Belfast Telegraph

RHI: From hotels to motor dealers to golf clubs - the businesses in the scheme

By Claire O'Boyle

Poultry farms were by far the biggest group of grant claimants in the Renewable Heat Incentive, with 57 receiving payouts for a total of 175 boilers.

But the list published yesterday contains a huge range of organisations from churches, hotels and golf clubs to supermarkets and even a primary school. The named organisations - limited companies and limited liability partnerships - have each received payouts of £5,000 or more since the botched programme launched in 2012.

Read more: Revealed - Full list of firms claiming from RHI scheme

There is no suggestion that any of these organisations acted improperly.

The Department for the Economy's extensive list also includes 11 mushroom farms which claimed £1,008,246 between them, while 11 hotels, including the Burrendale in Newcastle, Co Down, Cookstown's Glenavon House Hotel and Rosspark Hotel in Kells, claimed a total of £545,000.

Energy firms and motor retail companies feature too, with Charles Hurst, John Mulholland and Shelbourne Motors all listed as claimants.

Charles Hurst Ltd, a Belfast-based car dealership, has showrooms throughout Northern Ireland.

It is listed as having 10 RHI-funded wood pellet boilers and has so far received RHI grants of over £250,000.

Other claimants high on the list were Eglinton (Timber Products) Ltd in Co Londonderry, which received £538,885.63 for seven boilers and Coleraine-based McIlroy Farms Limited, which got £513,312.78 for six boilers. Ecobiomass NI Ltd, registered in Dungannon, received £476,383.18 for 10 boilers.

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's claimed almost £220,000 for boilers at five sites across Northern Ireland, while Hollybush Primary School in Derry received £29,156.08.

Five churches - three Church of Ireland and two Presbyterian - as well as Ballinderry Church of Ireland Parish Hall in Lisburn benefited from the RHI scheme. In total they claimed £144,522.

Hebron Free Presbyterian Church in Ballymoney has two boilers, bringing in £58,938.

Government buildings including Greenmount College and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust claimed a total of £76,396.69, while seven golf clubs signed up to the scheme - receiving £243,112.24 in total.

An Charraig Mhor GAA club in Tyrone has received £14,880 in RHI grants. It was among the big spike in applicants in the weeks before the maximum level of grants ended in November 2015. An official at the club said that it only had one wood pellet boiler for heating the club rooms.

Belfast Indoor Bowls Club, Jungle Paintball and Share Discovery Village also claimed from the botched programme.

The National Trust installed boilers at six locations across Northern Ireland, including the Giant's Causeway Vistors' Centre and Crom Estate in Co Fermanagh.

The conservation charity received more than £100,000 up to the end of February.

Individuals who participated in the scheme have not yet been named and the list covers only around half of those in receipt of payments. Companies named on the list were told at the start of the week that their details would be released within days. The Renewable Heat Association of Northern Ireland, which represents a number of claimants of the programme, said the group "hopes that this will not lead to an assumption by the public or the media that the participants are acting improperly in any way, as the simple publication of names is, in no way, evidence of wrongdoing".

"Participants of the Renewable Heat Incentive entered a scheme legitimately which was designed and promoted by the Government in Northern Ireland.

"The Renewable Heat Incentive scheme was launched in Northern Ireland following the success of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme in Great Britain, which is still in operation and open to entrants."

Belfast Telegraph


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