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Daniel Libeskind's proposed design for the Maze Peace Center Photo by: Architects' Newspaper

Proposed Maze peace center would create 5,000 jobs and promote peace

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Daniel Libeskind's proposed design for the Maze Peace Center Photo by: Architects' Newspaper

The Maze peace centre near Lisburn, designed by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind, has been hailed as the key to unlocking the full economic potential of the nearly 360 acre site.

BBC news reports that the Maze/Long Kesh Development Corporation had promised 5,000 permanent jobs in a roughly $460m (£300m Sterling) investment.
 
At the launch of the corporation's development plan in April, chairman Terence Grannigan said that the vision was to "demonstrate how peace could be consolidated by economic development."
 
Although the prison remnants and proposed peace center only comprise around 8% of the total area, it is seen as a crucial epicenter for attracting a range of new businesses to the site like health-sciences and agricultural foods.
 
Brannigan said that the company "will promote the peace center as a showcase to attract international developers and investors."
 
The development has been wracked with controversy since its inception as a peace center. Members of the Orange Order spoke out against the development, saying that the project is "deeply flawed and ill conceived," and will only "further the efforts of those... who wish to rewrite history."
 
The TUV and UUP groups have leant their voices to back the Orange Order, maintaining that the peace centre would traumatize IRA victims and become a kind of "shrine to terrorism," a statement rebutted by Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, who said that it wold instead be a "shrine to peace."
 
In reaction to the overwhelming 'scaremonger' tactics employed by the Orange Order and its unionist backers, First Minister Peter Robinson has called for a halt on proceeding with the centre until such a stage where plans for the development can be agreed upon by the various unionist groups, says the BBC.
 
Robinson, in a letter to DUP MPs and MLAs, said that their could be no public use of the retained buildings - the remaining H-block where paramilitaries were held and the prison hospital where Bobby Sands and other hunger strikers died.
 
He inferred in the letter that to do otherwise would serve to undermine community relations, as it represents an "insensitive attitude towards IRA victims."
 
So although the center has been designed and the funding from the European Union's PEACE III is in place, the future of the development - initially scheduled to begin at the start of the new year, with a completion date in mid-2015 - now hangs in political bureaucratic limbo.

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