The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Plans move ahead for anchor development for Ayr’s new Riverside Block

Ambitious proposals to kick-start the regeneration of an historic part of Ayr town centre are now moving forward. South Ayrshire Council has approved plans to develop new office accommodation at the Riverside Block, which will act as the first part of the wider development.

Ayr Renaissance recently submitted a masterplan for a mixed development between High Street and the River Ayr which includes provision for quality office accommodation and housing, as well as for niche retail units, cafes, restaurants and public spaces. The masterplan sets out a commitment to top quality design to an overall scale that respects the surrounding conservation area. 

The Council is now moving ahead with the design stage for a new modern office development that will eventually house around 350 workers. SWHub will oversee the development work in partnership with the Council and Keppie Architects, appointed to plan and design the offices.

The final design will respond to the requirements of the masterplan and incorporate active space which can be used outside of normal office hours. The new building will replace a number of offices in Ayr which are showing their age and are uneconomic to run. These offices will be sold or demolished on completion of the new office project.

Councillor Robin Reid, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance said it was an exciting time for the development, “This transformational project has now reached a significant milestone, something which has only been made possible thanks to the hard work of Council officers and Ayr Renaissance.

“The tenders are also out for the contract to demolish the existing buildings on the site, meaning the momentum around the development is quickly gathering pace.

“I’m pleased to say that the public will soon see tangible progress on the ground, as the project takes shape in the months ahead.”

The completed Stage 2 design, which will include a fully developed and costed scheme, is due to be considered by South Ayrshire Council in March 2017.

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

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Treble for trainer Nick Alexander as Ayr Racecourse beats the frost

Fife trainer Nick Alexander was in treble winning form at Ayr Racecourse on Monday, saddling three winners topped off by a 1-2-3 in the feature race of the afternoon.

Wins for Gold Opera, ridden by Blair Campbell, in the Racing UK Profits Returned to Racing Handicap Chase, Titian Boy in the two and a half mile handicap chase and Marlee Massie in the two mile five furlong Novices Limited Handicap Chase - both ridden by Brian Hughes - gave Nick a 24-1 treble.

[Pictured: Marlee Massie clears a fence on the way to 
giving Nick Alexander and Brian Hughes a three timer.]

But to saddle the first three home in the Limited Handicap, with Calivigny and Buffalo Ballet chasing home Marlee Massie, also gave him great satisfaction.

He said: “I’ve never had a treble before, so that was satisfying, but to be fair I thought all my horses in the novices chase went there with a bit of a chance, so I am delighted to have the first three.”

Racing went ahead at Ayr despite temperatures falling overnight to -3C, and Nick Alexander was quick to praise Clerk of the Course Emma Marley for her foresight in covering the entire track in frost covers on Friday, therefore beating the freezing conditions.

Nick said: “Other courses should take a leaf out of Emma’s book. It shows you what can be done to beat adverse weather.”

Jockey Brian Hughes also had a treble on the day with Daytripper, trained by Iain Jardine, winning Division 1 of the two mile three furlong handicap hurdle to add to his successes for Nick Alexander.

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.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Public given first glimpse of the new look Queen Margaret Academy

Communities across South Ayrshire are being invited to find out more about the planned replacement for Queen Margaret Academy (QMA). South Ayrshire Council is to hold a public exhibition, prior to submitting a formal planning application, to discuss the pre-application proposals on Tuesday 13 December.

[Pictured: Artist’s impression of how the 
new Queen Margaret Academy might look.]

Earlier this year it was announced that QMA would receive part-funding from the 'Schools for the Future' programme. The £25million project will see £8.5million committed from South Ayrshire Council and £16.5million from the Scottish Government. Once completed, QMA will transform facilities for the existing school and the wider community for generations.

The Council has been actively engaging with the community to gather their views on the project. In September and October the project team spoke to representatives from the school and the wider area to capture their vision, values, and ideas to ensure their involvement at a key stage in the design process. Children, young people, staff and parents from QMA and its associated primary schools attended workshops along with local community groups.

The next stage will see a public exhibition held at Queen Margaret Academy on Tuesday 13 December between 2.00pm – 8pm.

Councillor Margaret Toner, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Lifelong Learning said she expected the event to be well attended, “We’ve been actively listening to the views of our communities in recent months, and this event offers a valuable opportunity to meet with people face-to-face to discuss progress.

“While the plans are still at an early stage we will continue discussions on what people would like to see from the new school, and try to incorporate their feedback wherever possible.

“I’m sure there will be strong local interest in the exhibition and for anyone who can’t attend on the day we’re making further opportunities available in the weeks ahead.”

Information on the proposed development can be viewed at the South Ayrshire Council website from Tuesday 13 December. Members of the public wishing to comment on the proposed development are invited to do so in person at the exhibition or directly to the agent no later than Fri 23 December 2016:

Address:        Building Design Partnership, 15 Exchange Place, Glasgow G1 3AN


The exhibition marks is the next stage in the pre-application consultation process. No planning application has been submitted at this time.

All comments on the project should be directed to the agent, Building Design Partnership. Comments made to the agent are not representations to South Ayrshire Council as the relevant planning authority. When the Council submits a formal planning application there will be further opportunities to make representations on the application.

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