Castlewellan firm Alternative Heat secures Scottish contract with Invest NI Support

Nov 03, 2011

Castlewellan-based Alternative Heat has secured new business in Scotland worth £540,000 with support from Invest Northern Ireland.

Alternative Heat designs and installs renewable energy systems for domestic and commercial markets across the UK and Republic of Ireland. Its products include wood pellet and wood chip boilers, solar thermal heating, heat pumps and under floor heating.

Given the downturn in the construction sector, Alternative Heat sought to grow its presence in Great Britain by focusing on public sector contracts and commercial market opportunities. The company invested £87,000 to boost sales and as a result has secured a number of commercial contracts, including supplying a 400kw biomass boiler to Loch Aber leisure centre in Fort William.

As part of its overall investment, the firm appointed two business development agents based in Scotland and England and improved its IT system so that its workforce can access network information remotely. Alternative Heat has also exhibited at trade shows, undertaken business development visits and distributed new promotion materials to increase awareness of the company.

Invest NI offered Alternative Heat £19,000 of support part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) towards the investment.

Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, said: “Alternative Heat’s contract success in Scotland is evidence that the company is already reaping the benefits of its investment.

“The renewable energy sector is flourishing and with many customers seeking to reduce costs and become more environmentally friendly, the sales potential for Alternative Heat is considerable. The importance of exporting to local companies like Alternative Heat cannot be underestimated.”

Connel McMullan, Managing Director of Alternative Heat, said: “This Scottish contract was one of many significant wins for the company as we focus on growing our business across domestic and commercial markets in Great Britain.

“The investment has helped to further develop our brand and market presence in GB and also establish a more competitive position. We aim to build on our achievements to date and utilise our business development agents and enhanced IT and sales capabilities to secure additional sales.”

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