IT company will double in size with 72 new jobs
A Belfast-based IT company is to more than double its workforce by creating 72 new software development posts in the city over the next three years.
Micro Focus already employs around 50 people at its offices in East Bridge Street, meaning that 120 staff will be in place by 2014.
The roles will generate an additional £2.25m each year in salaries and the company is being backed by £864,000 of support from Invest Northern Ireland.
Announcing the move, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said she expects even more IT jobs to flood into Northern Ireland thanks to the Project Kelvin high-speed internet and telecommunications link between America and Ireland.
She added that a lower rate of corporation tax in Northern Ireland, currently being considered by the Treasury, could invite even more large companies to these shores.
Micro Focus' Belfast office serves customers in North America, Europe and India and has other outlets in the UK, USA, mainland Europe, Singapore and Australia, employing 1300 worldwide.
The firm has been in Northern Ireland for two years, after Micro Focus UK Ltd acquired Borland Software, which had a software development base in Belfast and employed 48 members of staff.
Paul Rodgers, group HR director with the company, said that he is continually impressed with the capabilities of the Belfast workforce.
"We have a great wealth of talent here, and both the University of Ulster and Queen's, as well as other colleges, are producing fantastic, highly qualified graduates who are more than fit for these jobs," he said.
"In growth terms, we could have put this place anywhere, we want to grow as a business but it is the capabilities of the people in Belfast and Northern Ireland which gives it the edge."
Minister Foster said that Northern Ireland is further establishing itself as a centre for the IT sector.
"Project Kelvin was a very strategic investment and more and more firms are recognising that Northern Ireland is a bridge between Europe and America." she said.
"Firms are seeing the skills and the work ethic of our people, they see we are geographically well-placed to do business and if corporation tax is further reduced then I see myself making a lot more of these types of announcements."