The decision not to proceed with the Peace-Building and Reconciliation centre at the Maze will be an economic blow for Lisburn, a local MLA has said.
Mr Basil McCrea said the “political decision” on the Maze puts 70 jobs, £18 million funding and £1million a year a risk.
He has also warned it puts in jeopardy the development of the Maze site which offers huge economic opportunity and jobs for the people of Lisburn.
“This is another bad decision for the people of Lisburn,” said Mr McCrea. “At a time of economic downturn we need all the jobs, investment and opportunities for our young people we can get. We cannot continue to turn away economic opportunities like this.
“The U turn by the DUP will deny the people of Lisburn much need infrastructure, investment and jobs. The DUP may claim that the project can go ahead without the centre but it will be extremely difficult to attract investment when there is an on-going battle at the heart of government.
“No one wants a shrine at the Maze (or anywhere else) but the proposed Peace-building and Conflict Resolution Centre (PbCRC) would be no such thing. What is so wrong with a peace and reconciliation centre that will provide an opportunity for the real story of the troubles to be told?
“The Maze site has already witnessed the debacle of the failed national sports stadium, the people of Lisburn cannot afford yet another economic opportunity to be destroyed by a political power play between Sinn Fein and the DUP.”
The Mmlti million pound funding for the centre at the former Maze Prison is hanging in the balance after First Minister Peter Robinson said the controversial project should not proceed without greater consensus.
European officials have expressed fears that it may not be possible to reallocate the £18 million funding set aside for the centre to other projects.
The European agency responsible for managing the peace centre project is seeking clarification from Stormont officials, however, the future of the development and the funding now seems unclear.
The Chairman of the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation Terence Brannigan said the Board would be seeking clarification: “During a scheduled meeting, board members discussed, amongst other matters, issues relating to the peace building and conflict resolution centre.
“The board agreed to ask the first minister and deputy first minister to urgently clarify the situation.”