The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Friday, 11 March 2016

Green light for new Tarbolton Community Campus

Plans to build a new Community Campus for Tarbolton are a step closer with the official contracts now signed after reaching financial close. Demolition of the original school building is complete to make way for the new-build phase of the works. The development, funded by South Ayrshire Council, is set to open in the early part of 2017.

[Pictured: Artist’s impression of the 
new Tarbolton Community Campus.]

The £8.2m project will provide places for 297 primary pupils and 40 nursery children, with sports, leisure, library facilities, and meeting rooms all being provided under one roof to be used as shared facilities for the whole community.

The project will also include extensive landscaping to ensure that the campus is both accessible from all parts of the village while fitting in with the existing feel of the local area.

The main contractor for the project will be Morrison Construction.

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong learning Portfolio Holder, at South Ayrshire Council (pictured above) said she was pleased to see the project progress: “We’re committed to providing all our children with equal access to education and our rural schools play an important role in our wider vision.

“This exciting project is moving ahead following extensive engagement with the local community and I’m pleased to say we’ve enjoyed widespread support for our plans.

“I look forward to seeing this new community hub coming together in the next few months, and I’m confident the public will like what they see when the doors open next year.”

Michael McBrearty, chief executive of delivery partner hub South West said: “We’ve reached an important milestone in this project and we’re excited at the prospect of getting boots on the ground.

“With the contracts now signed we can now look ahead to delivering this fantastic project for the people of Tarbolton, with work due to get underway later this year.

“We already have a great relationship with our partners at South Ayrshire Council and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop this as we work towards delivering this impressive new educational facility.”

Eddie Robertson, managing director for Morrison Construction’s Central Scotland business, added: “We’re proud to be working with South Ayrshire Council and Hub South West Scotland to deliver the new Tarbolton Community Campus.

“We will be working hard with all the stakeholders involved to maximise the opportunities that this project can create for local people and local businesses, while providing pupils, staff and the community with a high quality facility that will stand the test of time.”

Tarbolton Community Campus will be constructed using a Design, Build, Development Agreement (DBDA). SWHub will be responsible for the design and construction and the Council will manage and maintain the facility. 

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

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Ayr Racecourse two-day Spring Festival

By: Ian Ferguson 

AYR Racecourse stages its two-day Spring Festival tomorrow Friday 11 March and Saturday 12 March with Fab Friday Raceday followed by the Ortus Homes Raceday. 

[Pictured: Sa Suffit (green colours) jumps the last 
on way to victory at last year’s March Festival.]

On Friday the feature race is the Eight Exclusive Cheltenham Races on Racinguk Handicap Chase over two and a half miles at 3.40pm which is preceded by a two mile hurdle for the coveted James Barclay Trophy.  

The first of seven races on Friday is the Racing UK in HD Now! Maiden Hurdle at 2.00pm and the action concludes at 5.25pm with the Racinguk.Com/Winterseasonticket Amateur Riders Hnadicap Hurdle. 

The Saturday action is headed by the £15,000 Ortus Homes Handicap Hurdle for the Craigie Cup which is due off at 4.40pm and which is certain to be a competitive affair. 

Other highlights include the McCarthy & Stone Handicap Chase for the Hugh Barclay Challenge Trophy at 4.05pm and the Ortus Homes Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race for the Ayrshire Teomanty Cup at 3.30pm. 

For more information on racing at Ayr go to or call 01292 264179. 

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, 9 March 2016

Demand and transactions ease in Scottish housing market after buy to let rush

Activity in the Scottish housing market is set to see slower growth over the next three months, following a short-term rush for buy-to-let properties, the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has revealed.

While 74 per cent of respondents across the UK expected a rush on buy-to-let purchases ahead of LBTT and Stamp Duty increases coming into effect this April, the RICS UK Residential Market Survey, February 2016, shows this impact may be fading, with only 17 per cent (net balance) of respondents in Scotland expecting to see an increase in near terms sales. 

Consequently, the rise in demand for residential property throughout Scotland stalled last month, however, price expectations remain steady, with a net balance of 15 percent more chartered surveyors predicting a rise in property prices during the next three months.  

Director RICS in Scotland, Sarah Speirs, said: “Demand and sales transactions dipped during February as we see a slow-down in investors within the buy to let market ahead of the tax changes in April.  

