Long Kesh development plan

Plans for the development of the site of the H-Blocks, where most of the prisoners in the conflict were once housed, are being finalised for the British government.

The plans would transform the 360-acre Long Kesh site outside Lisburn into a business area, an exhibition centre and a 30,000-seater sporting arena suitable for concerts and other events.

One of the H-Blocks would be turned into a museum, while the site of the medical block, where 10 hunger strikers died in 1981, may also be marked.

The prison was closed in 2000 following the prison release scheme, which followed the Good Friday Agreement.

A report group is understood to be broadly in favour of a 40-acre sports facility, including a stadium, and an industrial park, which would aim to create up to 5,000 jobs.

There are also plans for an “international conflict transformation centre”, equestrian facilities and an exhibition centre. These could also be complemented by offices, hotels, restaurants and bars.

The plans are due to be put before British minister Ian Pearson early next week.

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