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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km


Why my head is in the clouds

August 29 2013

WeDundee.com, the local site supporting Dundee's UK City of Culture 2017 bid, this morning revealed a fascinating insight into people's interests. Earlier this yearWe Dundeeinvited the public to say what they loved about the city, and its word cloud, shown above, gives a visual guide to the comments people submitted. Four dominant themes emerged Light, People, River and Environment. Taking the first, Light, we can see the subjects and concepts most often mentioned (the larger the word, the more it was discussed). What fascinates me is how closely this correlates with what we see in the site statistics at www.thecourier.co.uk. We spend quite a bit of time analysing what subjects attract the most attention online. This is obviously very useful information for the site, but we also feed it back to our newspaper colleagues to suggest topics that might be worth further coverage. Some kinds of stories will always do well online... but we also see high levels of interest in areas that might not be immediately obvious. It's no surprise that concepts such as 'Tay' and 'waterfront' are prominent in We Dundee's graphic, but two that jump out at me are 'cycle' and 'buildings'. I cycle to work every day, so I try to ensure my personal interest doesn't result in a bias towards the subject on our site. But it's clearly a big topic of interest around Dundee. Every time we report issues surrounding bike safety or infrastructure, the articles attract a lot of attention from cyclists and drivers alike. It's also a hot topic on the letters page. The Courier carries an excellent cycling column by Scot Tares every Saturday now expanded in our lovely new magazine! but this might be further evidence that there's room to do more. Similarly, the popularity of articles about buildings and built heritage sometimes takes us by surprise. Whether it's poking about in the cellars of some of the city centre's older buildings, or remembering the Law Tunnel, stories on what Dundee has built, plans to build (and what it has knocked down...) always seem to fascinate our readers. My colleague Chris Ferguson's From The Archives blogregularly touches on this subject, and his stories on nightclubs of the past and fallen landmarks have sparked much interest and debate. So, what do you think? Do you want to see more on cycling issues? Or more on our towns' and cities' built heritage? Or is there something else you think deserves more coverage? We're always open to suggestions.

