The Ministers confirmed the return of filming for series four following the announcement by Michael Lombardo, president, Home Box Office (HBO) Programming, that HBO has renewed GAME OF THRONES for a fourth season. Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, GAME OF THRONES is an epic story of treachery and nobility. Series four will receive funding from NI Screen, supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
The Ministers met with senior HBO executives at the Season 3 premiere in Los Angeles last month, where they took the opportunity to continue to press Northern Ireland’s advantage as a first-class production location, as well as the benefits afforded by the upcoming television tax breaks for the UK, in which the Executive, Northern Ireland Screen and HBO played important roles.
The First Minister said: "Securing the filming of series four is proof that Northern Ireland can host large-scale productions with positive spin-off into other sectors such tourism where we can showcase stunning locations such as the Causeway Coast and Glens, Ballintoy, Murlough Bay to name but a few.
"The success of Game of Thrones shows our commitment to leave no stone unturned when seeking to secure such international productions. We travelled to Los Angeles to press the case for the Northern Ireland film industry and to encourage HBO to return to film their fourth series.
"We have seen the economic impact of an estimated £65million across the three seasons and we want to grow our local film industry to attract more international projects of this scale.”
The deputy First Minister said: "Meeting with HBO senior Executives at the launch of Game of Thrones Series Three in Los Angeles last month shows we are prepared to go the extra mile to secure such an internationally renowned production for our local film industry. The credibility associated with a project of this scale has significant potential for our economy.
"A very important part of this large-scale inward investing production is the training and skills development for the local industry.
"We are focused on maximising the economic value of series four and build on the employment levels of the previous series where over 800 people were working on the production.
"NI Screen is working in partnership with the NI Tourist Board and Titanic Belfast to exploit the success of HBO's production through the Game of Thrones Exhibition in June.”