The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 9 February 2017

X Factor’s Emily Middlemas to appear at Coral Scottish Grand National Festival

By: Iain Ferguson

THE teenage Scottish singing sensation who took The X Factor by storm is to perform in front of the expected 17,000 crowd at this year’s Coral Scottish Grand National on Saturday 22 April.

Emily Middlemas (pictured above) finished in fourth place on the last series of the show after impressing judges with her amazing voice.

The 18 year-old will sing her special version of the Proclaimers’ classic 500 Miles, which is sure to get Scotland’s biggest and richest raceday off to a rousing start.

Looking forward to the big day, Emily said: “I’m excited to perform at such a classic event, and can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown said: “The Coral Scottish Grand National is always a truly special occasion, and I am sure Emily’s very distinctive voice will add to the occasion.”

Emily was mentored by Simon Cowell in The X Factor, and was his last remaining contestant.

The Coral Scottish Grand National Saturday was a complete sell-out in 2015 and 2016, and its expected this year will be the same. Tickets are selling fast, so to ensure your place at this occasion great event book in advance by calling 01292 264179 or go to for more details.

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, 8 February 2017

Ayrshire takes Growth Deal campaign to Westminster

The campaign to deliver the Ayrshire Growth Deal – the exciting initiative to build on Ayrshire's potential to boost business, jobs and prosperity – will take a significant step forward this week at a special event at Westminster.

The four Ayrshire MPs – Alan Brown, Patricia Gibson, Philippa Whitford and Corri Wilson – supported by East, North and South Ayrshire Councils and industry partners, will host the Ayrshire Business Showcase on Wednesday (8 February).

The event will feature representation from some of Ayrshire’s most prestigious companies within key industry sectors including aerospace and space, life sciences, manufacturing, tourism and coastal (ports and harbours). It will provide an opportunity for MPs and invited business guests to learn about the Ayrshire Growth Deal and these key industries and find out more on the Growth Deal’s potential to strengthen the Ayrshire, Scottish and UK economies.

A key aim of the event will be to secure a commitment to the Ayrshire Growth Deal from the UK Government – similar to the support for the ambitious proposals which has already been given by the Scottish Government. A total of £360 million is being sought to deliver the Growth Deal.

Councillor Bill McIntosh, Leader of South Ayrshire Council, said: “We know we have an extremely strong case for growth in Ayrshire and a fantastic platform to build upon thanks to our established industries and growing markets. However, we need the support of our governments in both Westminster and Holyrood to fully realise our ambitions and ensure we have the necessary infrastructure in place to bring in the investment and jobs that will transform the lives of our people and communities. The Ayrshire Growth Deal is both aspirational and bold and I welcome the opportunity to put that message across right at the heart of the UK government this week.”

Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council said: “For many months now we have been working collaboratively across Ayrshire on a range of innovative and ambitious business proposals which will transform communities across Ayrshire.  Having already engaged the Scottish Government in this process, we now welcome this opportunity to take our proposals to the UK Government to secure further commitment.”

Councillor Joe Cullinane, Leader of North Ayrshire Council, said: “The Ayrshire Growth Deal offers a real chance to make a lasting and meaningful transformation to the Ayrshire economy. This isn’t about a short-term fix – it’s about creating an economic legacy which will have a positive impact for generations to come. We are hopeful that, when the full scope of our ambitions are detailed on Wednesday, it will help secure that commitment we need from Westminster to make them a reality.”

As well as getting the chance to meet with some of the key businesses based in Ayrshire and build a better understanding of how they can complement other industries and other areas, MPs will also get a chance to sample some of Ayrshire’s world-famous and award-winning food and drink produce, with a number of key companies in attendance.

The vision of the Ayrshire Growth Deal is for Ayrshire to be a vibrant, outward looking, confident region, attractive to investors and visitors, making a major contribution to Scottish and UK growth and local well-being, and leading the implementation of digital technologies and the next generation of manufacturing.

The objectives of the Growth Deal are to:

Attract and develop innovative and internationally focussed companies with high levels of productivity through developing key infrastructure and targeted business support programmes.

Position Ayrshire as the ‘go-to’ region for smart manufacturing and digital skills.

Improve key elements of strategic transport and digital infrastructure to help businesses get goods to market and people to work (physically and virtually).

Work with our communities to raise aspiration and ambition, provide employment and skills support, and improve access to jobs through innovative community empowerment and employability programmes.

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

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

CKD Galbraith reports a flying start to 2017 for the Ayrshire property market

Scotland’s leading independent property consultancy CKD Galbrait, has revealed that a steady final quarter of 2016 in Ayrshire has been followed by a burst of activity during the first month of 2017.

Buyers from across the country are continuing to prove key to successful sales in the Ayrshire property market, with an increasing number of prospective national buyers recognising the value for money offered across the region.

During the fourth quarter of 2016 (September – December) CKD Galbraith in Ayr experienced a 19% increase in the number of viewings conducted by the residential team, and a 54% rise in the number of property sales the firm are currently handling in comparison to the same quarter of 2015.

The firm’s Ayrshire office also reported a notable change in selling season habits, with a significant rise in buyer activity during the first month of 2017. January is traditionally a quieter time of the year in the property sector, however the Ayr office handled 167 viewing enquiries and 198 new applicant registrations during the first five weeks of 2017 alone.

Bob Cherry (pictured above), head of residential sales at CKD Galbraith’s Ayr office, said: “Property supply and demand across the region remained steady throughout the final three months of last year, but January’s surge in buyer activity should act as a catalyst for those who are still delaying until the spring months to sell.

