The decision to build a permanent pavilion at the Maze site for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society has been welcomed.
The Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister have granted the approval, much to the delight of Ulster Unionist Councillor Alexander Redpath.
“I welcome this progress in relation to the Maze site. For too long Sinn Fein have been vetoing any further development at the site in retaliation for the cancellation of their shrine at the former Maze prison site.
“The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society has made a huge social and economic contribution in Northern Ireland over its 160 year history. The Balmoral Show is one of largest events in Northern Ireland and continues to show strong signs of growth. Securing the location of the show in Lisburn has brought huge economic benefits to the city.
“Two years ago the RUAS secured planning approval for the relocation of the show to the Maze site but until now planning permission for the permanent site has been delayed. I hope now RUAS will be allowed to commence the construction of a permanent centre.
“This construction by the RUAS, which will guarantee the success of the show for many years to come, will be a major catalyst for further redevelopment on the site and the wider Lisburn area.
“We have always promoted the wider site as an area ripe for economic development. This will likely make the site even more attractive to other investors.”