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RTPI Northern Ireland Best Projects 2023

Excellence in Planning for a Successful Economy

Game of Thrones Tour Entered by Resolve Planning

Resolve Planning & Development were originally contacted by the owners of Linen Mill Studios in April 2018 following the completion of filming of the HBO smash-hit television series "Game of Thrones". Linen Mill Studios, which is located south-east of Banbridge, was a key filming location for the show across every series and included internal sets for Winterfell, Riverrun, Casterly Rock, Herrenhal and many others. All nautical scenes were also filmed at Linen Mill Studios. Approximately 75% of the Game of Thrones series was filmed in Northern Ireland, with a third of that filmed at Linen Mill Studios. Approximately 25% of the Game of Thrones series was therefore set at Linen Mill Studios.

The owners of Linen Mill Studio, under licence to HBO, envisaged a "must see, must do" visitor attraction that would compete with other tourist attractions on a global stage. Specifically, the proposal sought to utilise the tangible link to the creation of Game of Thrones by developing a Studio Tour development where visitors can experience original sets, props and costumes used in the series, and to see them in the very building that it was filmed. Resolve Planning & Development were commissioned in May 2018 to advise the client on the planning strategy for the project. 

Judges‘ comment: "A world class GOT tour just outside Banbridge. This was a complex project that has been delivered to a very high standard in a challenging environment, showcasing local talent and expertise in film-making to an international audience and adding to an already high quality tourism product in Northern Ireland"


Excellence in Planning for Heritage and Culture

Enniskillen Workhouse Entered by Fermanagh & Omagh District Council 

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) purchased the building in May 2015, it had been vacant for some time and was in a poor state of repair; it was then that significant work commenced in order to develop a proposal for the building to have the building restored. The building is grade B2 listed and was on the Built Heritage at Risk Northern Ireland Register. To prevent further detriment and deterioration to the heritage asset remedial works were completed. The project brief for the ‘New Workhouse’ was to sympathetically restore and bring back to life the Entrance Block of the former Enniskillen Workhouse, to create flexible and dynamic workspaces, while ensuring the story of the Workhouse and the lives of those associated with it was preserved and retold.

Judges‘ comment: A good example of a multi-stakeholder project bringing together heritage and restoration with education, training and innovation.