NORTH Antrim Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann has praised the work of the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle and called for assurances that it will “not lose out due to the emphasis being placed on the Maze Long Kesh Peace and Reconciliation Centre”.
Mr Swann said: “We all know the tremendous impact that the Corrymeela Centre has had in building peace and reconciliation over many years.
“When the decision to site the conflict transformation centre at the Maze was taken, there was some concern about how such a facility would support those many organisations already providing a valuable service.
“Further news that the Maze facility will run at a significant loss again raises concerns about the knock on effects.
“I have sought clarity from First and Deputy First Ministers’ Office and have been advised that the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre will create synergies and co-ordinate, complement and add value to the objectives of many local peace building organisations.
“This suggests that the Peace Building and Conflict Resolution Centre will have an overarching role in determining the responsibilities of peace building organisations.
“The perception is that the Maze will become a financial ‘white elephant’ while the Corrymeela Centre already possesses a very credible reputation for its sterling cross-community work.
“The First and Deputy First Minister must give urgent guarantees that the Corrymeela Centre’s future will be secured for existing and future generations to benefit from.
“I will continue to ask the pertinent questions until clarity and transparency is achieved in outlining what the future holds for local groups,” said Assemblyman Swann.