Planning permission has been granted to turn the site of the former Maze Long Kesh prison in Belfast into a Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Center (PbCRC). The prison, which was used to house paramilitary prisoners and became notorious for the hunger strikes in the 1980s, closed in 2000.
The new building will be a collaboration between Studio Daniel Libeskind and Belfast architects McAdam Design. The project will bring new hope after a troubled past, and promises architectural innovation.
The new PbCRC and the conservation of former prison buildings at Maze Long Kesh is wholly funded through an £18 million grant by the European Union’s PEACE III Programme. The PbCRC will be a shared space to support the work of peace building organisations and agencies.
It will provide a focus for their activities and place the region at the forefront of peace-building work worldwide. The Chair of the Maze Long Kesh Development Corporation, Terence Brannigan, said:
The 347 acre Maze Long Kesh site, the largest development opportunity in public ownership, is set to become a catalyst for change; it will create jobs, it will support our indigenous industries and it will offer everyone a share in a new future. It will also demonstrate how economic development can enable Northern Ireland to move from peace to prosperity.