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Stormont gift shop turnover slumps...but it still brought in more than £250,000

By Noel McAdam

Published 26/03/2016

Northern Ireland- 27th February 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.
Northern Ireland- 27th February 2014 Mandatory Credit - Photo-Jonathan Porter/Presseye.

A gift shop in the Assembly has brought in more than £250,000 over the past five years, it has been revealed.

But revenue from the shop just off the Great Hall has fallen sharply, according to the Assembly Commission which runs Parliament Buildings.

The main reason given is the gradual decline in tours of the premises and official functions.

Gift shop earnings went down to under £51,000 last year from nearly £60,000 two years previously.

The shop, just inside the main entrance to Parliament Buildings, has a range of retail goods for sale, including souvenirs.

It also showcases a number of local crafts and industry, including a number of jewellery makers, pens and cards.

Food and beverages are also on sale, and the shop also acts as the Assembly's Post Office.

In 2011, the shop brought in £69,306, which went down the year after to £63,915 and to £59,824 in 2013. In a written answer to DUP MLA Nelson McCausland, the commission said the total went down to £53,124 in 2014 and £50,861 in 2015.

"The gift shop sales revenue is dependent on the number of people visiting Parliament Buildings," it said.

"The number of visitors to Parliament Buildings has decreased over the last five years due to a gradual decline in the number of functions and tours being hosted in Parliament Buildings and the wider economic downturn."

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