Belfast Telegraph

£2m price tag for Maysfield Leisure Centre where U2, Motorhead and REM played

By MARGARET CANNING

Maysfield Leisure Centre in Belfast has gone on sale for £2m, nearly 10 years after it became semi-derelict.

The east Belfast venue, which cost £2m to build in 1977, hosted sports like judo, snooker and boxing as well as concerts in its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s.

It was used as a concert venue hosting names such as Motorhead, REM, Aerosmith, southern American rock band Blackfoot and The Cranberries.

On December 20, 1982, U2 performed at the centre as part of their War Tour, giving audiences in Northern Ireland the first airing of their Troubles-themed anthem Sunday Bloody Sunday, about the killing of 14 civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry on January 30, 1972.

Maysfield was also the scene of a fire in 1984 in which six people died, including three children. Belfast City Council has now released the site on East Bridge Street for sale, and is inviting proposals for its development.

A brochure by agents GVA NI points out that its environs have been transformed since the late 1980s, thanks to the advent of the Laganside area a stone's throw away, home to companies like Hewlett Packard, Allstate and BT.

"Since being established in 1989, the Laganside area has celebrated significant success, having created in excess of £900m of investment and in excess of 14,200 jobs," it says. According to the brochure, bid proposals can be made on the basis of lease or purchase, with bids of over £2m for a purchase, or rent of £100,000 per year. However, the brochure does contain stipulations about the type of proposal required.

"The prime objective in providing this opportunity is to secure quality urban regeneration that returns this vacant site to a viable and sustainable economic use with an appropriate redevelopment scheme that supports job creation within a satisfactory time frame," it adds.

"In addition, Belfast City Council are required to ensure that it secures a sound financial return in any disposal of this asset."

The brochure states the centre cost £2m to build. It was closed in 2004 and has not been used since then, apart from housing a film studio in recent times.

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