Northern Ireland Screen gets large funding increase to boost location filming
Northern Ireland Screen has received a funding increase from the government of more than 50% to help boost the region’s production industry over the next four years. Funding of nearly GBP43 million will help Northern Ireland build on the international success of Game of Thrones.
The investment has been awarded by the Department of Enterprise as part of the government’s ‘Opening Doors’ scheme and compares to the GBP27 million that Northern Ireland Screen received for the last four years.
“We have come a long way over the past ten years, from a Creative Industries sector with little or no international profile to one where many of our leading production companies are focused on external or export markets,” said Northern Ireland’s Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster.
“Our significant success in securing inward investment activity from some of the world’s major production companies such as Universal, Playtone and HBO has leveraged significant economic benefits for the region.”
We are confident that the film, television drama, factual television, animation and gaming sectors will all grow significantly in the next few years.
Richard Williams, CEO of Northern Ireland Screen
Added Northern Ireland Screen Chief Executive Officer Richard Williams: “This is a very big day for the screen industry in Northern Ireland. 'Opening Doors' is about maximising the opportunities in the screen industries here.
“With the support provided by the Minister, we are confident that the film, television drama, factual television, animation and gaming sectors will all grow significantly in the next few years.”
Game of Thrones has helped put Northern Ireland on the international production map over the course of four seasons, while features such as prison drama Starred Up and punk rock feature Good Vibrations have also filmed locally. Northern Ireland is also increasingly popular for UK-produced television and is the base for new seasons of the BBC’s crime dramas Line of Duty and The Fall.
In the last week, Sony Pictures Television announced it is establishing a presence in Belfast through its backing of local production company Stellify Media.
(Game of Thrones image: HBO; The Fall image: BBC)
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