Sports Minister tours Maze stadium site

Northern Ireland Sports Minister David Hanson has visited the Maze to tour the site for the proposed multi-sports stadium.

The Minister said: "There has been a lot of interest in and comment on the proposals for the multi-sports stadium, especially over the last few weeks as gaelic, soccer and rugby moved to the position of committing in principle to the project."

Mr Hanson said: "Having walked across the area identified in the concept plans for the stadium, I can see the potential for the whole site if discussions with the three sports on the multi-sports stadium are taken forward.

"Masterplanners, EDAW, have taken forward the broad thrust of the Maze Panel's report which envisaged a range of possible development opportunities for the site, including a multi-sports stadium and an International Centre for Conflict Transformation. The emerging masterplan will be presented to me and my Ministerial colleagues shortly. The multi-sports stadium will be a key component of the whole project."

Mr Hanson said that there was still a very long way to go before we know if the proposals for the Maze/Long Kesh will become a reality. He added that ministers would have to be "fully satisfied about the costs and the benefits of any decision to commit public money".

The Maze Consultation Panel was set up in March 2003, tasked with drawing up a report for Government on the potential use of the site.

The panel's recommendations included a sports zone; an international centre for conflict transformation; a rural excellence and equestrian zone; a village of office, hotel, entertainment and leisure facilities; a light industry zone; a community zone; an area for arts and iconic artwork; landscaping/parkland and transport infrastructure.

EDAW, were appointed to take forward the panel's recommendations and identified a site of some 50 acres for the multi-sports stadium within the 360-acre site.


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