Businesses cashing in on the great Newcastle golfing frenzy
Businesses have been quick to cash in on the opportunities provided by the sold-out Irish Open at Royal Co Down, which will attract 80,000 spectators to the Newcastle links over the next four days.
The town's newest ice cream parlour Lick Gelato, founded by local entrepreneur and golf enthusiast Simon Welby, opened this week and is creating eight new jobs.
And Belfast-based PerformanceActive International Ltd has launched a new golfing performance app called Intelligent Play, which allows golfers to record their rounds of golf and scores on a mix of online and offline technology, enabling them to track their performance and practice in a unique way to improve their game.
It comes as the European Tour confirmed last night that Dubai Duty Free-sponsored Irish Open, hosted by the Rory Foundation, has completely sold out, with a third of the spectators coming from outside Northern Ireland (28 per cent from the Republic, 4 per cent from Britain and one per cent from the rest of the world).
Lick Gelato's owner Simon Welby also runs the successful Café Crème outlet in Newcastle. He is supported by his father Ken, wife Joanne and son Seth, and he says he plans to expand the availability of the brand to make the new flavours available across Northern Ireland and beyond.
Meanwhile PerformanceActive International - which has been offered £45,000 of research and development support from Invest NI towards the development of its new app - say they want to take advantage of the emerging need for personal performance data, combined with the use of smart technology which is becoming more and more recognised within the golfing industry.
Chief executive Fergus Wallace said: “We are operating in an environment where technology is constantly changing and evolving to meet the needs of consumers. Our new golfing performance app meets these needs by allowing users to generate a wealth of data about their game and pinpoint areas that could be improved."