LONDON • Up for sale: A disused nuclear bunker. Asking price: £575,000 (S$1.17 million).
Northern Ireland has put up for sale its sole nuclear fallout bunker, which was built at the height of the Cold War, reported international media, some members of whom were given a tour of the unusual property on Thursday.
The heavily fortified underground shelter located at an industrial estate outside Ballymena in County Antrim is considered to be one of the most sophisticated to be built.
Built in 1987, it was designed to host 235 Very Important Persons from the province in the event that Northern Ireland was targeted by Soviet missiles.
The building, which was designed to keep residents holed up for as long as 30 days, includes bunkbeds, shower facilities, a television studio, meeting rooms and a fully equipped stainless steel kit- chen complete with tinned food, reported the BBC.
It also contains decontamination chambers, "interlocking double blast doors" and a BBC audio-visual broadcasting facility.
The Cold War started in 1947 at the end of World War II and lasted until the dissolution of the Soviet Union on Dec 26, 1991.
Property agent Lambert Smith Hampton was cited as saying that the bunker was "believed to be one of the last and most technically advanced buildings of its kind ever built in the UK".
To add to its exclusivity, it was a state secret until 2007, when the BBC submitted a Freedom of Information Request to learn about it.
The shelter, set on 1.5ha of land, is owned by the Department of the First and Deputy First Minister.
The firm's surveyor, Mr Andrew Fraser, described it as a "one-of-a- kind property". He suggested that it could be used as a tourist attraction, a media centre or a storage facility, reported the Guardian newspaper.
"The bunker is in a very good state of repair and has been well maintained over the years. It has everything that would be needed in a state of emergency," he said.