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StepSpace / 30 Oct

Here’s why tech companies are rushing to set up a base in Belfast

A recent report from TechNation has found that Belfast is now one of the best cities in the UK to work in technology, with almost a fifth of the city employed in an IT related career.

Silicon Republic reports that between 2011 and 2016, there was a 143% rise in the number of new digital businesses in the city. Tech Nation also found that in Belfast the median salary in the tech sector is £40,000, compared to £34,000 across all sectors.

The digital tech sector in Belfast now employs 60,000 people, on salaries around 17% higher than the national average – around £29,000. And job opportunities in the sector are growing, with 16,853 roles listed in 2018-2019.

Ann Trueman, manager of StepSpace, said: “Belfast is a very vibrant city for tech companies and we are lucky to have an excellent blend of homegrown firms, such as Kainos, exciting start-ups and large scale global companies which have helped to create a very diverse and creative network.

“For the global companies who choose to come to Belfast over other locations, they are always won over by the talent available in the city, as well as the connectivity and the high quality of life they can offer their employees. Compared to other tech hubs in the UK, Belfast is an affordable place to live, with the sea, beaches and mountains all close by for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.”

Tech Nation said that as well as the province’s two universities, other programmes are in place which encourage digital innovation, such as Ulster Bank’s entrepreneur accelerator. Invest NI also offers support and advice to global companies who are hoping to set up a new base in Northern Ireland.

Ann continued: “The last year has been a great time for StepSpace as we have welcomed a number of fast growing tech companies into our centrally located, modern office space on flexible terms to accommodate their plans. Recently we were joined by ESO, who have announced that they will create 120 jobs as they establish a new engineering centre in Belfast.

“The Texas-based software firm was founded in 2004 and has multiple offices across the United States, including its headquarters in Austin, Texas; Dallas, Texas and Des Moines, Iowa. We are delighted that they chose Belfast and StepSpace for the next stage of their growth.”

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