Significant investment in regeneration over the past 20 years has transformed the city, with an impressive trajectory of development across sectors ranging from hotels, office accommodation, cultural venues and visitor experiences, to education space and student and residential accommodation.
Now, our city partners are committed to taking Belfast to the next level; with the delivery of an £850 million Belfast Region City Deal which will bring a step change in our strength sectors: innovation and digital, tourism and regeneration and infrastructure across 20 ambitious projects.
We’re underpinning these projects by investing in employability and skills to accelerate inclusive economic growth, significantly increase GVA and create up to 20,000 new and better jobs across the region.
The capital city of Northern Ireland, and the driver of the NI economy, Belfast has a population of over 340,220 (over one million in the Belfast region). It’s an historic city, with a young population – 43% of Belfast’s population are aged 30 or younger. And we’re well connected – with three airports within 90 minutes of the city centre.
Belfast offers a skilled and talented employee pool, excellent educational institutions, a dynamic start-up scene and a quality of life that’s hard to beat – with affordable, high quality housing, easy access to beautiful natural assets, from mountains to beaches, a globally renowned education system and a diverse, vibrant cultural offer. Our compact and digitally connected city core offers a base that’s equally attractive to global brands such as Deloitte and PwC and home grown businesses such as FinTru, First Derivatives Plc and Options Technology.
They’re supported by industry-academic partnerships; new forms of apprenticeships and postgraduate training to ensure that the Belfast workforce is skilled in the latest technologies and processes. And there’s a dynamic, developing start-up community of agile, innovative small companies. We’re a global centre of excellence for research – and home to CARL (Cognitive Analytics Research Lab, Ulster University), CSIT (Centre for Secure IT, Queen’s University, Belfast), ECIT, (Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology, Queen’s University, Belfast) and ISRC (Intelligent Systems Research Centre, Ulster University).
Belfast also has an extensive track-record in real estate development. During the last five years alone, Belfast has seen over 2.5 million sq ft of floor space of office accommodation completed or under construction; almost 5,000 purpose-built student accommodation beds have been completed or are under construction; and to support the growing tourism market, 1,500 hotel beds have been completed.
Approximately 5,000 residential units for the city centre are at various stages in the planning process. Additionally, there are over 40 acres of major mixed-use regeneration schemes currently in progress, including Weavers Cross (a major transport-led regeneration project) and significant waterfront developments.
We’re creating a city where we can live, work, learn, play, explore, create, thrive and achieve.