Northern Ireland

Third film studio planned for Belfast's Titanic Quarter

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Media captionMartin McGuinness and Peter Robinson were shown around Steiner Studios in New York

The Northern Ireland studios responsible for the hugely successful television series Game of Thrones is planning to expand.

Belfast Titanic Quarter already has its original Paint Hall studio and an extension.

Now there are plans for yet another studio complex.

Titanic Quarter chief David Gavaghan said he hoped to build a third film studio on the Belfast site by May of next year.

The move has received backing from the first and deputy first ministers, Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness.

Speaking from New York, where they are on a joint investment trip, they expressed confidence that Belfast could expand the success of its creative industry.


Mr Robinson and Mr McGuinness were given a tour of the Steiner Studios site and its historic buildings, which date back to the time when the site belonged to the US Navy.

Steiner Studios, which produces Game of Thrones, also produces another HBO series, Boardwalk Empire.

Doug Steiner, who runs the studio, said he believed there was potential for much more growth in Northern Ireland's film sector.

"The craftsmanship is there, the crew base is there. At this point, the Game of Thrones is doing remarkably well and you have an English-speaking workforce, which is very helpful," Mr Steiner said.

"And the production tax credits available in the UK are what is necessary to compete on a global scale."

David Gavaghan, chief executive of the Titanic Quarter, said : "We are busy working on a project right now and we will be putting in for planning in a couple of month's time, maybe in a little bit less.

"We would like to have studios up for May, 2014, which is in time for the next production cycle."

The Steiner Studio bosses said they had helped to regenerate one of Brooklyn's deprived areas. Three thousand miles apart, Belfast and New York believe a touch of TV movie magic is the key to building prosperity on the waterfront.