Belfast Telegraph

20 jobs in the pipeline as Novosco opens new Belfast office

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland IT company Novosco is taking on 20 people and doubling its office space in Belfast to meet significant growth in its business, it announced today.

The business has acquired 11,000 sq ft of accommodation at Catalyst Inc - the new name for the Northern Ireland Science Park - as it aims to increase turnover by almost 20%.

The cloud computing specialist, which builds IT infrastructure such as servers, has won a series of major contracts with organisations across the UK and Ireland from universities to global financial organisations and some of the largest NHS trusts.

Novosco, which employs around 140 people, said it had instructed renowned architects, office designers and fit-out experts for the project, as well as using a graffiti artist to create artwork for the walls of the offices at Concourse 3 at Catalyst.

The company recently featured in the Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For - the fourth year in a row it appeared on the list.

Managing director Patrick McAliskey said the new premises were a major part of the firm's growth plan and its mission to recruit the best people.

"What sets us apart without any doubt is that we have some of the most talented people, including IT engineers, sales professionals, and project managers, in the business," he added.

"We wanted to create a unique office environment to support our efforts to recruit and retain the very best.

"We've taken inspiration from what the absolute leading companies in the world in places like the US are doing.

"We don't think there are any other offices in Northern Ireland quite like what we have created, and we feel that they will play a crucial role in the continuing growth of our business."

Mr McAliskey first set up Real Time Systems in 1994 and in 2007 it joined forces with John Lennon's 4sol to form Novosco.

The company reported a 7% increase in turnover to £20.9m for 2015, while pre-tax profits grew 12% to £2.2m. It also secured around £3m in new contracts during the year.

Concourse 3 is part of an investment of more than £200m in the development and will add another 55,000 sq ft over five storeys to Cataylst Inc.

The new facility is expected to accommodate firms capable of supporting another 500 tech-related jobs.

In total, there are 160 businesses using Catalyst, which has a campus in Londonderry as well as Belfast. Other tenants include NaviNet, GTT, DisplayNote and PathXL.

Novosco was named overall business of the year in the 2015 Belfast Telegraph Business Awards.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph last year, Mr McAliskey said he hoped to build the firm's workforce to 300, with a turnover of £100m.

The company also has offices in Dublin, Cork, Manchester and Cheshire.

Novosco recently acquired English specialist IT security solutions and managed services expert NetDef in a seven-figure deal.

The English firm - which still trades under its own name - has clients including police forces and two Premier League football clubs.

Belfast Telegraph