Council earmarks thousands of pounds for appraisal of tourism potential at Game of Thrones filming location

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Magheramorne Quarry. Picture – Google.

THOUSANDS of pounds have been earmarked for an economic appraisal into the tourism potential of Magheramorne Quarry near Larne where scenes for smash-hit TV show Game of Thrones have been filmed.

Magheramorne Quarry has doubled as The Wall and Castle Black in HBO’s multi-million pounds fantasy drama.

Mid & East Antrim Borough Council is working with Tourism Northern Ireland and potential developers.

Larne DUP councillor Angela Smyth proposed that the Council approved joint funding for the appraisal, ‘to a maximum amount of £20,000’, according to Council minutes.

A Council spokesperson told ‘Ballymena Daily’: “A range of options are being discussed for this site and we are committed to working with the owners to realise its tourism potential.”

Previously, Councillor Smyth had been calling for a dedicated Game of Thrones visitors’ centre to be established and said the quarry could be ideal as Game of Thrones scenes have been shot there.

Last year, East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson was enthusiastic about the quarry being developed.

Around ten years ago there were discussions about developing the quarry as film studios, an all-Ireland diving centre, World Cycling Centre and 450-dwelling harbour village.

The plans also mentioned a heritage railway, bird-watching and interpretation centre and visitor accommodation.

In September this year it emerged that as Game of Thrones finishes filming after a decade in Northern Ireland, HBO is celebrating the show’s incredible legacy in the region by converting several filming locations into tourist attractions.

Given the unique and impressive nature of the production work in Northern Ireland, plans were underway to include the standing sets for iconic locations such as Winterfell, Castle Black, and Kings Landing alongside a formal studio tour of Linen Mill Studios which will showcase a wide array of subject matter from the series spanning all seasons and settings.

A description of the full scope of the Game of Thrones Legacy project was to be revealed at a later date after the exploratory process was completed. A tentative targeted open date was set for 2019.

It was said the Game of Thrones Legacy attractions would be on a scale and scope bigger than anything the public has ever seen, offering the first opportunity for the public to set foot inside some of the most iconic locations from the series and get behind the camera lens to see how the world’s biggest TV show was made.

Each site will feature not only the breathtaking sets, but will also exhibit displays of costumes, props, weapons, set decorations, art files, models, and other production materials.

The visitor experience would be enhanced by state-of-the-art digital content and interactive materials which would showcase some of the digital wizardry the series is known for.

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