The new Game of Thrones studio tour located in Banbridge is anticipated to bring job opportunities to the area for up to 200 people. A recent report has also shown the the tour will bring a tourism injection of around £400 million to the North of Ireland by 2030.
One of the main production sites where the filming of Game of Thrones took place was situated at the Linen Mill Studios (under ownership of John Hogg and Company, a Northern Ireland based group) which is set to reopen this autumn, in partnership with HBO, as a tourist attraction for fans globally. The total investment in the project is estimated to be in the region of £23.7 million.
The legacy project that is based on the Castlewellan Road was first announced in the latter part of 2018, and with planning applications have now been put forward, the enormity of the project is now revealed.
The project involves an extension of the existing studio buildings into an interactive Game of Thrones experience over a 110,000 square foot studio a park and ride facility will be built just opposite the Boulevard retail complex in Banbridge which allows for up to 350 vehicles.
A detailed analysis which looks into the tourism potential socio-economic impact of the new project has that the seven day per week, 12 hour day attraction is expected to bring in up to 600,000 visitors each year, which is around the same number that visited the Ulster Museum during 2018.
If opened as planned by the fourth quarter of 2020, it’s anticipated that the studio tour will be worth £396.2m in total tourist spending by 2030.
It’s projected that Northern Irish people will make up one-in-four of all visitors, with another third coming from across the border. The rest (41 per cent), are expected to be made up of international tourists.
If the tour reaches its yearly target of 600,000, it will become Northern Ireland’s third most visited tourist attraction, falling in line behind behind the Giant’s Causeway at 1.04 million annual visitors and TEC (Titanic Exhibition Centre) at around 815,000 annual visitors.
When the studio has reached completion and is running as standard on a day to day basis, the estimated employment total is expected to be 194.