£30m Allstate office building biggest to open in Northern Ireland in 15 years
Information technology company Allstate has opened Northern Ireland's largest single office development for 15 years.
The US-owned insurance giant officially unveiled the six-floor £30m Laganside complex yesterday.
Located next to Belfast Central Station, the building now houses 1,500 staff, providing technology, cybersecurity, business and accountancy services to its parent company.
Allstate employs 2,200 here, with offices also in Londonderry and Strabane.
Built over two years on a site bought from Belfast City Council for around £1.7m, the 140,000sq ft office was opened by Secretary of State Karen Bradley.
The project also involved extensive refurbishment of the towpath, adjacent boat marina and a restaurant unit at ground level.
Approaching its 20th anniversary in Northern Ireland, Allstate was roundly praised yesterday as one of the first major examples of foreign direct investment following the Good Friday Agreement.
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Ms Bradley said: "Allstate has been instrumental in showing that, with ambition and vision, a company can grow their workforce tenfold.
"Not only have they created one of Northern Ireland's first major IT inward investors, but they have tapped into the wealth of talent that the Northern Ireland workforce provides to overseas investors, providing high-quality jobs across Belfast and the north west.
"By continually investing in their staff, and their research and development into IT excellence, the team are at the forefront of digital innovation."
Praising Allstate for its impact on the IT sector here, Invest NI chief executive Alastair Hamilton said: "We would not be where we are in the IT industry today in Northern Ireland were it not for Allstate."
Suren Gupta, executive vice-president of Allstate Technology and Strategic Ventures, put the success here down to its relationship with government, the education sector and the quality of its people.
John Healy, managing director of Allstate Northern Ireland, added: "The building delivers a stimulating, collaborative working environment for employees.
"The impressive design fits the requirements of our world-class organisation and supports our outstanding employees in defining, delivering and maintaining technology now and for the future."