Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

Agricultural show moving to Maze

The Balmoral show will be held from the former Maze prison site from next year
Ladies Day at the Balmoral Show in the King's Hall, Belfast. The Finalists of the Best Dressed Competition 18.05.12. PICTURE BY DAVID FITZGERALD
Balmoral Show. Up to 1967.Balmoral Show officials leave the jumping enclosure after looking at the water-logged ground. 24/5/1967

Plans to redevelop the former Maze prison site have been given a major boost as members of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society voted to move to the location.

The organisation behind the famous Balmoral show, held around the King's Hall in Belfast for over a century, will stage the event at the Maze from next year.

The organisation's figurehead said members had voted for a better future for the show, which had out-grown its traditional venue.

Following the vote held in the King's Hall, Royal Ulster Agricultural Society chief executive Colin McDonald welcomed the result.

He said: "We always knew that, for many, this would be a hearts and minds issue which is totally understandable due to our connection to the King's Hall and the entire Balmoral site.

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

"I am delighted that our members have grasped the rationale behind the Legacy Project and supported the RUAS Council in this groundbreaking vote."

He told the BBC: "They have risen to the occasion, demonstrated the foresight of their predecessors, and seized the moment."

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