Second ‘lighthouse’ to make Whitehead even brighter

Volunteers from Brighter Whitehead are delighted with the new lighthouse.
Volunteers from Brighter Whitehead are delighted with the new lighthouse.

Whitehead is aiming to earn gold standard recognition following the construction of the coastal town’s second lighthouse!

The Co Antrim seaside location is already renowned for being home to one of the most famous lighthouses in the UK.

And now thanks to the efforts of Brighter Whitehead volunteers and Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s PEACE IV funding programme, a new nine-foot display has been situated along the town’s Larne Road.

Bill Pollock, chair of Brighter Whitehead, said: “We are delighted to welcome another lighthouse to Whitehead. The town is famous for Blackhead Lighthouse, which was built in 1902 and is one of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland.

“Whitehead was historically a popular seaside resort and we hope to reference its great coastal heritage in this new display, which includes sand, coastal planting and lighthouse. We are also working on some cheerful ‘Welcome to Whitehead’ signage.

“Brighter Whitehead have entered the Ulster in Bloom and Britain in Bloom competitions many times over the years. We will enter again in 2020 and hope the new lighthouse display will help us win gold. Look out for more new displays in town over the coming months.”

The lighthouse was previously part of Ballymena’s Urban Beach project – 65,454 flocked to the People’s Park attraction over three months last summer. All the materials used to build it have been re-purposed and upcycled throughout the borough with many going directly to community groups.

The Mayor, Cllr Maureen Morrow, said: “The number of visitors to the People’s Park from July to September 2019 was up by 33% on previous years and I hope the lighthouse will be just as attractive to people in its new location at Whitehead.”

MEA Council has been awarded £3.1m through the PEACE IV Programme. Match funding for this project has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department for Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

Meanwhile, Bill is encouraging new members to come forward for Brighter Whitehead.

He said: “Volunteers meet once a week, every Tuesday, come rain or shine. You do not need any specific horticultural skills, there are jobs for all levels of experience and abilities. You just need the will to make Whitehead a brighter place to live, work and visit.”