New £0.5m B&B opens in Whitehead

Tom McMaster (left) and Paul Reid, Business Development Manager at Ulster Bank.
Tom McMaster (left) and Paul Reid, Business Development Manager at Ulster Bank.
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A new B&B has opened in Whitehead following a £0.5m investment by two local entrepreneurs.

Tom and Heather McMaster have invested over £500,000 in the purchase and renovation of Altahammond House.

The six-bed scenic period property is situated on the Altahammond Farm at Belfast Road. The original section of period Altahammond House dates back to the late 19th century.

Its gardens come complete with a fully enclosed swimming pool with retractable roof as well as a hot tub and sauna.

The site also includes the accompanying Mallard Cottage, a three-bed self-catering space for groups and families seeking a vacation rental. The property was purchased in 2018 by the couple who also own McMaster Home Farm Meats and a catering company.

The new owners have submitted planning permission to extend the property to include a new activity centre and barn wedding reception venue with aim of taking bookings from spring 2020.

Commenting on the development, 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. 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.

“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.”