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Cultúrlann arts and Irish language centre on market for £625,000

The An Culthurlann McAdam O Fiaich centre in west Belfast has been put up for sale by its owners. Photo: Mal McCann
Gary McDonald Business Editor

THE Cultúrlann arts and Irish language centre in west Belfast has gone on sale with an asking price of £625,000, the Irish News can reveal.

Its owner, the Springfield Charitable Association (SCA), has been forced to dispose of its prized asset as it needs to raise capital for a new £1.5 million purpose-built hub for older people's activity at nearby Cupar Street.

But the Gaeltacht hub on the Falls Road - officially known as An Culthúrlann McAdam Ó Fiaich (it takes it name from eminent Gaelic scholars Robert Shipboy McAdam and Tomas O Fiaich) - will continue to operate at least until its current lease expires in 43 years' time.

One offer meeting the asking price has already been tabled, according to the SCA.

And three more potential buyers are expected to reveal their hand in the coming days, after which the Springfield charity's board of directors will meet to make a decision.

It is believed those bids could come from consortia from the community sector, social enterprises as well as a private investor.

The SCA has spent more than a year planning the disposal of the Cultúrlann, which opened in 1991 in the former Broadway Presbyterian Church and which attracts around 100,000 visitors a year.

It needs to raise half of the capital for the proposed Cupar Street facility, which it describes as "a youth club for older people" and a "Rolls Royce type of health care provision", and it has had no public funding towards the cost.

"We want work to commence on the Cupar Street redevelopment immediately after Christmas, and our target is to have it completed by next June," the charity's chief executive Terry McNeill told the Irish News.

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