turnberry golf links, was formally opened today following a multi-million pound luxurious upgrade by The Trump Organization.

VIPs, guests and members gathered at a special ribbon cutting ceremony and launch reception hosted by Mr Donald J Trump and his son, Mr Eric Trump, Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization.

]Pictured left to right: Chic Brodie MSP, South Ayrshire Council chief executive Eileen Howat, Donald J. Trump, Eric Trump, Clive Douglas, Captain, Turnberry Golf Club.]

The historic clubhouse, home to four Open Championships, has been lavishly refurbished in its design and decoration, creating an unrivalled destination for golfers and visitors. 

Changes have included the creation of a new East-facing balcony, an extended retail shop, and a new restaurant named “The Duel in the Sun” in honour of the legendary play-off between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus in the 1977 Open Championship. Also new to the clubhouse is a replica claret jug which is on display along with a collection of memorabilia which reflects the resort’s rich Open history.

The renovation of the clubhouse completes the first phase of a two year extensive upgrade to Trump Turnberry which commenced last year and includes dramatic and sensitive improvements to the Ailsa Championship course, a rebuilding of the Kintyre course, and a world class makeover of the hotel to the highest standards of luxury.  All of this work will begin in October. 

Speaking at the clubhouse, Mr Donald J Trump, Chairman and President of the Trump Organization, commented: “Our vision for Trump Turnberry is to make this unique and special place the finest golf resort in the world.  I am honoured to unveil the new clubhouse and I hope that our members and guests from all over the world enjoy the first class facilities. With the work we’ve carried out on the clubhouse, it is on track to becoming the world’s most impressive 19th hole.

“I would like to thank the members for their unanimous support for all our plans here at Trump Turnberry, including the plans for the Ailsa and Kintyre which are very exciting and will bring the course and the facilities to world leading standards.”

The renovation has created a richly decorated, well-appointed clubhouse featuring the highest of specifications.  Every inch has been improved, including the locker rooms which have been reconfigured to include more lockers without comprising on space and furnished in mahogany and gold. 

The Duel in the Sun restaurant, which commands exceptional views over the golf course, has been redesigned with a new food concept using a steak and lobster theme.  While a number of food favourites for golfers remain, new additions include a Josper Grill menu which uses a unique a Spanish cooking style adding a delicious charcoal flavour to meat or fish.

The unrivalled golfing history of the resort has also been acknowledged with the creation of new meeting rooms, including the new Champions Suite and Tom Watson Boardroom.  A new business centre is also new and now in operation, while the professional shop has almost doubled in size and now offers 3,600sq ft of retail space and will stock the latest of Trump Turnberry merchandise and apparel.

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