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Readers' letters

October 11: We will still require back-up power stations

October 11 2011

Today's letters to The Courier. We will still require back-up power stationsSir, €” The letter (October 7) by the Friends of the Earth chief executive Stan Blackley does not agree with the proposed coal-fired power station at Hunterston. In his opinion, the increased wealth of renewable energy sources will be more than adequate to meet Scotland's future electricity requirements. I am sure that many of the public, not forgetting the benefit of employment, would be more assured to have a relevant back-up of energy if the "wealth of eventual renewable energy sources" fails to adequately meet requirements. Perhaps Mr Blackley could challenge policies in various countries in order to obtain their support against coal-fired power stations. The response would be interesting. Harry Lawrie. 35 Abbots Mill, Kirkcaldy.Public not asked to choose nameSir, €” Your headline writer has done your readers a disservice by failing to check the facts about the naming of the new sports and leisure centre in Glenrothes (October 6). Fife Council did not at any time "ask the public to choose the name" of the new facility. The Glenrothes Area Committee, including Councillor Kay Morrison, unanimously agreed in May that the purpose of the survey was "to help gauge the views of the public on potential names for the new facility". If Councillor Morrison had wanted the results to be binding on the council, regardless of how many or how few people took part, she should have asked for this in May. She didn't. Your report also failed to mention the important fact that although every household in Fife was invited to take part in the survey, and although it was also promoted for over two months in the current FIPRE centre, in local libraries and online, only 174 people actually took part. Compare this to the thousands who made their views known when the late Michael Woods blew the whistle on a suggestion that Fife Institute could be closed down and sold off for housing, and it's easy to "gauge the views of the public". They're relieved that the institute is not being lost, they're delighted that the current administration is replacing it with a brand new facility, and they don't really mind what it's called. We have a long tradition in Scotland of naming important public buildings in memory of individuals who played a major role in having them built. Councillor Michael Woods played a huge role in making sure the current FIPRE site becomes a new sports and leisure centre. (Cllr) Peter Grant.Glenrothes West and Kinglassie. More to it than paying off debtSir, €” It is more than a tad worrying that the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron's grasp of economics is no better than your average mug punter putting all his money on a three-legged nag. Any successful economy depends on the free flow of money and not simply paying off all our debts. It is equally worrying that David Cameron should publicly give support to the Home Secretary Theresa May for uttering untruths about the Human Rights Act whilst chastising the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. Malcolm McCandless.40 Muirfield Crescent,Dundee.Gas cloud risk not worth runningSir, €” It was with a sense of relief I read that the proposed carbon capture programme for Longannet may not go ahead. The prospect of 500 new jobs seems to have obscured the possible long term risks. The technology, as I understand it, involves storing liquid carbon dioxide at around 800psi in empty oil and gas caverns under the North Sea. Presumably we have to store this liquid forever in increasing quantities. Your report quotes a figure of 70 million tonnes by 2024. What happens if we get a leak? It is maybe unlikely, but the events I am thinking about are comparatively common: failure of a pipeline, an accident at a wellhead, an earth tremor or a volcanic eruption. Plus of course, an act of terrorism. Whilst carbon dioxide is harmless in very low concentrations, say 1-10 parts per million, it rapidly becomes highly toxic as concentrations increase. If 10% of these 70 million tonnes leaked out it would produce a cloud of carbon dioxide about the size of the UK. Of course it wouldn't be pure carbon dioxide it would be mixed with the atmosphere. However, even if it was considerably diluted it would still be an appalling danger. Bob Drysdale.Millfield Star,Glenrothes.Exploitation in sex industrySir, €” In your article about the lap dancing club bid (October 7) the Rev James Auld is reported to have said that he, "has no problem with the venture, providing workers do not feel exploited". It does not necessarily follow, however, that a person isn't being exploited just because they don't feel exploited. It is usually people who, for whatever reason, don't feel it who are exploited. If, as Dundee Women's Aid suggests, women in the sex industry are being exploited (and there is ample evidence) then it is worse, not better, that they don't feel that exploitation. So the Rev Auld ought to have a problem with this venture. Clare McGraw.12a Castle Terrace,Broughty Ferry. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to letters@thecourier.co.uk or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.

Angus & The Mearns

Approval given for Guild Homes housing extension in Kirriemuir

April 4 2012

An extension has been approved for an Angus development that is bucking the trend in the local housing market. Guild Homes' application to build 33 houses in Kirriemuir was given the backing of councillors at a meeting in Forfar yesterday. The council's development standards committee was given a slideshow of work intended for an industrial site on Cortachy Road. The development will border the recent construction of Hillhead housing by the same firm to the south and east. Road access will be through the Hillhead development and an extra footpath will link the new housing to Cortachy Road. The housing comprises a mix of single- and one-and-a-half-storey houses. Five of the houses will be offered as affordable housing for six months, after which the firm will offer a commuted payment for provision elsewhere, if there are any unsold properties.Largest for two decadesGuild Homes managing director Mark Guild said: ''The success of the previous development has allowed us to continue on with this next phase. ''We have customers already waiting, should this be approved, which is very unusual in the current market. "We would hope to get on with these affordable units and we are in the fortunate position where we can offer them without damaging the company.'' One letter of representation was made, with a soon-to-be occupant of adjacent Lord Lyell Drive being concerned about the height of one of the proposed one-and-a-half-storey houses. Mr Guild said he was unaware of any problem during consultation and would discuss the matter with the objector, who wrote that the neighbouring properties are all bungalows and the new building would be out of keeping with that. Work got under way last month on a £40 million Forfar housing development the town's largest for two decades. Guild Homes cut the first sod on the Wester Restenneth project to the east of the town on March 12. The Restenneth Fields project was the subject of a lengthy planning history, but finally received appeal approval under a different applicant in 2008.

