EU drops Maze funding

The BBC are reporting that the European Union’s Special European Programmes Body has dropped its offer of £18 million to the Maze peace centre / shrine after consulting with OFMDFM.
The announcement is not yet on SEUPB’s website but according to the BBC:

“The SEUPB has been in discussions with the lead partner in relation to the viability of the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre.
“It has been agreed that the project is no longer viable at this time and the SEUPB has therefore rescinded the letter of offer. The SEUPB will now consider the re-allocation of funding to suitable projects.”

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  • leftofcentre

    There is already peace centres at:
    -Queens
    -UU Jordanstown
    -Irish School of Ecumenics Belfast
    -UU Magee
    -Corrymeela

    There was simply no demand for yet another peace centre.

    As for a visitor attraction the Crumlin road gaol is fantastic, easily assessable to tourists and a beautiful building. The Crumlin road Gaol has just as much republican mythology as the maze (Tom Williams etc). The idea that tourist would trek out to a field outside Lisburn to look at a few 70’s portacabins is farcical.

    The Crumlin courthouse has been left to fall apart, this is a real disgrace. Money should have been sent on it to help regenerate that area.

  • IanR

    “The SEUPB will now consider the re-allocation of funding to suitable projects.”

    Crumlin Courthouse as suggested above, also maybe plug the gap in funding for the Narrow Water Bridge?

  • tacapall

    “The Crumlin courthouse has been left to fall apart, this is a real disgrace. Money should have been sent on it to help regenerate that area”

    Yes lets spend more money regenerating another loyalist area putting more money into the loyalist paramilitary coffers who would no doubt siphon protection money from the builders. Has Nelson McCausland not already allocated millions to regenerate this exclusively protestant area that has an abundance of empty properties.

    Re the Maze I guess it will lie and rot, the listed buildings will still be there but there will be no regeneration of the rest of the site. What goes around comes around.

  • BluesJazz

    “Re the Maze I guess it will lie and rot, the listed buildings will still be there but there will be no regeneration of the rest of the site. ”

    Good. The buildings will quickly fall apart. The whole site should be left as a wildlife reserve. In the same way as wildlife flourished in the Chernobyl area. The old Belvoir hospital is a haven for foxes and squirrels. A few quid to save Exploris and Robert’s your father’s brother.

  • tacapall

    Sadly Bluesjazz you dont seem to understand what a listed building means, the rest of the site will rot but the listed buildings will have to be cared for.

  • between the bridges

    ”understand what a listed building means, the rest of the site will rot but the listed buildings will have to be cared for.”

    There is no statutory requirement for owners of listed buildings to maintain them in good condition, and NIEA offers grant assistance in order to encourage conservation. Despite having provided almost £20 million of grants since 2005-06, the only specific measure of performance for the historic buildings grant scheme since it began in 1974 has been the degree to which the grants budget for each financial year has been spent. This is unacceptable. In the absence of appropriate performance measures, the Department cannot provide evidence on the effectiveness of the scheme as a whole.

    http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/Assembly-Business/Committees/Public-Accounts/Reports/Report-on-Safeguarding-Northern-Irelands-Listed-Buildings/

  • BluesJazz

    btb

    so the buildings will go the way of Crumlin Road jail.

    Fine, they can provide shelter for foxes and rodents.

    The whole ‘5000 jobs’ was always a mirage, there are plenty of brownfield sites in NI . Nature will take care as it always does…

    Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
    Shovel them under and let me work–
    I am the grass; I cover all.

    And pile them high at Gettysburg
    And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
    Shovel them under and let me work.
    Two years, ten years, and the passengers ask the conductor:
    What place is this?
    Where are we now?

    I am the grass.
    Let me work.

    Carl Sandburg

  • Reader

    tacapall: Sadly Bluesjazz you dont seem to understand what a listed building means, the rest of the site will rot but the listed buildings will have to be cared for.
    Which is no guarantee of anything. But maybe Sinn Fein can provide some prison guards?
    http://www.doeni.gov.uk/niea/built-home/information/heritage_crime.htm
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15282157

  • JR

    Unionist politicians reneging on the program for government and demonstrating once again that they can’t share power. Heard Peter Robinson on the radio saying this was loosing 18 million of direct investment was not a big deal. Obviously his income doesn’t depend on it.