“We now operate in a twelve-month market, and our viewing figures demonstrate a healthy buyer appetite which should be seized upon now by sellers.

“Ayrshire is becoming an increasingly popular option for those priced out of a progressively more expensive Glasgow market. Buyers are beginning to recognise the value for money and lifestyle options on offer here, with many sought after rural family homes available under the £350,000 mark.”

CKD Galbraith operates a network of regional offices across Scotland and figures for the firm as a whole during the last quarter of 2016 show a rise in sales of 17% compared to the same period in 2015.

The firm also reported a 12% rise in the number of properties available for sale during quarter four, demonstrating the increased confidence of sellers to make a move. Scotland is continuing to experience strong levels of demand across all aspects of the residential market despite confidence and sales volumes dipping in other regions of the UK over the same period. CKD Galbraith believe this due to the competitive pricing and value for money that remains available in Scotland.

About CKD Galbraith

CKD Galbraith is an independent property consultancy employing 236 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 international reach.

The firm is Scotland’s largest and leading rural consultancy managing and providing advice on farm, forestry, land and estate interests on over three million acres. CKD Galbraith provides the full range of property consulting services across the residential, commercial, rural and renewable energy sectors throughout Scotland and northern England.

CKD Galbraith 
7 Killoch Place 
Ayr KA7 2EA 

Contact: R A Cherry BSc MRICS 
Tel: 01292 268181 
Fax: 01292 292300 
To find out more about CKD Galbraith visit

CKD Galbraith’s Ayr Office is a Founder Member of the Elite Ayrshire Business Circle.

Monday, 6 February 2017

First steps taken towards the transformation of Maybole town centre

A project to breathe new life into the historic heart of Maybole has taken a step forward after landing significant backing. The Heritage Lottery Fund and South Ayrshire Council are making funding available to help reinvigorate the town centre.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) recently announced investment of just under £2million from its Townscape heritage programme, as part of a £17m programme of grants across the UK. Of this an initial £329,900 is being made available for a development grant. South Ayrshire Council has also committed £50,000 towards the development costs with Ayrshire LEADER and the North Carrick Community Benefit Company both contributing £25k.

Maybole’s Outstanding Conservation Area was designated in 1974 and there are now more than 40 listed buildings in the town centre. When the new town bypass opens in 2020 it is forecast that the volume of cars travelling through the town centre will drop by 50% and HGVs by up to 95%, making the current grant a timely contribution to Maybole’s changing landscape.

Maybole Community Council’s regeneration project aims to create an attractive, safe and sustainable town centre for the town. It will focus on a section of High Street running from the Castle to the Speakers Club.

Councillor John McDowall, South Ayrshire Council’s Portfolio Holder for Sustainability and Environment said, “We’re at the start of a really exciting chapter for Maybole, with dozens of historic buildings set to benefit from this project.

“An approach to the Heritage Lottery Fund was identified as one of the priorities at our Talk Maybole event in 2015, and I’m pleased to see that the idea’s enjoyed early success.

“The Council looks forward to working with the Community Council in the development phase which will refine the detailed plans for heritage works in Maybole.”

Mark Fletcher, Chair of Maybole Community Council said, “This is great news for Maybole and it’s a further step towards an exciting future for our town.

“The community has been at the forefront of this development and we look forward to working with South Ayrshire Council to build on this success.”

*Priority buildings have been identified as Maybole Town Hall, Maybole Castle, 48-50 High Street, 52-54 High Street, Maybole Charity Shop, and The Speakers.

MR is a partnership between: Carrick Centre, Carrick Community Leisure Group, Culzean and Cassillis Estates, Maybole Community Association, Maybole Community Council, Maybole & District Business Association, and South Ayrshire Council.

For more information on the HLF grant CLICK HERE..

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

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Trainer Mike Smith gets back to winning ways at Ayr Racecourse

By Iain Ferguson

TRAINER Mike Smith, who trains just 10 miles from the track at Galston, trained his first jumps winners for eight months at Ayr Racecourse last Monday when landing an 84-1 double in the first two races.

Strong Economy, ridden by Stephen Mulqueen, won the opening two mile five furlong maiden hurdle at odds of 4-1 by a comfortable six lengths after going clear two out. Half an hour later Glingerside (pictured above) defied odds of 16-1 to win the two mile novices’ hurdle under jockey Henry Brooke.

A delighted Mike said: “My horses have been running well enough without winning, and I was confident we would do well today.

“Hopefully we can kick on from here and land a few more wins in the coming weeks. Glingerside didn’t hurdle well last time out, but we schooled him at home and he was slick today.” 

The stable was denied a treble in two mile four furlong handicap chase when Nakadam, 4-1, was beaten a length and a quarter by the Nick Alexander trained, Lucy Alexander ridden The Orange Rogue, an 11-1 chance.

The fourth Scottish trained winner of the afternoon was Newtown Lad, 5-2 favourite, trained by Lucinda Russell and ridden by Tom Scudamore, who was very impressive in winning the three mile limited handicap chase by 19 lengths from Sevenballs Of Fire.

Other winners on the card were Simply Sam, 3-1 favourite, in the two mile three furlong handicap hurdle and Sam’s Adventure, 8-11 favourite in the final race of the day, the two mile national hunt flat race.

Ayr’s next meeting is on Tuesday 14 February.

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.