Maze stadium decision ‘imminent’
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Maze stadium decision ‘imminent’

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Sports minister, Gregory Campbell, has announced that he will be making a decision about the proposed Maze Stadium and leisure village in Belfast, Northern Ireland, within the next few weeks after two years in the planning.

If successful, the 42,000-seat multi-sports stadium will be used for football, rugby and Gaelic Athletic Association games. It will be built on the 360-acre site of the former Maze/Long Kesh prison in County Antrim.

The development, designed by HOK Sport Architecture, is estimated to cost around £1bn and will include a hotel, bars, cafes, restaurants, a multi-screen cinema and a possible ice rink.

The masterplan also proposes to include public open space, community sports facilities, children’s play areas and an equestrian zone including an International Exhibition Centre and showground.

As the prison’s hospital and part of the infamous H Block are listed buildings, they will be incorporated into the redevelopment and turned into a visitor attraction called International Centre for Conflict Transformation.

A spokesperson at HOK said: “The stadium is seen as a focal point for new developments on the site and the developed park aims to envelop the stadium and create an active environment providing a pleasant place to be used whether there is an event on in the stadium or not.”

The project is part of the government’s 2002 Reinvestment and Reform Initiative, which intends to convert former military bases and security sites in Northern Ireland into “significant engines for economic and social regeneration.”

Campbell, a member of the executive assembly, has said he will make his decision known in September.

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Sports minister, Gregory Campbell, has announced that he will be making a decision about the proposed Maze Stadium and leisure village in Belfast, Northern Ireland, within the next few weeks after two years in the planning.
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