A new mini golf course at Bentra has been given the seal of approval by Whitehead Primary School pupils.
Located beside the main Bentra Golf Club, the course features 18 holes inspired by various points of interest around the borough, from Carrick Castle to the Diamond Jubilee Wood.
Sharing their thoughts on the fun new facility were primary seven pupils Hannah Todd, Niamh Alexander, Josh Kale, and Thomas Kennedy.
“I enjoyed the golf course because it was really creative,” said Hannah. “It was fun and competitive,” added Thomas.
The mini golf project is the latest in the area to attract rural development funding, with a £50,000 investment from GROW South Antrim.
“The Whitehead Regeneration Group, in partnership with Carrickfergus Borough Council, has been successful in securing funding to implement several of the projects identified in the village masterplan,” said Mark Cosgrove, chairman of GROW South Antrim.
“The projects in Whitehead have ranged from improvements to the appearance of the village, making shop fronts more attractive, installing new seating, signage and a floral scheme, to projects which improve the quality of life for people living and working here – the heritage and wellbeing walking trail, works to the Whitehead football pitch and Blackhead Path, an outdoor fitness trail and the Diamond Jubilee Wood. Village renewal projects are only one element of the impact the programme has had in this area.
“In total, over £2.4million of Rural Development funding has been invested in 48 projects in rural Carrickfergus. This includes helping businesses expand, farmers diversify and basic services projects, for example, at Whitehead Community Centre. Tourism in the village has been boosted too, with projects by County Antrim Yacht Club and the Railway Preservation Society of Ireland making Whitehead a place to visit, stay and explore.
“All in all, Whitehead has benefited greatly from the programme and this mini golf project is just one example of how the village is going from strength to strength. I’d like to thank Carrickfergus Borough Council and the Regeneration Group for all their hard work and I hope the facility is enjoyed by everyone.”
The new development forms part of an overall £112k investment in Bentra Golf Course, which will also include improvements to club house, path network and fencing.
Speaking at the event was Mayoress of Carrick Patricia Johnston, who unveiled a plaque on behalf of the Mayor, Alderman Charlie Johnston.
“As you may be aware Bentra is the only remaining municipal golf course in East Antrim and one of only a handful in Northern Ireland,” she said. “It has the potential to position itself as a high quality course appealing to both the occasional and more experienced golfer.
“Carrickfergus Borough Council recognised the potential for developing the facility and has introduced a number of initiatives to improve the club house and the course itself. It is hoped that the new mini golf course will appeal to all and I am pleased to say that there has already been a number or enquiries about the facility.
“The funding that has been injected into Whitehead through GROW South Antrim has made a fantastic difference to the area and I would like to thank you for your efforts in making this possible. I would like to extend my thanks to the Whitehead Regeneration Group who have worked in partnership with the council to draw down the funding and worked with the community to regenerate the area.”