Game of Thrones Studio Tour is owned and operated by Linen Mill Studios Ltd (LMS) and is located in Banbridge, Northern Ireland.
Linen Mill Studios, once a base for the Ballievey Bleaching Company, was founded in the 1920s. The Mill was a key player in the linen industry throughout the 1900’s and by the 1970’s was operated by Ulster Weavers, employing over 410 people.
With vast internal spaces and the privacy of the surrounding countryside, this former linen site was chosen as a perfect location for the filming of Game of Thrones. In 2011, the HBO production team moved into Linen Mill Studios and started to build the internal stages and ship sets for some of the show’s most iconic scenes.
Today, Linen Mill Studios presents the opportunity of a lifetime for visitors to walk in the very footsteps of their favourite characters at the only permanent Game of Thrones Studio Tour in the world.
Our Sustainability Goals
At Game of Thrones Studio Tour, we are focused on three key areas of sustainability to help protect the Studio Tour and its location for future generations.
1. Work as part of our community
As part of the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area, we work in partnership with the Council to help spread the benefits of tourism across the region.
Our international marketing plans help to showcase the wider region, encouraging visitors to extend their stay in the area and enjoy the many unique experiences on offer.
We work with local schools and colleges to offer practical learning and training opportunities in the creative industries, construction and tourism sectors, helping to promote local job opportunities and foster career development.
We utilise local supply chain opportunities to procure goods, consumables, services and materials in a sustainable manner, both in direct sourcing and by working with supply chains that share our ethos of sustainability. We also seek to work with local suppliers to highlight local craft and services as part of our commitment to our community.
We seek to foster and encourage a sense of self-efficacy through encouragement, building skill sets and facilitating personal growth. We do this by supporting the training of all our employees – creating a lasting mentality that emanates throughout employees’ careers, families and communities.
We support our Game of Thrones Studio Tour employees to take ownership of our sustainable endeavours and to help us deliver on our ambitions by providing quality information, instruction, training and supervision. We also encourage our people to propose improvements to our approaches and work across teams to do our collective best.
2. Protect and respect our environment
Linen Mill Studios was selected by HBO as an ideal location for the world’s only Game of Thrones Studio Tour due to its authentic link to the show. Surrounded by farms and countryside, the area is home to an array of streams and rivers, wildlife, flora and fauna, all which form part of everyday life here at Game of Thrones Studio Tour. We aim to not only protect, but enhance this natural environment.
At Game of Thrones Studio Tour, we use green technology to recycle our waste and as a source of renewable energy to reduce our CO2 emissions.
We use wood pellets to fuel our Biomass Boilers, the primary heating energy source for the Studio Tour. These boilers in turn serve our Air Handling Unit plant, with space heating largely provided via the ventilation system. This in turn helps to maintain the temperature and relative humidity of the spaces, maximising the conservation values of the sets, costumes, props and the building itself, thereby reducing unnecessary use of materials to repair or reproduce items.
At the Studio Tour, foul waste is removed through an onsite treatment plant and a Sustainable Urban Drainage system utilising an onsite reed bed. Furthermore, the Studio Tour delivers a range of Sustainable Drainage systems such as a Geocellular attenuation tank, permeable pavements and infiltration trenches.
In the ongoing development of the Game of Thrones Studio Tour, we have implemented processes to ensure that all plant, machinery and equipment is maintained routinely so as to operate efficiently.
Our landscaping scheme promotes biodiversity to enhance both the visual amenity and ecological context of the attraction. Site wide planting is a feature together with a focus on improving and protecting our wetland and woodland habitats.
We actively conserve the use of water as a precious resource across our buildings and operations, managing and minimising waste.
The utilisation of single use plastics is limited at the Game of Thrones Studio Tour. We offer paper straws in our cafes and restaurants, and paper bags and wrapping in our Studio Tour Store.
We promote ‘green’ transport initiatives encouraging transport by coach and rail, aligning with several transport partners to deliver an integrated service to reduce carbon associated with travel and transport. We also offer a dedicated shuttle bus service from and to an offsite parking facility located on the main Belfast -Dublin corridor, thus reducing traffic volume travelling through the countryside to the Game of Thrones Studio Tour.
A visitor management strategy is in place to control volumes of arrivals to the attraction, mitigating against issues of congestion and traffic build up in peak periods. This is managed through a pre-booking approach, thereby managing the volume of arrivals in line with attraction and local area capacity.
By sharing our Sustainability Policy on our website and in-house, we encourage visitors to play their part in protecting the environment during their visit, helping to deliver a positive legacy for the next generation. To help our visitors support the environment, we encourage visitors to:
- Dispose of all waste in correct segregated recycling bins.
- Conserve use of napkins, toilet paper and disposable cups.
- Use water wisely.
- Travel by public transport or organised tour where possible.
3. Promote economic sustainability
At Game of Thrones Studio Tour, our aim is to operate an economically successful business which supports the local economy while protecting our environment and delivering reinvestment opportunities as part of our goal to consistently deliver a world class standard visitor attraction.
In the region of 180 – 200 job roles are offered at the Studio Tour across operations, front of house, catering, security, facilities, retail and administration.
As the only Game of Thrones Studio Tour in the world, we aim to attract more international visitors to Northern Ireland year on year, increasing tourism spend, extending length of stay and expanding seasonality.
Due to the scale of the project and the global interest in Game of Thrones, the Studio Tour will also generate significantly increased visitor numbers and expenditure in the immediate local area, thereby providing opportunities for both greater levels of private sector investment in the region and rural diversification.
Our sustainable endeavours are actioned and delivered in compliance with requirements of environmental and socially responsible legislation. We commit to review our sustainability plan annually to ensure we are delivering positive outcomes.
Our 10 Year Plan/Future Ambitions
In line with the three pillars of sustainability – economic viability, social equity and environmental protection, we will continue to expand our sustainable ambitions into the future, implementing initiatives to include:
- The installation of Electric Vehicle charging at locations convenient to the Game of Thrones Studio Tour.
- A rolling programme of biodiversity on site and ongoing reinvestment in the local countryside.
- Ongoing development of our Green Transport Plan to deliver further reductions to the carbon emissions associated with travel and transport.
- As a new attraction in Northern Ireland working to globally recognised sustainability standards, we will seek to celebrate our sustainability success and gain award recognition for our collective endeavours.
- We will work in support of existing and future tourism providers to share lessons learned and best practice, supporting the positive expansion of our industry.