28 September 2018 News
HBO’s decision to base the Game of Thrones formal studio tour in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon borough has further bolstered the area’s attractiveness to investors, the Council has said.
Speaking at an event in The Archbishop’s Palace in Armagh, Council leaders said plans for the ground-breaking visitor attraction at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge will shine a light on the borough, draw tourists and boost the local economy.
Lord Mayor Councillor Julie Flaherty, addressing a gathering of business leaders, property developers and investors, said the commitment from HBO is the latest in a long list of positive news for the area.
She said: “The enormity of this commitment by HBO to Northern Ireland will be transformational, not just for Banbridge and our council area but will have a wider impact for Northern Ireland and beyond. The Game of Thrones brand is truly world renowned, and this project has the potential to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to this area each year.
“We already have a growing number of tourists heading to the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland in Armagh and this attraction will further enrich that offering. It bolsters our economy – the second largest in Northern Ireland – and makes a compelling offering for investors when combined with the flourishing manufacturing, agri-food, digi-tech and life sciences sectors.”
The focus of the event was to announce the council’s return to MIPIM UK in London later this month – the UK’s largest property and investment conference – where the Council will further its mission to drive investment and promote economic regeneration.
Roger Wilson, Chief Executive of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, said: “This area has all the elements for a sound real estate investment, and then some. From a prime location to a vibrant economy, to realistically priced land and property, this borough has it all, along with one crucial element in the investment equation: value.
“The announcement by HBO has added to the area’s attractiveness, not just from a tourism point of view but by helping drive the local economy and making the area an even better place to live for everyone. MIPIM UK is a chance for us to actively promote the borough’s strong investment proposition and we know that we will receive a warm welcome from the market once again.
“It’s a great example of how we, as a council, are committed to acting as a partner to the private sector for the benefit of the borough’s economy and its people.”
Also speaking at the event was Leonie Oliva, one of the UK’s foremost experts on heritage-led regeneration. She is currently a Senior Director at commercial property agency GVA and has 25 years of experience advising on complex planning projects and major planning applications for both public and private sector clients.
Earlier this year the council announced an investment of £6.3 million which will transform Armagh’s historic city centre thanks to a major injection of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Led by the Armagh City Townscape Heritage Partnership, this exciting five-year regeneration project will see up to 30 iconic and underused buildings within the city’s protected conservation area brought back into full productive use, creating jobs and boosting the local economy.
The event also saw the launch of a market report by commercial property agents CBRE highlighting the key commercial property investment opportunities in some of the prime investment sites in the borough.
CBRE Capital Markets Director Andrew Coggins added: “It is vital for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, and indeed other councils across Northern Ireland, to carry out thorough research of the prime investment opportunities in their jurisdiction.
“This market report shines a spotlight on the borough for potential investors and will showcase it as being ripe for continued future investment.”
Lord Mayor Councillor Julie Flaherty