HBO set for return to Belfast

First Minister Rt. Hon. Peter D. Robinson MLA and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness MP MLA have welcomed today's official announcement by HBO that they will return to Northern Ireland to film the second series of the hugely successful 'Game of Thrones'.

Production for season two of the hit HBO series 'Game of Thrones' is set to begin Monday 25 July .

Once again, production for the series will be based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The series will shoot at the Paint Hall Studio in Belfast, as well as various locations in Northern Ireland. Additional locations will be announced as they are confirmed. The production continues to receive funding from Northern Ireland Screen.

Based on the best-selling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, the 10-episode first season of 'Game of Thrones', launched in the USA on 17 April exclusively on HBO, with the finale scheduled to debut on Sunday, 19 June and on Monday 20 June on Sky Atlantic in the UK and Ireland.

Casting, writers and directors for season two will be announced as soon as they are confirmed.

Mr Robinson said: "The return of HBO to Northern Ireland is a huge endorsement of our local creative industries. I am extremely pleased that they are returning to Belfast and the Paint Hall.

"HBO’s first visit to Belfast 2009 was a tremendous boost for the city and for Northern Ireland's economy as a whole. I have no doubt that their return will have a similar affect, once again placing Belfast and Northern Ireland on the world stage."

"Mr McGuinness: "The First Minister and I have worked tirelessly to persuade HBO to return to Belfast and I welcome this announcement today. I thank also the efforts of Northern Ireland Screen and Invest NI in helping to secure this production. HBO's commitment to return to Belfast will lead to the creation of more jobs and generate considerable income for our local economy.

"We are determined to place the creative industries at the very heart. of our efforts to grow the local economy and we will continue to do all that we can to convince companies such as HBO that this is the place to come to."