Readers' letters

Complex problems of saving hen harriers

January 30 2016

Sir, - Nicolle Hamilton described Jim Crumley’s article (January 19) on grouse shooting as unbalanced and distorted. Strong words but are they justified? In his article, Jim made great play of the plight of hen harriers, implicating those who manage grouse moors. However, Jim knows it is not that simple. Hewill have read the recent article in Scottish Birds by Bob McMillan. Following a 12-year-long study on the Isle of Skye, Bob reported that of 88 nesting attempts by hen harriers, 47 failed, with predators the most likely cause. Monitoring nests with cameras revealed that red foxes were responsible for two thirds of the failures, killing chicks and fledged and adult birds. He will also have read the report in 2013 by David Baines and Michael Richardson on the first 10 years ofthe experiment onLangholm Moor. This showed that a grouse moor provides an excellent habitat for hen harriers as the game keepers controlledpredators such as red foxes and ensured there was abundant prey for the harriers. Following the protection of hen harriersin 1992, their numbers on Langholm Moor greatly increased. But by 2002 their numbers had againcollapsed following the removal of the keepers in 1999. This collapse was attributed to increased predation, particularly by red foxes and lack of prey resulting from the removal of the keepers. The keepers were removed because the increased numbers of harriers had limited the numbers of grouse for shooting. This is a complex, catch 22 situation. Jim knows all this but chooses to vilify many of those who live and work in the countryside. But dealing with the complex issues typical of the real world is not Jim’s remit. Keep it simple Jim; people are theproblem. David Trudgill. The Steading, Blairgowrie. Predationthreat to birds Sir, - I write in response to JimCrumlney’s column, Nature pays dearly for grouse shooters. Despite the trials of our lives including pressures on our sleeping patterns, few if any,people worry about being killed by another predatory species. However, for practically every other species, predation is a real and increasing threat. Growing evidence suggests that breeding populations of some ground-nesting birds, such as wading birds and gamebirds, are more likely to be limited by predation than other groups,perhaps because their nests or young are mostvulnerable to predation. This comes at a time when, with the exception of the kestrel, every other species of raptor populations has grown, in many cases exponentially, and that some form of control is required to limitfurther impact on rare and vulnerable species. The UK Government has recognised theproblem is not as one sided as bird charities would suggest and it has implemented a henharrier recovery plan in England. I could invite Mr Crumley to accompany me to visit a few of the areas he highlighted as being a problem to see the conservation effort and the tangible biodiversity from those he would castigate. But when did the truth ever get in the way of a good story? Jamie Stewart. Scottish Countryside Alliance, Director for Scotland. 16 Young Street, Edinburgh. Wildlife cleared from estates Sir, - George Murdoch (January 26) makes some interesting points about raptor crime, estates and conservation bodies. It would be a big step forward if all estates were transparent in a genuine way rather than the glossed-over attempt to portray themselves as the saviours of these Scottish moorlands. Some are keen topromote the view that all manner of wildlife is flourishing under their guardianship. Sadly, some estates have cleared their land of all Scottish red deer and Scottish mountain hares purely because they carry ticks, which if picked up by grouse can affect their well-being. This hardly helps the biodiversity of these places and is an affront to our natural heritage. Sadder still is the fact that hen harriers have not nested in Angus for 10 years. Robert Anderson. Kirkton, Arbroath. Ladies made homeless Sir, - Twenty years ago a group of ladies formed a craft group at the Damacre Centre in Brechin. Since then we have met every Fridaymorning to enjoy two hours of companionship and crafting. Now Angus Council has told us we can no longer use the centre but have to move to the new high school. However, until the old school is pulled down in 2017, there will be no parking or a bus service. Many of us are in our 80s so how are we expected to get there? The Damacre Centre is only two minutes’ walk from a good bus service. We have offered to pay more to stay at thecentre, at least until 2017, but have been turned down. So thanks to thecouncil and the SNP’s mania for centralisation, 24 elderly ladies are deprived of their Friday morning get-togethers and another building is added to the long list of buildings which blight Brechin. Mrs M. Armstrong. 83 High Street, Edzell. Litter blight in Kinross Sir, - As I was working in Kinross on January 21, I decided to visit the local Sainsbury’s supermaket for a bit of lunch. On travelling back from the store, I was shocked by the amount of litter on the pavement at Springfield Road. Further up Springfield Road I witnessed a group of school pupils who had been at the supermarket, leaving plastic foodcontainers, cans, leftover bread and so on, littering the pavement. It waslittle wonder the pupils were being followed by a flock of seagulls. This is the worst case of littering I have ever witnessed. Do these pupils not have anyconcern about the litter they leave behind and the cost to council forclearing up this mess? Ian Robertson. Hillview, Station Road, Crook of Devon. EU has Britain in tax trap Sir, - The disgraceful deal between Google and HM Revenue andCustoms is a simplecase of soft-targettaxation. Individuals and small businesses are pursued like war criminals, while for many multinationals, paying tax in Britain is an optional extra. It is not just in taxation that the authoritiesfollow this unfair approach of picking on the weak and ignoring the powerful. The police have long practised soft-target policing. It is easy to pursue motorists for speeding and fools on socialmedia; policing thehardened criminals in the country is quite another matter. For policing, what is chiefly needed is a change of heart, but for taxation that will not be enough. Multinationals know that there is nothing that we can do to make them pay in Britain on their British profits so long as we are in the European Union. To its credit, the coffee chain Starbucks haschosen in the last couple of years to start to pay its fair share. The other multinationals just laugh at us. Prime Minister David Cameron’s renegotiation should have included a change to EU rules on free movement of capital to ensure that profits are taxed where they are earned. Of course, he didnot because therenegotiation is simply cosmetic. A future in whichmultinationals pay their fair share of tax is yet another reason for usto vote to leave theEuropean Union. Otto Inglis. Ansonhill, Crossgates. SNP champions Tory austerity Sir, - I thank Councillor Kevin Cordell forhis generous comments (January 27) about my role as councillor for the West End on Dundee City Council. However, in relation to the impending huge budget cuts to Scottish local government,Councillor Cordellconfuses facts asopinion. I made no comment on whether or notthe block grant settlement from Westminster is generous or not this year but it is a fact that it has been increased by £0.5 billion a 1.7% increase. The SNP Scottish Government, despite this 1.7% increase from Westminster, has decided to slash local government budgets across Scotland by 3.5%, a massive cut in local services of £350m, across Scottish localgovernment. If anyone is the bag carrier for Tory austerity, Councillor Cordell has only to look to his own SNP Government. Cllr Fraser Macpherson. Councillor for the West End, Dundee City Council.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Angus & The Mearns

