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Northern Ireland National Stadium

Volume 684: debated on Wednesday 12 July 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether senior civil servants in the Northern Ireland Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure and the Strategic Investment Board are lobbying for a national stadium based on the site of the Maze prison. [HL6540]

No. The decision is one for Ministers. On the basis of a site selection exercise undertaken by the Strategic Investment Board (SIB) on behalf of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) between 2004 and 2005, Ministers decided in March 2005 that the Maze/Long Kesh was the only suitable location in Northern Ireland for a proposed multi-sports stadium. DCAL and SIB officials are, as a consequence, currently considering a range of issues in relation to the construction of the stadium at the Maze/Long Kesh.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Rooker on 22 June (WA 107), whether they intend to retain the Bobby Sands hospital block as an integral part of plans for a sports stadium at the former Maze prison site; and, if so, which department, agency or Minister is responsible for this decision.[HL6580]

The Environment and Heritage Service of the Department of the Environment listed or scheduled a number of buildings and structures at the Maze/Long Kesh site including the former prison hospital. No decisions have been taken by the Government regarding their potential future use.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the funding for a national stadium for Northern Ireland will come from the Northern Ireland block grant; and, if not, from where.[HL6689]

A final decision has not yet been made to proceed with this project, and accordingly no public expenditure allocations have been made in the current Budget period. In the event that the project does proceed, the level and source of funding will be an issue for future Budget processes.