A luxury B&B has opened in Whitehead following a significant investment by two local entrepreneurs, with support from Ulster Bank.
With finance provided by the bank, husband and wife business duo Tom and Heather McMaster have invested over £500,000 in the purchase and renovation of Altahammond House.
Situated on the Altahammond Farm on the Belfast Road, Whitehead, the six-bed scenic period property boasts stunning coastal views over Belfast Lough with south-facing rooms looking out towards County Down and the Copeland Islands.
The investment by Ulster Bank to purchase the property also includes the accompanying Mallard Cottage, a three-bed self-catering space for groups and families seeking a vacation rental for stays of three nights or more.
The original section of period Altahammond House dates back to the late 19th century. It features six double en suite rooms including two master suites, one of which benefits from direct lift access.
In its gardens, which boast panoramic views of the coast, there is a fully enclosed swimming pool with retractable roof as well as a hot tub and sauna.
It was purchased in 2018 by Tom and Heather McMaster who also own a local butchery, McMaster Home Farm Meats, as well as outside catering company McMaster Country Kitchen.
The new owners have submitted planning permission to extend the property to include a new activity centre and barn wedding reception venue with bookings open from Spring 2020.
Tom said: “An important part of our business ventures is to ensure the sustainability of each by creating synergy between everything we do.
“I’m a farmer by trade.” he explained, “The family farm supplies our butcher shop in Whitehead with our own grass-fed beef and lamb. We then ventured into the outside catering arena which has taken us to all manner of venues across Northern Ireland to cater for weddings – all using our own produce.
“Now, we’re delighted to open the period Altahammond House as a luxury B&B and to develop it further as a new wedding venue set against a scenic estate and gardens with stunning coastal views.”
He continued: “Weddings cover a large proportion of the business we do and so thanks to the financial support from Ulster Bank we’re able to maximise our offering by providing a full service, from supplying product, to catering for the event, and hosting the reception.”
Paul Reid, Business Development Manager at Ulster Bank, said: “We’re very pleased to support Tom and Heather to purchase and renovate Altahammond House and reposition it as a luxury B&B and wedding venue. Its enhanced facilities and high-end accommodation are significant additions to the local tourism and hospitality offering.
“The opening of the B&B comes at an opportune time to maximise on the opportunities presented by the increasing levels of positive tourism to the area from the growing appeal of The Gobbins cliff path to the Whitehead Railway Museum and more.”
For more information about the B&B or to find out more about its wedding services, visit altahammondhouse.com.