Local youth project given £43k boost

PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/7/2000  Aerial view of the old Maze Prison site. Library picture.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 18/7/2000 Aerial view of the old Maze Prison site. Library picture.

The Lisburn-based Inform, Transform and Re-imagine Youth Project has received a £43,700 funding boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Led by Co-operation Ireland and Resurgam Community Development Trust, the project aims to bring together young people from the local community in the Halftown area to learn about the history and heritage of the Maze Long Kesh site.

Both Co-operation Ireland and Resurgam will work closely with a group of local young people to raise awareness of heritage and the importance of valuing buildings and sites of historical significance on the Maze Long Kesh site.

The project will use a number of methods to explore the heritage of the Maze area, and will provide opportunities for young people to learn about their own local history, heritage and experiences.

The young people from Resurgam Trust Youth Initiative will be provided with opportunities from a number of on-site organisations who will tell multi-layered stories about the Maze. The young people will interpret these stories and present their interpretations using photography, text or video.

“We feel that this project will benefit the local group of young people who are part of the Resurgam Trust Youth Initiative,” a spokesperson for Co-operation Ireland said.

“The Maze Long Kesh site is a unique, iconic and strategically well located 347 acre location for the local community in Lisburn. The site has a compelling and varied history, initially as a World War II airfield and then a military camp, detention-centre and prison.

“As one of the most exciting destinations of its kind the location has the true potential to become a shared space that is welcoming and accessible to all, contributing to peace building and reconciliation. The public interest in Maze Long Kesh is undeniable. Since 2012 around 450,000 people have passed through its gates for a range of events and tours.”

A local showcase to share the young people’s interpretations and work will be held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre on March 7, 2018.

Peter Sheridan OBE, Chief Executive of Co-operation Ireland, said: “We’re absolutely delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support to work locally with young people from Lisburn. Our Inform, Transform and Re-imagine Youth Project will enable young people to consider the value of the diversity of the built heritage on-site at the Maze and its unique history but also to think about how it might be used in the future.”

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, Paul Mullan, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund NI added: “We were delighted to fund this new project. It is an excellent opportunity for the young people of Maze and Lisburn to explore the heritage of their area, including the Maze Long Kesh site. As well as the unique skills they will acquire, this is a developmental opportunity for young people to create a heritage resource that they can share with others.

“HLF is keen to see young people given the chance to get hands on with their heritage and it is thanks to players of the National Lottery that we can fund projects such as this. We wish the team well as they embark on their project.”