Calls have been renewed for a Game of Thrones visitor centre at Magheramorne Quarry, after HBO revealed that the series will end in two seasons.
The local set, owned by Tarmac, has played host to the hit fantasy drama since its launch, serving as Castle Black, The Wall and Hardhome.
Following HBO’s announcement that the TV show will only run for another two series, local people have called for a long-term plan to capitalise on East Antrim’s role.
DUP MLA Gordon Lyons told the Times that he has invited Economy Minister Simon Hamilton to view East Antrim’s tourist attractions, and hopes the privately-owned quarry will be on the itinerary.
“I would like the minister to see what’s at Magheramorne. It will be a great project for a cycling and diving centre and also there is the possibility that would come from Game of Thrones,” he said.
“Now is the time to see what we can do. Let’s see if HBO, Tarmac and the tourism minister could make it a permanent attraction. This needs to be part of our tourism strategy. We have Carrick Castle, the Gobbins, Magheramorne and the Antrim Coast Road, which is a very good package.”
Mr Lyons said that a Game of Thrones visitor centre could attract “high value” tourists from Asia, Japan and the USA.
“There would also need to be collaboration between Tourism NI, Tourism Ireland and the council,” said Mr Lyons. “It would be great to bring the Iron Throne to East Antrim,” he concluded.
A Tarmac spokesperson told the Larne Times: “There is an agreement in place with Game of Thrones and we are currently in ongoing discussion with HBO on this.”
A council spokesperson said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough Council officers have been in communication with the owners of the quarry to discuss a range of future uses. Due to the commercial nature of the project, it is not possible to give further details at present.”