Centre of rural excellence for Maze

Centre of rural excellence for Maze

A centre of rural excellence is to be created at the site of the former Maze prison.

It comes after the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and the Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation confirmed the signing of a development agreement.

RUAS President John Bamber said: "By signing this agreement we are further progressing our long term goals to develop a Centre of Rural Excellence. This will continue to enable us to promote everything that is good about the agri-food sector in the province."

Terence Brannigan, from the development corporation, said: "We have developed a strong working relationship with the RUAS and we look forward to working together in the future."

The future of the former prison site outside Lisburn, which housed paramilitary prisoners during the Troubles from the 1970s, has sparked much debate since it was closed 13 years ago - two years after the signing of the Belfast Agreement.

This year the Balmoral Show was held there as the event moved from its former home at the King's Hall in Belfast for the first time in 100 years.

Plans to build a peace centre have been stalled after the DUP withdrew its support.

© UTV

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