Money may have been “a great balm” in west Belfast but it, or rather the lack of it, looks like scuppering the proposed multi-sports stadium at the Maze prison site. We’ll have to wait to see how accurate the senior sources within the DUP quoted in the UTV report actually are, but for now it’s worth noting the comments
Senior sources within Stormont`s largest party, the Democratic Unionists, have indicated that concerns about the financial feasibility of the project are likely to see it rejected. One source said: “As the business case is unlikely to stack up it is unlikely that the Maze stadium will go ahead.”
Whilst opposition to the Maze development proposal by some within the DUP, and elsewhere, has been known for some time, the sticking point is reportedly the combined cost of the stadium and required infrastructure as detailed in this report [pdf file] – £240million. Adds DCAL minister Edwin Poots has responded to the speculation.
The report is worth considering more carefully.
Because the problem may be not the initial costs so much, as an increasingly isolated Project Aim –
4.1 In keeping with the original DCAL Ministerial instruction, the following working aim has been given to the Stadium Steering Group for the Multi-Sports Stadium project:
To provide a Multi-Sports Stadium of international standards that meets the needs of Association Football, Gaelic Games and Rugby Football in a location acceptable to all and which supports the development of an integrated society through the provision of a shared space. [added emphasis]
With Sinn Féin and, in a Peter Robinson era, the DUP potentially intent on a ‘back to basics’ approach the development of an integrated society may be a secondary consideration to [internal] party politics.
Meanwhile ursine mammals will continue to defecate in forested areas..
Adds From the BBC report
Mr Poots, who is in the United States, said that the Department of Finance and Personnel, is currently examining the economic appraisal.
He said that this would take another month, and then a political decision will be made.
He added that the project has been discussed by senior members of the party but there has been no firm decision.