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Still time for late winner in stadium campaign

Trevor Lunn - still time for re-thinkAN assembly member has urged the Executive to revive the plan for a national stadium at the Maze.

Alliance MLA Trevor Lunn insisted it was time blow the whistle on the alternative scheme to give £110m to football, rugby and GAA to upgrade their existing stadia and instead put the cash into an iconic new shared stadium.

The scheme for the stadium at the old prison site was controversially kicked into touch two years ago despite a strong campaign by Lisburn Council and agreement by the three sports.

Now Mr. Lunn is insisting while the campaign may be in extra time, it's still possible for Lisburn to grab a late winner. "Why give three old, and in some cases, outdated stadia a makeover when for the same type of cash we could build a larger more exciting shared stadium," said Mr. Lunn.

This plan to revamp three old stadia is the type of populist thinking which has left Northern Ireland and our services in the difficult place they currently are.

"If we are planning to spend a large sum of money like £110m on taking the rough edges of three old stadia, why have none of the other parties got the vision to go the whole hog and give people a new shared stadium which could enable us to host major sporting events and some of the massive music gigs, which currently only take place in Dublin or London.

"The Maze site was ideal for a shared multi-sports stadium but this opportunity appears to have been squandered to the shame of those who ducked this very positive, but sometimes controversial option," continued Mr. Lunn.

"Where is the ambition that Northern Ireland needs, not only to create a shared future but also a more vibrant and prosperous one too?

"There is a £110m pot of money there for major regional stadia, so why can't this cash be put to better use to provide us with a landmark stadium complex which would deliver massive amount of work for our hard-hit construction sector? I would appeal to all parties to rethink this flawed plan to renovate old stadia," he concluded.

Ulster Star