Global interest has been expressed in development of the site of a former high-security prison in Northern Ireland, it has been revealed.
First Minister Peter Robinson lambasted critics of the Maze/Long Kesh peace and reconciliation project, and said it would be one of the most important construction schemes in the UK.
It follows years of political disagreement over what should be done with the site, near Lisburn, which housed paramilitary prisoners during the 30-year conflict.
Mr Robinson said he hoped construction jobs would not be the only benefit.
"There is massive global interest in the potential of that site, its location is such that it is a prime and attractive site that I believe can provide jobs and economic growth," he said.
Ten men died at the prison in the 1981 republican hunger strikes and unionists were concerned it the new Maze centre should not become a "republican shrine".
It has been designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, famed for his scheme to replace buildings at New York's Ground Zero site.