Balmoral Show to move to Maze

Published Tuesday, 12 June 2012
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The Balmoral Show is to relocate from the King's Hall in Belfast to the Maze following an overwhelming vote in favour of the move.

Balmoral Show to move to Maze
Members of the public braved conditions at the Balmoral Show last month. (© Pacemaker)

At a special meeting of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) on Tuesday, over 91% of members said they were in favour of the Legacy Project.

Under the plan, part of the Balmoral site will be used for housing and a new site at the Maze, which will be known as Balmoral Park, will host the show.

RUAS Chief Executive, Colin McDonald said he was delighted by the outcome which, he believes will secure the long-term finances of the organisation.

"This proposal has always focused on the commercial realities - market competition, capacity, and the future of the King's Hall.

"Many years of work have already been invested in the Legacy Project to ensure it is the best option, enabling us to secure our finances for the long term and reinvent, develop and grow.

"I am delighted that our members have grasped the rationale behind the Legacy Project and supported the RUAS Council in this groundbreaking vote. They have risen to the occasion, demonstrated the foresight of their predecessors, and seized the moment," added Mr McDonald.

Balmoral Show has been held at King's Hall in Belfast for over 100 years but could be relocated to a plot of land at the old jail near Lisburn in 2013.

There were calls for the show, which regularly attracts tens of thousands of people, to change its venue after officials claimed the RUAS was losing money.

It is understood that the RUAS plans to buy a 65 acre plot of land at the former Maze to construct the new showground.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill welcomed the decision to relocate.

"The move represents a significant milestone in the Society's history. I wish them well with their planned move and look forward to participation in the first Balmoral Show at the new venue."

Work will start immediately at the new site to ensure it is ready to host the 2013 Balmoral Show.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
JAE in Fermanagh wrote (958 days ago):
Is there not an issue with contamination on this site due to the intense military use of chemicals/lead etc? They would be mad to move there??
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