Plans for a £24m Games of Thrones tour and visitor centre in Banbridge has been welcomed by councillors.
Councillors Brian Pope and Dolores Kelly both highlighted the potential boost for local jobs and the benefits to our leisure and tourism industry.
Alliance Party Councillor for Banbridge DEA, Brian Pope said: “I welcome the planning application for the potentially world-class Games of Thrones attraction to be located just outside Banbridge. Given the investment and potential visitors numbers, opportunities like this certainly do not come along every day.
“I met with senior managers at Linen Mill Studios in November to discuss the benefits of this unique attraction to Banbridge and the wider area. We also discussed forging positive links with the town centre and the local community, and local roads impacts.
“At the council’s Economic Development Committee meetings I have spoken positively about these proposals and I want to commend council officers for all their hard work.”
“I therefore welcome the investment, the potential boost for local jobs and the benefits to our leisure and tourism industry. Not to mention the potential boost to our creative industries and educational centres.
“Game of Thrones is an internationally recognised franchise, produced by one of the world’s largest firm studios. Put simply, this could place Banbridge firmly on the world-stage.”
SDLP Upper Bann Representative, Dolores Kelly MLA added: “This is very welcome news for Banbridge, bringing in approximately £23.7m in investment and an expected £400 million tourist spend boost, aiming to be the third largest tourist site in the North.
“The site expects to create almost 200 jobs and bring in almost 300,000 international visitors a year, providing a much needed boost for hospitality in the local area.”
The Upper Bann MLA added: “Job creation in this part of the North is long overdue and I am glad to see we are moving in the right direction. I look forward to seeing the work continue to develop and expand.”