Belfast is a city full of ambition, optimism and above all energy. It’s a talented, competitive and connected city. Home to a growing number of global companies and thriving sectors of high growth companies, with significant strengths in creative and digital, financial and professional services, technology and advanced engineering.
Creative & Digital – One of the fastest growing creative clusters in the UK.
Creativity is part of Belfast’s DNA. Whether it’s film, TV, sound production or state of the art virtual and augmented reality, Belfast’s creative companies are making their mark globally.
A young population and highly skilled workforce ensures there is a wealth of talent available across the film, animation, music, mobile, gaming, and TV subsectors. This represents a diverse and easily accessible supply chain for the creative and digital industries.
Belfast’s reputation as a location for film and television production has grown significantly in recent years. The city has been able to call itself home to major TV and film productions such as HBO’s Game of Thrones, The Fall, Krypton and Line of Duty. Belfast is one of the fastest growing creative clusters in the UK and home to over 1,600 companies employing 20,000 people.
Financial & Professional Services – #1 Global Destination for Financial Technology Investment.
Digital capability and access to outstanding talent means that Belfast is now home to a diverse range of financial and professional services companies. Over 20,000 people are employed in this sector by globally recognised brands such as Allstate, Allen & Overy, Baker McKenzie, Citi, Fujitsu and Mercer. They sit alongside a rapidly growing cluster of FinTech companies. Belfast is the leading European city for new FDI software development projects and in the top 3 Fintech locations of the future after London and Singapore.
Belfast is one of eight UK financial centres and its specialisms include asset management, fund administration, operations, risk, regulation and compliance. A pipeline of over 5,000 graduates across relevant disciplines such as finance, accounting, economics, law and computing provide a ready supply of skills and talent to support this growing sector.
Cyber Security - #1 International investment location for US cyber security development projects.
Belfast is recognised as a global centre of excellence. A powerful combination of the city’s talent, innovation, resilience and pioneering research developed over the last three decades is priming Belfast for success.
Belfast is now the world’s number one destination for US based Cyber Tech Investment. With over 1,700 people currently employed in tech related jobs, the city is fast becoming a global hub for Cyber Security. International companies like Capita, IBM, AlertLogic, Proofpoint, Whitehat, Rapid7 and Synopsys have set up in Belfast, whilst the city is also home to the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), the largest Cyber Security centre in Europe and recognised by Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ) as an academic centre of excellence. The largest of its kind in the UK, this flagship centre counts BAE Systems, IBM, Infosys and Thales, amongst its partners. Companies specialising in financial software data analytics and encryption, access control systems, intelligent surveillance technologies and cyber security all have bases in the city.
Advanced Engineering & Manufacturing – 8th largest Aerospace region in Europe.
Belfast is steeped in a rich engineering heritage that’s brimming with knowledge, skills and experience. The region is Europe’s eighth largest aerospace region, and Belfast is a global leader in advanced manufacturing and engineering, with the sector contributing £1 billion to the local economy annually.
With a long tradition of excellence in heavy industry and cutting edge research, Belfast is proud to be called home by Spirit AeroSystems. As a result, the city occupies a pole position in aerospace engineering. Research and development are at the core of Belfast’s growth in the manufacturing sector. These areas are strategically supported through The Northern Ireland Advanced Composites & Engineering Centre to support innovation through collaboration.
Hospitality & Tourism – Voted number 1 region in the world to visit in 2018 by Lonely Planet.
2019 was a record year for business tourism sales with 112 new conference and events secured for the city for future years, + 47% on the prior year. In 2019, Belfast welcomed over 275,000 cruise visitors on 146 cruise ships, an increase of 28 ships from 2018. Belfast Harbour opened a new cruise terminal which provides the first dedicated facilities for cruise ships on the island.
The city is also home to Titanic Belfast, named the Best International Experience in 2018. Tourism contributed £2.7 million per day in 2018 to the region’s economy, and the city saw 1.7 million overnight stays. Belfast has added more than 3,000 additional hotel bed spaces across the city between 2015 and 2017, with 1.14 million room nights sold in 2018. These, and other development opportunities in this sector, will contribute to Belfast’s ambition to double the value of tourism.
Life & Health Sciences – #1 European destination city for new medical software development projects.
Belfast is Europe’s leading destination for new software and is a pioneering centre for new technologies in life and health sciences. Strong relationships between industry and the city’s prestigious universities have produced pioneering research and many new discoveries.
The Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast has revolutionised cancer research, while the Connected Health Innovation Centre at Ulster University leads transformational projects to align care needs with technology providers, researchers and clinical experience.
Andor Technologies is renowned for building the world’s most advanced scientific cameras used in medical research and space exploration and Heartsine is a world leader in emergency cardiac technology.