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Charles Hurst Ferrari dealership defends involvement in botched energy scheme

By Noel McAdam

A Ferrari showroom in Belfast displaying £150,000 luxury supercars was a beneficiary of Stormont's heat incentive scheme - totally legitimately.

Charles Hurst, which owns the Boucher Road showroom, yesterday defended its position after the disclosure on the BBC's Stephen Nolan radio show.

The firm said as a responsible business with 1,000 employees across several locations, reducing its carbon footprint under the scheme had been a "key priority".

The firm said it had entered the scheme "entirely in good faith" and at no stage sought to disadvantage taxpayers.

"Like many businesses and organisations across Northern Ireland, Charles Hurst legitimately and fairly engaged with the RHI scheme based on the information which was provided and which was publicly available at the time," a statement to the Belfast Telegraph said. "At no stage did we seek to disadvantage taxpayers and we were not in receipt of any knowledge at the time that this might be the case.

"It was our understanding when we invested in the equipment required to support our participation in the RHI scheme that the funding available was ring-fenced by the Northern Ireland government to support the overall objectives of the scheme, to ensure its success and to promote legitimate take-up from businesses across a variety of sectors.

"Given the information that has come to light over the past few weeks, we will be undertaking a review of the scheme and how it applies to our business."

In an interview with Mr Nolan, a spokesman for the company added: "It was cost effective for us to install it and we did not consider it free heating. Nobody said this was not an unethical heating grant - we were not heating empty sheds."

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