Belfast Telegraph

Stormont pledges millions for film industry

An extra £5 million will be devoted to helping build new film studios in Belfast.

Development will centre on the Paint Hall in the Titanic Quarter which is being used by US production giant HBO.

First Minister Peter Robinson has said an earlier £1.6 million investment in the series Game Of Thrones, being filmed in Northern Ireland, is likely to bring £17 million into the economy. Six more series of the medieval fantasy are planned.

If they are made in Northern Ireland an investment of £11 million would bring in around £140 million, Mr Robinson said.

A decision is expected by April next year on where the second series will be filmed. On the current production 800 people have been employed.

Declan O'Loan, deputy chairman of Stormont's Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee, welcomed today's funding announcement.

"This is a real success story. I think we are proving that we can make high-quality films and television productions here and there is an incredible base of expertise and knowledge in quite a number of businesses associated with the film industry," he said.

"The involvement of the public sector is as an umbrella body which creates the overall system within which these businesses can make their contribution. We can make a real success of this."

For Universal feature film Your Highness an investment by the Executive of just over £1 million was said to have brought in revenue of £12 million.

The film was made in Northern Ireland in 2009 and will be released in the US in April and in the UK in June next year.

Belfast Telegraph

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