Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 28 November 2015

Robinson and McGuinness determined to grow creative industry

Stormont Executive press release - Office of the First and Deputy First Minister

Published 11/03/2014

The First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and the deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MLA today met with the President of Production and other Senior Executives at Home Box Office (HBO). 

Game of Thrones produced by HBO is the largest TV drama production in Europe and spends in excess of £20million annually in the Northern Ireland economy. 

The First Minister said: “The Northern Ireland Executive is committed to maximising the economic, cultural and educational value of the creative industries for Northern Ireland. 

“Northern Ireland’s emerging expertise in all areas of television, film and animation production and post production is demonstrated by successes including HBO’s, Game of Thrones and Universal’s 'Your Highness'. 

“The estimated economic impact of Game of Thrones, and employment, is expected to exceed £82million. This includes all expenditure generated in the local economy such as wages and salaries of Northern Ireland resident cast and crew, tourism, construction, facilities and transport hire. The full economic benefit of Game of Thrones is much greater when coupled with the wider and regional benefits that have been derived to date.

"We used our meeting today with the President of Production, Mike Lombardo and other Senior Executives at HBO to press for further opportunities.” 

The First Minister and deputy First Minister first met HBO in Los Angeles in 2009 and were involved in putting forward the case to locate the production of the Game of Thrones third series in Northern Ireland.

The deputy First Minister said: “The potential economic benefits to our economy, both directly and indirectly, are substantial and the Executive remains hugely supportive of the creative industry.

“Game of Thrones has returned each year since 2009, basing production in Belfast and utilising various locations and is now HBO’s most successful current on air show. Returning every year is the best possible endorsement of what we have to offer. Over the period 2009-2013, Game of Thrones has created 941 Full Time Equivalent jobs (FTEs) not including those employed on shorter term daily contracts which would exceed 5,700.

“Game of Thrones elevated the profile of our screen industry internationally, enhanced our overall skills capacity and was as a catalyst for film tourism opportunities. During our meeting with Mike Lombardo we thanked HBO for their investment to date and encouraged them to bring more large scale productions to the north of Ireland.”

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