The £11 million handed to the makers of ‘Game of Thrones’ represents a worthwhile investment, according to the Enterprise Minister.
Game of Thrones is a television adaption of George RR Martin’s literary works, filmed mostly in Belfast but also in a range of locations across Northern Ireland - including right here in County Londonderry.
One of the programme’s most iconic scenes, for instance, was filmed on location at Downhill beach in Magilligan. The filming of Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland hsa been estimated to have been worth approximately £80 million to the Northern Ireland economy, according to Northern Ireland’s Enterprise Minister.
The New York Times recently published a travel guide to the top filming locations for the television show, with Downhill and the North Coast amongst ten locations highlighted as being ‘well worth a visit’ for fans of the show.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster was asked at Stormont this week about the total investment handed to the makers of the television series and about the economic benefits of that investment. She said: “Invest NI, through its funding support to the Northern Ireland Screen Commission (NI Screen), has provided £10.9million of financial assistance to Home Box Office (HBO).
“This funding has helped to secure the pilot episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones in 2009 and the first four series. The estimated economic impact of Game of Thrones, as measured by Gross Value Added and employment, is expected to exceed £80million. “This includes all expenditure generated in the local economy such as wages and salaries of Northern Ireland resident cast and crew, hotels, facilities hire, transport hire, construction costs, etc.
“Over the period 2009-2013, Game of Thrones has created 941 Full Time Equivalent jobs. It should be noted that this figure does not include those employed on shorter term daily contracts.”
Ms Foster believes there are wider benefits, however: “The full economic benefit of Game of Thrones is much greater when coupled with the wider and regional benefits.”