  • sherdy

    A potential £300mn investment leading to 5,000 jobs are flushed down the drain and our First Minister just casts it off like a speck of dust on his tie – of virtually no consequence.
    Is this man for real or is he caught so tightly round the throat by the Orange Order that he has to do their bidding at every turn? After all he has appointed Mervyn Gibson as one of the DUP negotiators.
    His partner Marty should realise that if his partner welches on one deal, why should he ever keep any agreement.
    Pull the shutters down, Marty, its only a sham!

  • Dixie Elliott

    The shinners needed the so called peace center for one thing and one thing only, to be able to use the fact that 10 Brave Men died in the nearby H-Blocks as a back drop to – as they like to refer to it – ‘Our Peace Process’.

    Just like they do with the mural of Bobby Sands outside their Falls Road office.

    Where does this leave the Girdwood Barrack’s site however, wasn’t it part of the deal they made with Unionists?

  • drmisery

    Depressing. Does anyone have any balls in Unionism? The more you look the less talent there seems to be. Depressingly predictable, depressingly victorian, just depressing.

  • tacapall

    Somehow Reader I dont think anyone in Sinn Fein will allow those buildings to just rot, regardless of what Unionism says or believes, they are listed buildings belonging to the the government, therefore the government is duty bound under law to maintain them until that situation changes, an outcome Unionism has tried to overturn without success. Like I said, what goes around comes around, those buildings will still be there and still be maintained when we are long gone.

  • Reader

    JR: Unionist politicians reneging on the program for government and demonstrating once again that they can’t share power.
    There are 82 bullet points in the PFG (rough count) and Maze regeneration site is only one of them. Many of the rest are at far more risk from cross-community incompetence than from intra-community squabbling.
    http://www.northernireland.gov.uk/pfg-2011-2015-final-report.pdf

  • Reader

    tacapall: Like I said, what goes around comes around, those buildings will still be there and still be maintained when we are long gone.
    They might, but no-one will bother to go there. Most likely, eventually an NI executive will decide that it has more important things to spend money on, cut a deal, call it reconciliation, and walk away.

  • BluesJazz

    tacapall
    Crumlin Road jail is a grade A listed building which is derelict and falling apart.
    There is no necessity for the government to maintain it.

    Your precious shrine at the Maze will go the same way unless a private buyer is found. That will need cross community consensus to sell it.

  • BluesJazz

    Maybe Bernie Ecclestone will buy it:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biggin_Hill

    He only has to keep the façade of the buildings intact, he can use the inside for keeping cattle or pigs if he wants, which would be rather apt.

  • tacapall

    Reader you speak only for your own tribe, I would agree unionists probably wont go anywhere near it but you cant speak for nationalists or Irish people who regardless what you believe will go there to see those buildings. Threre’s not a snowballs chance in hell that any deal will be agreed that will see either those buildings demolished or that those remaining blocks would be de-listed and allowed to rot. You simply cant brush history under the carpet or hope the nationalist population will forget about the hunger strikes and the horrific conditions human beings were allowed to live under.

  • Reader

    tacapall: Reader you speak only for your own tribe, I would agree unionists probably wont go anywhere near it but you cant speak for nationalists or Irish people who regardless what you believe will go there to see those buildings.
    Well then you can speak for your tribe instead – how many have been there in the last year? When did you last visit?

  • tacapall

    Bluesjazz I suspect its sour grapes on your behalf to be informed of the listed status of the remaining h blocks and the governments duty to maintain them but and im sorry to inform you that Crumlin Road courthouse does not belong to the government, it was I believe sold for £1, to a certain developer who let it rot.

  • Dixie Elliott

    “Anyway Pete where are we off to next?”

    “Been looking at these brochures Marty. Dubai could have a few jobs going.”

    “No harm in tryin’ Pete…Nothing beats a couple of triers, eh?”

    “Marty you do know that questions are being asked about the cost of these trips.”

    “No problem Pete I’ll tell our lot to wind up your lot and no one will hear the crying shites for all the rioting and road blocking.”

