Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 1 August 2015

Reject Maze and risk jobs chance

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Published 24/06/2008 | 08:00

Up to 10,000 new jobs could be in jeopardy if the Assembly rejects plans to develop a stadium at the Maze, it was claimed last night.

The warning comes after a top secret briefing document on the multi-million pound sports facility was leaked to the media.

The paper, prepared for the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, outlines the potential consequences of doing nothing on the site of the former Co Antrim prison.

It suggests that abandoning plans for the 38,500 seater stadium for rugby, gaelic games and football would send out the wrong message and undo any benefits reaped at last month's US investment conference.

The document, shown to the BBC, said that "ministers should be aware of the implications of allowing the procurement to lapse without a clear decision" or of "turning down without full consideration of more detailed information from the bidder a potentially viable deal" that might be viewed at a future date by the NI Audit Office or the Public Accounts Committee as "offering good value ".

The document also noted that officials had a number of concerns about issues arising from the negotiations with the bidders or requiring detailed clarification. It is understood Texas-based Hillwood Corporation chaired by the billionaire Ross Perot jr won the tender competition to become the preferred bidder for the Maze development.

The document prepared for the First and Deputy First Minister says the " most economically advantageous bid" is from "a major world-class developer". Last month a leaked document put costs for the Maze at £379m.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph