Following our recent report on what makes Belfast an attractive location to launch a business, we now take a closer look to find out more about the key sectors attracting investment interest.
Belfast at a glance
With a population of roughly 340,000 in the capital itself and over one million people in the wider region, Northern Ireland’s population is tipped to reach two million by 2026. 18.6% of the city’s population are younger than 15 years old, while 41.6% are under 30. The high standard of education, with the city hosting a Russell Group university (Queen’s University Belfast), is one of many factors which led to its top global ranking for quality of living (Mercer). Other attributes include affordable living costs, easy access to natural resources and low-cost office space. According to Start-up Cities Index, in 2017 Belfast was voted among the top UK cities to start a new business, with salary costs lower than the rest of the UK and a commitment to reduce corporation tax to 12.5%. Plus, it was the second most successful in the UK (after London) in attracting US tradeable services FDI projects. Alongside these factors, the city has become Europe’s leading destination for new software development projects and nearly 75% of investors in the region have reinvested due to such positive activity.