Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced Invest Northern Ireland’s support for Norfolkline’s new European Finance Service Centre in Belfast.
Norfolkline, established in the Netherlands in 1961, operates from more than 30 offices covering most of Europe. It offers ferry services on the Irish Sea, North Sea and English Channel, while its logistics division offers tailor made management solutions, warehousing and both rail and road transportations to a variety of industry sectors across all of Europe.
Thirty people are already engaged in finance based activities for Norfolkline in Belfast. By centralising European finance activities in a new centre, approximately 60 new jobs will be created over the next 12-18 months, bringing total employment at the Finance Service Centre to around 90. Invest NI has offered £376,000 of support toward the project which will lead to an additional £1million in wages and salaries annually.
The Minister said: “Norfolkline is a highly respected ferry operator and logistics management company which will offer local people a variety of skilled career opportunities in a key industry sector. The new Norfolkline Finance Service Centre will see existing finance administration functions, currently located in seven European countries, centralised in Belfast.
“The company’s decision validates the strength of the Northern Ireland value proposition. It is a major endorsement of the strength of our growing financial services sector, and the exceptional skills base which has developed in recent years. This is an investment which demonstrates Invest NI’s continued success in securing new, high quality investment projects at a time of economic uncertainty, and underlines this region’s cost competitiveness and proximity to European markets."
Lars Olsen, Norfolkline Group Chief Financial Officer, added: "In reviewing our total cost base, it became evident that Norfolkline had opportunities to be more cost competitive by, amongst others, establishing a European Finance Service Centre. Through a very thorough and comprehensive process Northern Ireland was chosen as it offered the best value composition to Norfolkline.
"As a result, we intend to triple the number of people employed in finance roles in Belfast over the next 18 months. Invest NI’s support was instrumental in our decision to choose this region, and our existing presence in Belfast meant that we already had experience of the highly impressive skills base."