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Stadium would give boost to Titanic Quarter

Eamonn McCann in his column 'Titanic Quarter gives college that sinking feeling' (Comment, January 5) provides an invaluable analysis of the current crisis which is unfolding under Harcourt Developments' stewardship in the redevelopment of the Titanic Quarter.

Unfortunately, Mike Smith's response (Write Back, January 10), in his capacity as CEO of the Titanic Quarter, misses the point. However, there is an extremely obvious win-win solution available.

Spurs and West Ham football clubs are this week submitting their final bids to the Olympic Park Legacy Company on the future of the Olympic stadium.

If Spurs' bid is recommended on January 28, there will be the opportunity for the Northern Ireland Executive to argue that we could reuse the two-thirds of the 2012 Olympic Stadium to be scrapped as part of Spurs' redevelopment plans for our new stadium in the Titanic Quarter.

For those who say this proposal is either too late or impossible, I would direct them to the model of reusing a stadium which Qatar used to win the 2022 World Cup.

This solution of a Titanic Stadium has previously been suggested in the letters pages of the Belfast Telegraph and directly to Jeffrey Donaldson and Gerry Kelly on the floor of East Belfast Speaks Out last year - unfortunately to no avail.

Now we have the added opportunity of getting two-thirds of a new stadium for free and a plan which might make the Titanic Quarter both viable and attractive for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board to promote.

It is now time for the DUP and Sinn Fein ministers and special advisers to set aside vested interests and put Northern Ireland first on this issue and help build a shared sports legacy in the Titanic Quarter of which we can all be proud.

PHILIP A GRIMASON

Portadown Ulster Unionist Association

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