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Buyers hovering for Arts Council HQ

By Rebecca Black

Published 18/09/2015

Sale: MacNiece House
Sale: MacNiece House

A Grand historic house that served as the Arts Council base is already under negotiation to be sold, it can be revealed.

MacNiece House on the Malone Road is currently on the market for a cool £3.5m.

According to the McKibbin Commercial Property Consultants website, a section of the building is being offered to let while another section is offered for sale.

A spokesman for the firm said the property is currently under negotation, and within region of the asking price, but would not confirm whether it was being bought, let or a combination.

"There have been no signatures yet," he added.

The Belfast Telegraph yesterday revealed the Arts Council was to move from its HQ next month to modern offices in Lisburn. Moving day is October 23, with premises "reviewed thereafter", according to an Arts Council email. We also revealed that offices would be sought for the Arts Council in Belfast to be "used periodically by officers and the sector for meetings".

The shock news is part of a cost-saving exercise in line with the Department of Finance's estate management strategy. The decision is understood to have required ratification by Arts Minister Caral Ni Chuilin.

Around 60 people were employed by the Arts Council at MacNiece House, a Victorian merchant's villa which dates to 1889.

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