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Whitehead turns to blow-ins for extra cash boost

Whitehead, on the East Antrim coast, enjoys perhaps some of the best views of any course in Northern Ireland.

It overlooks Larne Lough and the Glens of Antrim to the north, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Ailsa Craig towards Scotland to the east and to the south across Belfast Lough, the County Down view extends, on a fine day, as far as the Mountains of Mourne.

Their location is one thing, but the view doesn’t in itself bring any extra revenue.

And so the club has been smart enough to figure out how to make the best use of the natural resources they have at their disposal by installing a couple of wind turbines.

Committee member Jeremy Jones explains: “The pair of them cost somewhere in the region of £110,000, but with grant aid it was possible for the club to bring it in at less than half that for around £45,000.

“The power generated goes directly to the clubhouse and Pro shop and anything left over is put back into the grid.

“In a few years they will have paid for themselves in the savings we have made, so it’s a win-win situation for the club.”

The turbines, installed by Belfast firm Horizon Renewables, located to the left of the first fairway behind the clubhouse are relatively discreet and surprisingly quiet.

In difficult financial times for clubs the length and breadth of the country, it’s a simple and elegant investment which bodes well for the future.

And it’s one that other Ulster clubs with plenty of wind at their disposal, would do well to seriously consider.

Belfast Telegraph

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