‘Put up our council tax’ supporters say they would pay more to save ‘godsend’ services like Carnoustie’s Panmure Centre

February 11 2015

A rallying cry has gone out to Carnoustie residents amid fears of council plans to close the Panmure Centre. In less than a week a group of women who use the centre have raised around 700 signatories for a petition to keep it open. But independent councillor Bill Bowles said the local authority’s hands might be tied because of the policy to freeze council tax. Three women who attend the centre’s computer classes have received support for their campaign to keep the building open and available for community use. Cecilia Slater, 54, said: “Nobody has said it is shutting, but we have heard rumours. We’re not stupid we know it is an older building that needs work on it, but we really don’t want it to close.” Mr Bowles said their efforts are inspirational and supports their cause, but he said the council is fighting a losing battle as long as there is a freeze on any council tax increases. He said: “Nothing has been decided, but it (the Panmure Centre) is under threat. “As a local independent councillor, I want to make sure that if we do lose what we have we are able to replace it with as good, if not better, elsewhere. The big issue is that councils are running very, very efficiently and Angus Council has got to the stage where all the fat has been trimmed and we are now cutting into the meat and bone of our services. That is unacceptable. “This council tax freeze cannot continue. I have spoken with many people locally and they tell me that they don’t want to lose their local community facilities. “People are saying ‘look, put up our council tax so we can continue to do the things that we want to do’. “People are prepared to pay another couple of quid a week on their council tax to ensure their facilities are saved and not lost for good.” Objectors argue any closure would hurt Carnoustie, the town’s west end in particular. The building hosts a pre-school group and nursery, as well as a mother and toddler group, young adults group and various education and life skills classes. Many other groups use the building on an ad hoc basis. At the computer class yesterday, they were creating their own Facebook page to support the campaign. Joan Ramsay, 88, said the class rescued her from isolation at home. She said: “I saw the advert, I came along and they just accepted me. I hadn’t worked a computer before. Let’s face it, at my age it’s a godsend.” They are appalled at the thought of the centre closing, as they believe it provides a lifeline of services and support to so many in the community. The nursery and pre-school group, a council-funded charitable organisation, has operated out of the former Panmure Works Institute for more than a generation. It has a register of 42 two to five-year-olds. The group’s manager, Vicky Gallacher, places great stock in the nursery’s role within the community. She said: “We feel they can’t close us down unless we have somewhere else to go. Children can come to this building as toddlers and continue to use it up until the age of 18 and thereafter. “We want to be part of a community centre and not a nursery on its own.” Mr Bowles worries about further services being removed from the town, particularly if it only serves to boost the local housing stock. He said: “The petition shows the depth of feeling of the people of Carnoustie. We need guarantees before any decision is taken about the loss of community facilities.” A council spokesman said: “While we are exploring options for the building, we are not looking to withdraw services from Carnoustie. “We will work with the current users to find an alternative venue if we do move out of the building.”

