Northern Ireland

Deloitte expansion to create 300 more jobs in Belfast than originally planned

One of Deloitte's Belfast offices
Image caption Deloitte's expansion plan will make Belfast its biggest UK base outside of London

Deloitte, the professional services firm, has said the expansion of its Belfast operation will create 300 more jobs than originally planned.

In 2014, the firm said it aimed to employ 700 people in the city by 2019.

The new target is for 1,000 by 2020. That will make Belfast the firm's largest UK base outside London.

The firm currently has 460 employees in Northern Ireland, with 43 apprentices due to start in September.

The bulk of the new jobs will be in the firm's technology business.

The 2014 announcement included a £2.6m grant from Invest NI but the revised plans will not involve any more public money.

The firm operates from two offices in Belfast and is talking to developers with a view to leasing a new building.

Hotbed

First Minister Arlene Foster said Deloitte's move to increase its workforce "is a strong endorsement of Northern Ireland's dynamic economy".

"Deloitte is making this commitment based on the talent and quality of staff in Belfast and it is a clear indicator of the confidence that the firm has in Northern Ireland," she added.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: "Deloitte is delivering on its recruitment plans and is also in the process of securing new grade A office accommodation."

Nick Owen, Deloitte's UK chairman, said the firm's decision to expand in Belfast showed that the city is "a great place to do business and a hotbed of talent".

He added: "It also demonstrates our continued commitment to social mobility as a core part of our talent strategy and our desire to continue to further deliver on this commitment in Northern Ireland."

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