    “I fancy that hotel Marty, costs a fortune…”

  • tacapall

    I wouldn’t know how many have been there in the last year, do you, but I do know there’s bus loads go to the place every week. I haven’t visited the place in a long while. Then again it was/is being touted as a tourist center and Im not a tourist I only live down the road.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    Tac

    “Yes lets spend more money regenerating another loyalist area putting more money into the loyalist paramilitary coffers who would no doubt siphon protection money from the builders. Has Nelson McCausland not already allocated millions to regenerate this exclusively protestant area that has an abundance of empty properties.”

    Wow.

    I had to read this twice and still summed it up thusly

    “The prods have had enough money thrown at them so let the (beautiful) buildings rot”

    Does Griff Rhys Jones have to take into consideration the demographics of an area when he’s stating the case for a building’s survival on BBC’s Restoration?

    “This grade A listed Victorian Bath house is a prime example of proto-seccesionist architecture and a jewel in the crown of the city’s architectural portfolio. However, the place is crawling with muslims…”

    Jesus wept.

    If Nelson made (another) balls up in failing to regenerate a particular area then that should be noted on his CV of incompetence and should be used to berate him in future or hold him to account.

    It is no reason to let a grand building like the Courthouse rot.

    Belfast’s attitude to architectural heritage is a ‘DISGRASE’.

    The Cathedral Quarter are was a fine blue print of how to do things and yet they snatched defeat from the jaws of re-generational victory by flogging half of North St area to a big developer followed by a coincidental arson attack on one of said buildings which potentially cleared the way for wrecking one of the last curved arcades in Europe.

    Hat’s off to the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society for slogging it out:

    http://www.uahs.org.uk/

  • tacapall

    “I had to read this twice and still summed it up thusly

    “The prods have had enough money thrown at them so let the (beautiful) buildings rot”

    Yes to one and no to the other.

    Lets force the developer who bought the place for a pound to restore it or maintain it. (what a bargain I wish I’d have been offered the same deal)

    And yes McCausland is throwing millions into that area restoring empty properties in an attempt to build up protestant numbers and garner more votes for the DUP, even though the waiting lists for North Belfast is overwhelmingly catholic.

    You see thing differently than those of us who live here but thats no surprise, we see things in black and white while you (although nothing wrong with it) see this place through utopian glasses.

  • Am Ghobsmacht

    I’m all up for strong-arming developers into doing something productive.

    Unfortunately, the perception is that the ‘Developers’ Unionist Party are unlikely to do this.

    My loathing for the DUP and their antics is a core motivation for my ranting.

    Said rants should make it very clear that I view NI through anything BUT Utopian glasses.

  • Morpheus

    This ‘shrine’ rubbish is getting really old really fast.

    If it was supposed to be a shrine then why was there a cross-party governmental application to the Special European Union Programmes Body in the first place? Why was there just 1 objection put to the planners?

    The architect has quite clearly stated:
    ‘It’s a complete falsehood. I was born in Poland, my parents were Holocaust survivors. I was born in a Communist country and dreaded going to school there,” he said. How can I, who embrace democracy and open society, be involved in something as evil as celebrating terrorism? Who in their right mind would do that? I would never be involved in this project if I did not consider it something important – to bring people to Belfast to that site.”

    So all the parties signed up to it, there was only 1 objection, the well respected architect categorically stated that it would not celebrate terrorism and the political parties held veto about what did and didn’t go into it so where was the problem? The DUP have told the funders to effectively shove their investment, canning 5000 jobs in the process and making NI a laughing stock…AGAIN.

    Then, the icing on the cake, the First Minister has the audacity to shrug it off £18m of investment and 5000 jobs like they are nothing – what a leader

  • Bungditin

    There still remains the question over what was the trade off between SF and the DUP for the latter to agree to the Maze project in the first instance?

    Could it have been SF support for the Planning Bill and its ill thought out clauses on economically significant planning zones and the proposal to curtail an individual’s right to challenge planning decisions? Certainly, the inability of Cathal Boylan MLA to understand the motions he was talking to and his incompetence in articulating support for the new clauses in the Bill would suggest SF had little knowledge of what it was they were voting through.

    Given the DUP U-turn on the Maze, it will be interesting to see if SF remain as enthusiastic about the amendments to the Planning Bill when it comes before the Assembly for its second reading…whenever that is now likely to be.