Kingsbarn Equestrian Centre for sale following liquidation

January 19 2015

One of Scotland’s largest equestrian competition venues is being marketed for sale with a £650,000 price tag. UPDATED STORY HERE The move follows the liquidation of the company behind Kingsbarn Equestrian Centre Jakem Ltd, directed by Fife horse owner and trainer Jackie Kemp. “The final court hearing with regards to the liquidation of Jakem Ltd took place in Falkirk last week,” confirmed Scott McGregor, of Grainger Corporate Rescue, Bath Street, Glasgow. He said during the last session at the Sheriff Court, the financial company which had dealt with the provisional liquidation of the equestrian firm was confirmed as official liquidator. As such, Mr McGregor added: “This has put us in a position to market the property.” He confirmed Grainger Corporate Rescue appointed rural property specialists Baird Lumsden to handle the sale on Monday (January 19). The estate agency, which has its headquarters in Edinburgh, will be marketing the equestrian centre via it’s Stirling office in Bridge of Allan. According to manager Duncan Ferguson, the property and facilities at Kingsbarn EC, near Shieldhill, in Falkirk, should reach the open marketplace early next week. “However, there is significant on-going interest in the centre,” he added. Mr Ferguson conceded that, should an offer be received that is “agreeable” to the liquidators over the intervening days, it remains possible the sale of Kingsbarn EC may not go as far as the open marketplace. But he did say it will be the aim of Baird Lumsden to achieve the best possible price for the property. “The land and buildings at Kingsbarn Equestrian Centre will be sold with vacant possession,” added Mr Ferguson. “Obviously the property has been purpose built to run as an equestrian business and we would anticipate it will be sold to an equestrian enthusiast to use it as such.” Mr Ferguson, who will shortly be drawing up particulars for the property, said Kingsbarn EC is being marketed for offers over £650,000 a price which he described as “reflective of land and buildings”. The centre is widely regarded as one of the main equestrian competition venues for the country, as a host for training and affiliated events across multi disciplines for all levels of horse riding. In the latest financial report for Jakem Ltd, dated for the year end June 30, 2013, the tangible fixed assets of the company ie. Kingsbarn EC and the equipment within it carried forward a value of £884,445 (down from £896,423 for the year end June 30, 2012). equestrian@thecourier.co.uk Kingsbarn Equestrian Centre first opened its ‘state-of-the-art’ facilities to Scottish equestrianism under the ownership of Stewart Aitken back in 2007 at a build cost reported to be in the region of £10 million. Dogged by financial issues, the centre went into administration and closed less than two years later. Ms Kemp re-opened Kingsbarn in the winter of 2009 under the business Jakem Ltd. The venue offers two international sized indoor arenas, 75 indoor and 90 outdoor stables, and has hosted countless national competitions across many equestrian disciplines over the years. Kingsbarn Equestrian has been home to liveries, a string of top showjumpers and more than 30 riding school horses and ponies. In its heyday, the centre also offered a tack shop, cafe and bar facilities, gallops and a split level all-weather outdoor arena spanning two acres.