“While there remain significant doubts as to whether the Scottish Government will effectively address the lack of housing supply, again we see a decline in new properties coming onto the market. As a result price indicators for the Scottish housing market continue to point to further increases, with a net balance of 44 percent of respondents expecting prices to rise in the next 12 months.”   

Across the UK, East Anglia continues to show the sharpest price increases, with 91 per cent of respondents reporting that prices had risen over the past month. London and the North East by way of contrast saw very modest gains.  

David Corrie MRICS at CKD Galbraith (pictured above) commented: “After a buoyant start to the year the market has slowed considerably through February, possibly in reaction to political and economic news.” 

Monday, 7 March 2016

Ayrshire business one of 12 to receive investment for growth

Hundreds of jobs are set to be created and safeguarded through a £3.7 million investment in 12 Scottish food and drink companies.

One of the companies receiving investment is We Hae Meat Ltd based near Girvan in Ayrshire and run by husband and wife team Alex and Carlyn Paton (pictured above).

Cabinet Secretary for Food Richard Lochhead has announced the latest round of awards from the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation (FPMC) scheme, which is jointly funded by the Scottish Government and the EU.

The grants will enable the food processing companies to improve, extend or build new facilities, creating 111 new jobs and safeguarding 615 more.

Mr Lochhead said: “Scottish food and drink is world-renowned for its quality, taste and provenance and these latest grants will enable twelve more food and drink companies to expand their operations in response to growing demand for our delicious produce.

“This investment will create and safeguard hundreds of jobs, further contributing to the massive success of Scotland’s £14 billion food and drink growth sector.

“It builds on the achievements of our last FPMC scheme which benefited 175 projects across Scotland and supported 8,500 jobs, as well as further investment and export opportunities. These latest awards demonstrate how the Scottish Government and our partners continue to deliver real and tangible support for food production in this country.”

The grants announced are:

Aberdeen & Northern Eggs in Aberdeenshire - £239,833 to expand the packing area and install state-of-the-art packing equipment;
Benzies (Partnership) in Aberdeenshire - £568,559 towards the cost of new refrigerated vegetable processing and storage facilities;
Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh) in Angus - £338,688 for a new processing building and equipment;
Brunton Farms in Angus - £73,000 for new grading equipment and a root vegetable polisher;
JP Gray and Sons in Angus – £61,463 to build a new cold store for soft fruit;
WR Logan Ltd in East Lothian - £288,235 for new specialist chill storage facilities for vegetables and a weighbridge;
Malcolm Allan Ltd in Falkirk - £452,070 for a new bakery and a new sausage production area;
Downfield Ltd in Fife - £142,581 to upgrade its venison processing facilities;
Nessgro in Inverness - £583,938 for purchasing machinery for washing and packing fragile root vegetables;
We Hae Meat Ltd in South Ayrshire - £403,498 to extend and upgrade its processing and handling facilities;
Eyemouth Freezers Ltd in the Scottish Borders – £481,836 to upgrade its processing plant including significant building work and new equipment; and
R&K Drysdale Ltd in the Scottish Borders – £39,032 for new vegetable weighing and packing equipment.

Eyemouth Freezers chairman Peter Straker-Smith said: “This award is a tremendous boost to the business. It will enable us to provide a secure foundation for the company’s future, for the development of the vining pea crop in the Borders and for our employees’ prospects.”

Andrew Stirling from Stirling Potatoes Ltd (Stirfresh) said: “This grant support provides us with a great opportunity to take Stirling Potatoes Ltd to another level. This investment will help us to increase the sales of fresh potatoes that can now have a longer shelf life, and are also ready to eat much quicker with no additives and are Gluten Free.”

Jane Prentice from Downfield Ltd said: “Venison is one of the healthiest red meats available and demand for it is growing. With the aid of the grant funding we will be able to create a unique facility on the farm, supplying Scottish venison from both farmed and wild deer all year.”

Alex Paton, Managing Director of Ayrshire-based butchery business We Hae Meat Ltd said: “We have experienced significant business growth over the past few years. The ‘We hae meat’ brand and our products are now well established in the Scottish market place and we are seeing ever increasing volume demands for our key lines. The extension to our existing butchery and manufacturing plant will increase our production capacity to meet the demand of our fast growing customer base and will allow us to achieve better operational efficiency.

“The additional capacity will also allow us to launch products to target new markets and we will be creating further employment in our local area through this.”

The FPMC scheme is part of the Scottish Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.