The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

National Excellence Accolade for Ayr Racecourse

Ayr Racecourse has been named as one of the top racing venues course in the UK in a national awards scheme, one of only 15 tracks to be awarded Racecourse Association (RCA) Excellence Awards.


[Pictured: Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown.]

And Scotland’s premier racecourse was also one of two courses to be bestowed with a “Lovely Loos” Accolade in recognition of the cleanliness and overall standard of its lavatories.

Ayr also retained its five-star VisitScotland visitor attraction status.

For the eighth year the Racecourse Association has operated its Quality Assured Racecourse Scheme, which allows every UK racecourse to be assessed and rated against other tourism attractions, in partnership with tourism bodies VisitScotland and VisitEngland .

The national tourism boards provide a rating on the racecourses as a quality day out, taking into account efficiency and friendliness of customer service, cleanliness of facilities and friendliness of customer service, cleanliness of facilities as well as speed, quality and efficiency of the racecourse operation.

Ayr Racecourse managing director David Brown commented: “We are thrilled to receive this national recognition which reflects well on the team here at Ayr.

“It is encouraging to be given this award as we prepare for our busiest meeting of the year in just over three weeks’ time, the Coral Scottish Grand National Festival, with the Saturday certain to be a sell-out once more.

“It gives us renewed confidence to know our efforts are being recognised in this way.”

RCA chief executive Stephen Atkin added: “British Racecourses have demonstrated that they offer a  fun, exciting and value for money day out when compared to other attractions.”

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, 27 March 2017

Ayrshire artists rub shoulders with established names for annual showcase

Art lovers across South Ayrshire are being invited to see work from a range of diverse and inspiring artists at Arts of Rozelle in Ayr this Spring. Three exhibitions will fill Rozelle House, and the Maclaurin Galleries from Sunday 26 March.


Following on from the phenomenal response from visitors to the Alexander Goudie exhibition of ‘Tam o’ Shanter’, the spotlight is shifting to focus on the work of Glasgow artist, Frank McFadden (pictured above), a retrospective of the work of Yvonne Hawker (pictured below), and new work from the Open Studios Ayrshire.


Supported by the Council, and in partnership with the Maclaurin Trust, these three exhibitions represent the work of artists working and living in South Ayrshire, emerging new talents, while being mindful of those no longer with us.

About the artists

Open Studios Ayrshire. At Rozelle House the Galleries will be filled with the works of members of Open Studios Ayrshire. This is a non-profit organisation representing artists and makers working throughout Ayrshire. Their main annual event being ‘Open Studios’ 21st -24th April 2017, work is being exhibited from each member at the annual showcase.

Frank McFadden. In the Maclaurin Galleries, Frank McFadden, a brilliant artist and protégée of Peter Howson, puts on his first ever solo exhibition. ‘Metanoia’ explores one of Frank’s favourite expressions “there is no system or formulae for a happy fulfilling life!” His work suggests we start simple, with the truth; we are more alike than unalike.

Yvonne Hawker. Also in the Maclaurinn, this retrospective  remembers the work and life of Yvonne Hawker, who died in 2001. Yvonne was inspired by South Ayrshire and the exhibition reflects on her beautiful ethereal work, featuring examples on loan from her family, friends and patrons. The exhibition also reveals work created during her time in Hong Kong, her interest in the religious beliefs of the Cathars, and her illness and untimely death.

Additionally at Rozelle House, 19 paintings, from the phenomenally successful Goudie exhibition of Tam o’ Shanter have been selected to remain on show as part of the permanent collection. They still tell the tale to great effect, showing Goudie’s observation and skill in bringing to life the energy and pace to the well-known local story.

Jill Cronin, South Ayrshire Council’s Head of Enterprise, Development and Leisure said the event provided a great platform for talent old and new, “We’re committed to supporting the arts in South Ayrshire and this year’s programme is testament to some of the inspiring events we have on offer.

“With artists such as Frank McFadden, exhibiting alongside Open Studios Ayrshire, this benefits our own local artists, who will be given a great opportunity to learn from established talent.

“Coming hot on the heels of the runaway success of our Alexander Goudie Tam o’ Shanter exhibition, we’re confident this latest addition to the cultural calendar will prove to be a big hit in the coming weeks.”

The Open Studios Ayrshire showcase will be followed up by the Open Studios Ayrshire’s much anticipated Weekend Event which takes place between 21-24 April this year. Artists and makers throughout Ayrshire will open the doors to their studios or shared venues to share their practice and work with the public. Four Artists – Sandra Ratcliffe, Christine Logan, John Atkins and Jim Gourlay - will be working in Rozelle House over that weekend.

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