Northern Ireland Screen gets 50% funding boost

Game of Thrones Game of Thrones is partly filmed on location in Northern Ireland

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The government agency that oversees Northern Ireland's film and television industry is to get a budget increase of more than 50% over the next four years.

Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said Northern Ireland Screen's budget would rise to almost £43m.

It has received a total of about £27m over the last four years.

The Department of Enterprise said the additional investment could boost the local economy by encouraging £194m in extra spending.

Arlene Foster Arlene Foster and NI Screen chair Rotha Johnston attended the launch of the agency's new strategy

Northern Ireland has become a popular filming location for international productions such as HBO television series Game of Thrones.

NI Screen is to change how it distributes its budget, with new technology such as gaming and mobile phone apps getting an increased share of funding compared to larger productions.

Mrs Foster said the funding boost underlined a "continued commitment to the development of a dynamic and sustainable screen industry in Northern Ireland".

NI Screen chief executive Richard Williams said that within 10 years, he wanted Northern Ireland to be second only to London in the UK and Ireland screen industry.

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