Robinson and McGuinness woo HBO investment in North
First and Deputy First Ministers make joint pitch to network executives in US
Northern Ireland First Minister Peter Robinson (second from right) and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness (second from left) with HBO senior vice-president of production Jay Roewe (left) and and senior vice-president of corporate affairs Glenn Whitehead at the network’s Los Angeles offices. Photograph: Kelvin Boyes
The North’s First and Deputy First Ministers have made a joint pitch to senior executives at HBO (Home Box Office), seeking the location of more large scale television productions in Northern Ireland.
HBO, one of America’s leading television networks, produces the Game of Thrones television drama which has been filmed in the North since 2009.
During their meeting with HBO’s president of production, Mike Lombardo, and other senior executives, the two leaders said they bid for “further opportunities”.
HBO broadcasts to 41 million US subscribers.
Mr Robinson said: “The estimated economic impact of Game of Thrones , and employment, is expected to exceed £82 million. This includes all expenditure generated in the local economy such as wages and salaries of local cast and crew, tourism, construction, facilities and transport hire.”
The Deputy First Minister said the North’s Executive was very supportive of the creative industries.
“ Game of Thrones has returned each year since 2009 – the best possible endorsement of what we have to offer.”
He noted that, over the period, it had created 941 full-time equivalent jobs. Including those employed on shorter-term daily contracts, the number exceeds 5,700.
The Ministers will meet other investors, and political leaders during their mission to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington.
Separately the Lord Mayor of Belfast is also in the US this week to promote the city as an investment and tourist destination.