Robinson to receive report on Maze-site stadium plan

Robinson to receive report on Maze-site stadium plan
Stormont Finance Minister Peter Robinson

Stormont Finance Minister Peter Robinson will receive today his officials’ assessment of a business case for a multi-sports stadium proposed on the site of the Maze Prison.

The Democratic Unionist Minister will be given a report on the proposal amid mounting speculation that the project will be binned by power-sharing ministers.

Stormont Sports Minister Edwin Poots had outlined a business case for a 35,000-seater stadium capable of hosting major soccer, rugby and Gaelic Football matches as part of the regeneration of the Maze site.

However, some football fans in the North have been opposed to international games being staged at the Maze, arguing it would be much better to build a new stadium in Belfast City instead of a site nearer the much smaller city of Lisburn.

Some unionists’ have also been unnerved by the suggestion that a conflict transformation centre could also be built along with the stadium retaining one of the infamous H Blocks were the prison hospital wing where 10 republican hunger strikers starved themselves to death in the 1981 hunger strike.

Mr Robinson has said it is essential that even if the Stormont Executive does not approve a stadium at the Maze, that the site is used.

There is a belief that it could be used for industrial or housing purposes the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society is also believed to be keen to have its show grounds’ relocated from Belfast to the Maze.

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