  • Morpheus

    There was a lot of chatter about SF and the DUP striking a deal regarding social housing in North Belfast. The DUP signed up to The Peace Centre if SF agreed not to push too hard for a mass influx of Catholic voters (who top the social housing list) into north Belfast – effectively Girdwood – to protect the seats/salaries/pensions up there,

    If it is true or not is a different question

  • Reader

    Morpheus: The DUP have told the funders to effectively shove their investment, canning 5000 jobs in the process and making NI a laughing stock…AGAIN. Then, the icing on the cake, the First Minister has the audacity to shrug it off £18m of investment and 5000 jobs like they are nothing – what a leader
    Your concerns are misplaced, the money is not lost:
    http://sluggerotoole.com/2013/10/04/eu-drops-maze-funding/
    According to the BBC report Tom Elliott noted what a whole rake of comments above have failed to note: “the SEUPB assured those at the meeting that there were a number of other projects that would be eligible for the funding.”
    As for other developments on the site – it’s not as though we have any shortage of brownfield sites for development.

  • tacapall

    “According to the BBC report Tom Elliott noted what a whole rake of comments above have failed to note: “the SEUPB assured those at the meeting that there were a number of other projects that would be eligible for the funding.”

    Reader why would Sinn Fein agree to use the money earmarked for the peace center at the maze on any other project ?

    Does it even sound logical to you that they would even consider it after the antics of unionism reneging on a deal that the money was earmarked for ?

    I would go as far as to say the Girdwood plans would also be up in the air and the EU money earmarked for that project will also be handed back.

  • Son of Strongbow

    At least a modicum of honesty from within the nationalist community about the shrine at the Maze; although others remain in denial.

    I learn today that “bus loads” of people are already going to visit the site. To see what precisely? A couple of buildings with zero architectural value and with only the historic pull of being where ten convicted criminals committed suicide?

    Perhaps the site retains HMP Maze’s Control Room where during the terrorist prison break Gerry Kelly shot an unarmed prison officer in the face whilst other already bound and subdued officers were viciously assaulted by other “brave” prisoners? Maybe the prison gates are retained? Again the site where another unarmed prison officer was stabbed and later died?

    No the only reason the Medical Centre still stands is to facilitate a MOPE focused shrine. Let it continue to rot away .

  • tacapall

    SOS what about the protestants that were also involved in that breakout, who were also involved in subduing those prison officers, who were also in the IRA, should they not be remembered ?

  • DC

    A prison-driven reconciliation centre, you would have thought the polish designer might have weighed that one up and at least appreciated the paradox!

  • Reader

    tacapall: Reader why would Sinn Fein agree to use the money earmarked for the peace center at the maze on any other project ?
    Because other peace and reconciliation projects may also be worthwhile.
    tacapall: Does it even sound logical to you that they would even consider it after the antics of unionism reneging on a deal that the money was earmarked for ?
    Well actually, it does seem logical – too logical for SF, if you are correct about them probably chucking their toys out of the pram.

  • tacapall

    Chucking their toys out of the pram ?

    Is it not more a case of, when opposing parties agree on a range of projects and then one party reneges, a domino effect then happens and all projects fall to the sword.

    How does it seem logical to you that they would consider some other project ?

    What other possible project would Sinn Fein consider that would make them forget and drop the peace and reconciliation center at the Maze ?

    Your living in dreamland if you think they would or that republicans would allow them to.

  • Son of Strongbow

    What about your 1:44 PM whataboutery tacapall?

    The perceived religion of a given convicted criminal is in no way germane to them being “remembered” or not. Whatever church brand they allegedly adhered to does not raise them up one millimetre from the terrorist garbage they were/are.

    You may know tow to the memory of whosoever you chose. Someone’s choice of ‘hero’ says much about their own value systems and character I suppose.

  • babyface finlayson

    tacapall
    “Your living in dreamland if you think they would or that republicans would allow them to.”
    That surely only applies to republicans who supported the PIRA campaign. Or do you think there are no other republicans on the island of Ireland?

  • cynic2

    “Republicans” will do as they are told by the leadership[p we assume unless something has changed and none of us have noticed

  • cynic2

    The prison hospital is the shrine bit …and SF still cannot bear the truth that 5 of them were misled and their lives squandered for a few votes

    I am sure that all those hunger-strikers would be delighted to see the fruits of their labours polishing the Stormont benches