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200 jobs on way as US IT firm Rapid7 reveals plan to expand Belfast operation

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Support: Invest NI’s Kevin Holland

Support: Invest NI’s Kevin Holland

Support: Invest NI’s Kevin Holland

A US cybersecurity firm is set to double its staff in Belfast with 200 new jobs after announcing plans to expand its office space.

Rapid7 is planning to take on approximately 49,000 square feet at Chichester House in the second half of the year to house its growing European research and development centre.

The new roles will be in engineering, development and customer advice.

Invest NI has offered Rapid7 £165,000 of support towards the creation of 30 of the new positions.

Jamie Kinch, the vice president of real estate and workplace experience at Rapid7, said the firm was "committed to investing in the company's global expansion, particularly in areas with impressive technical talent such as Belfast".

"Expanding our presence in Belfast, supported by Invest NI, will provide us with the space and resources we need to grow and attract the region's top talent," he added.

Rapid7, which has had a presence in Belfast since 2014, says its aim is to simplify cybersecurity. It was named Overall IT Company of the Year at the Belfast Telegraph IT Awards in November 2019.

Kevin Holland, chief executive of Invest NI, said: "Rapid7 is one of the US's fastest growing software security companies.

"Since opening its office in Belfast in 2014, it has utilised the exceptional skills and talent of our local workforce to grow its business in Northern Ireland. It is always fantastic to see another externally owned company reinvesting in Northern Ireland. In fact, over 70% of new investors reinvest here, which is testament to our appeal.

"The senior-level jobs we are supporting will build upon the technical expertise already present at the company's Belfast engineering site, helping to drive the company's future innovation."

Rapid7 provides IT services to almost 3,000 firms and government agencies across the globe.

The Boston-based company was founded in 2000 and also has offices in Los Angeles, Arlington, Austin and Toronto in North America.

It has European bases in Reading, Dublin, Paris, Munich and Belfast and a presence in Asia and Australia.

In 2014 chief executive Corey Thomas said the firm had been persuaded to set up here following encouragement from the First and Deputy First Minister during a trade mission to Boston a year earlier.

He added the businesses had been won over by the calibre of local university courses.

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