As Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast has firmly established itself as a world-leading tech hub. In 2017, the turnover by digital tech businesses was £875m and, in 2019, industry body TechNation conducted research that revealed Belfast as one of the best cities in the UK to work in technology and the best place to work as a software developer. Not only does Belfast boast qualified tech talent for start-ups and re-locating businesses, but it’s also a prime nearshoring location that’s attracted many well-established organisations including Citigroup, Allstate and BT. With Belfast just one hour from London and six hours from New York, it’s placed at the centre of major global markets. Here, we look at some other reasons why it’s the ideal nearshoring location for Capital Markets projects…
Thriving Tech Sector
It’s no secret that the UK’s digital tech sector is one of Europe’s economic success stories, growing twice as fast as the wider economy. Belfast takes it one step further with its knowledge economy growing three times faster than the UK average. Its digital sector employs 60,000 people and is one of the five UK cities where more than 10 per cent of people work in digital tech. There are several reasons for this, including easy access to early-stage funding, start-up programmes, a tight-knit business community and high-quality co-working spaces which have resulted in established clusters of software development expertise.
Belfast’s tech success also stems from its highly educated workforce. This is thanks to strong secondary and higher education institutions in Northern Ireland, including Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. Both have established world-renowned academic programmes covering all aspects of tech-focused businesses, meaning emerging graduates possess outstanding technical and management skills.
Unlike some English-speaking locations, Belfast is less susceptible to sudden cost escalations due to low levels of inflation, steady economic growth and near-zero real interest rates. Additionally, the government provides substantial tax relief incentives that allow companies to claim additional savings on research and development costs.
One of the biggest reasons why Belfast has become a tech hub is the quality of life the city offers and its unique character. As well as having one of the youngest populations in Europe, with 55 per cent under 40 years old, Belfast is a city known for the friendliness of its locals. In fact, Northern Ireland was voted as the happiest part of the UK in a recent ONS wellbeing survey. Additionally, its beautiful architecture, open green spaces, top-class restaurants, pubs and nightclubs attract people from across the globe to work and study, meaning it’s bursting at the seams with culture and, of course, good craic!
Nearshoring In Action: Belfast – NYC
From our headquarters in Belfast, Neueda works with Cloud9, a New York City communications technology company that provides a cloud-based or on-premise platform that allows traders to communicate in a reliable, affordable and compliant manner. Cloud9 required access to affordable development talent and the ability to ramp up or down a team in line with project demand. The developers had to become part of the Cloud9 team, which meant being in a similar time zone to ensure frequent communication, collaboration and instant action. After a successful site visit, Neueda was chosen to be Cloud9’s nearshoring partner thanks to our strong cultural fit with the NYC team. We initially deployed a team of three, which has since grown to eight in the last two years. Jim Miller, Global Head of Product Development & Engineering at Cloud9, said:
“It’s not easy to find established external teams, but Neueda’s technical competence is outstanding. What sets the team apart is their commitment to our wider business, which truly makes them feel like part of the Cloud9 team.”
Find Out More
Stay tuned to our nearshoring blog series to learn about all of the benefits of nearshoring and some of the world’s emerging hotspots. Can’t wait that long? Download our free guide: