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Catalyst Inc opens £6.5m building with royal visit

By John Mulgrew

Published 18/10/2016

HRH The Duke of York, the Patron of Catalyst Inc, opening Concourse III, alongside chairman Dick Milliken
HRH The Duke of York, the Patron of Catalyst Inc, opening Concourse III, alongside chairman Dick Milliken

Northern Ireland’s leading tech and science park has expanded with a new £6.5m facility — unveiled by the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew officially opened the new Concourse III building at Catalyst Inc, formerly the Northern Ireland Science Park, which will be able to hold a further 500 staff.

The Concourse development represents a total investment of over £20m and the opening of Concourse III will add a further 55,000 sq ft of office space across five storeys.

The building is already almost full, playing host to companies such as Display Note, Philips and Novosco along with new tenants including ProAxsis and O4 Research.

Speaking at the launch of the new building, the Duke of York said: “It is great to be back to see old friends and also new friends from the Pitch@Palace, which held its first regional event in Northern Ireland last month.

“Catalyst Inc is a game changer and is one of the best examples of an ecosystem and cluster to support and encourage entrepreneurship in the UK.”

The new building features suites ranging from 2,500 to 11,000 sq ft.

And the Duke of York also paid a visit to professional services firm Deloitte, to launch the latest recruitment of 60 new apprentices.

At Deloitte’s Technology Studio in Belfast’s Gasworks, Price Andrew announced the third intake of the BrightStart programme.

The scheme is a five-year training and development programme which sees school leavers start employment with Deloitte while also gaining a degree.

Jackie Henry, senior partner at Deloitte NI, said: “We were delighted to have welcomed the Duke of York to our Belfast Technology Studio and to have him launch our new BrightStart programme.

“We know he is a big supporter of enterprise-focused education and apprenticeships, and he provided great encouragement to the young people on our BrightStart programme.

“Deloitte has really ambitious growth plans and we want to continue to tap into the rich vein of talent that exists among local school leavers.

“We have had great success with the first two years of the programme and that has given us confidence to increase our intake yet again.

“We have found that the BrightStarts who have joined the firm bring a different sort of energy, drive and ambition, and their raw ability is helping us to be even more innovative.

“Deloitte’s commitment to hiring new talent has been a key component of our strong track record in devising leading edge solutions to the business issues facing our clients.”

Earlier this year, Deloitte announced it would grow its staff numbers in Northern Ireland to 1,000 by 2020.

The further expansion of the global firm would make the Belfast office its largest UK base outside of London.

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