Belfast Telegraph

Cash-strapped SDLP puts party HQ back on market for £195k

By Suzanne Breen

The SDLP headquarters in Belfast is back on the market after the previous sale of the building last summer fell through.

The party has been based at the Ormeau Road premises for over two decades.

But it is understood that a decision was taken to sell the building due to financial pressures.

It was reported last July that the headquarters had been sold.

However, it is back on the market with a £195,000 asking price.

Estate agent O'Connor Kennedy Turtle describes it as a "high-profile period office building" on its website.

The three-storey Georgian premises will appeal to both investors and owner-occupiers, it says. The property is on the market at £20,000 more than its previous asking price of £175,000.

However, sources told the Belfast Telegraph that the SDLP had secured around £50,000 over the previous asking price in the sale last summer.

The SDLP lost more than £100,000 in payments from Westminster after its three MPs - Alasdair McDonnell, Margaret Ritchie and Mark Durkan - were unseated in last year's general election.

The party already operated on a very tight budget.

It is expected to move to more modest premises.

An SDLP spokeswoman last night said: "The current SDLP headquarters building is up for sale as the party undertakes a long-term and wide-ranging overhaul of our operations. We are excited that we will be opening a more suitable campaign HQ in the near future."

Following the SDLP's Westminster wipe-out serious questions have been raised about its future.

But a merger with Fianna Fail now seems unlikely.

Belfast Telegraph

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