Belfast Telegraph

Banbridge firm Alternative Heat gets green light for expansion

A Banbridge-based heating company is set to expand after securing planning permission for a new £5m fabrication building and warehouse
A Banbridge-based heating company is set to expand after securing planning permission for a new £5m fabrication building and warehouse

By Mark McConville

A Banbridge-based heating company is set to expand after securing planning permission for a new £5m fabrication building and warehouse.

Alternative Heat said the investment could create up to 75 additional jobs including managerial, sales, admin, manufacturing and fabrication roles.

The company submitted plans to expand its base on Scarva Road Industrial Estate with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council in April 2019.

Under the proposal, a new fabrication building would be constructed next to the existing industrial premises, along with a warehouse building and associated offices.

The council's planning committee approved the plans last month, with Alternative Heat now moving ahead with the process to appoint a contractor to carry out the work.

The Co Down company, which was set up in 2003, has established itself as one of the leading suppliers and installers of commercial energy systems and offsite fabrication solutions.

Last year, the public inquiry set up to investigate the flawed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, heard that the Banbridge firm supplied 610 biomass boilers across Northern Ireland between 2013 and 2016,

The figure was disclosed to the inquiry by company director Connel McMullan.

The public inquiry heard that the firm sold "next to nil" boilers in Northern Ireland after the lucrative tariffs were slashed in the wake of the scandal.

Mr McMullan told the inquiry that the government backed subsidy was "much stronger than it needed to be" for the market.

He said the company had survived by focusing their efforts on the GB market. Accounts filed by Alternative Heat show the firm's turnover rose from £9.6m in 2015 to £15.7m in 2016, principally on the back of the scheme.

However, pre-tax profits fell from £1.2m to £1m, as the firm's staff grew from 29 to 51.

The latest company report showed Alternative Heat's workforce grew to 70 during the year to March 31 2018.

Belfast Telegraph

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