International ICT investment will create 63 new jobs

Steria, a leading European ICT company, will set up a Centre of Excellence in Belfast, creating 63 new high-value jobs. Economy Minister Arlene Foster announced the investment at Invest Northern Ireland's offices in Belfast today.

Steria is one of Europe's leading ICT service companies with over 18,000 employees. The new centre will provide support and delivery services for the global Steria Group, in the areas of Electronic Document Records Management and Customer Relationship Management.

The project will benefit the local economy through the creation of 63 high-value jobs for graduates and experienced software development professionals. Invest NI has offered Steria £750,000 of support towards the project.

Announcing the investment, the minister said: "Steria is a major player in the European systems integration market. Its decision to locate a Centre of Excellence in Belfast is testimony to its confidence in Northern Ireland. Today's announcement is the culmination of over 18 months work by Invest NI.

"Once again our strong knowledge base, impressive ICT infrastructure and pool of IT graduates have attracted a global enterprise that recognises the contribution that the region can make to its growth and profitability. These are the reasons why Northern Ireland has become one of the leading regions in Europe for inward investment in software development and technical support centres.

"Invest NI has delivered significant successes in attracting investment and reinvestment - despite an increasingly competitive global economy. There are over 700 companies in the ICT sector in Northern Ireland and of these more than 100 are international investors. Their success sends out a very clear message that Northern Ireland is an excellent place to invest."

Paul Wickens, Managing Director for Steria in Ireland, said: "There was stiff competition for this investment from other Steria European locations but we were convinced that establishing this centre of excellence in Belfast was the right decision. The centre will allow the company to achieve economies of scale and to develop intellectual property for the Group. Steria is committed to business excellence and we are confident that in Northern Ireland we will be able to recruit the highest calibre staff and that the centre will become a key component in the company's future growth."

John Torrie, CEO of Steria UK, said: "As business continues to grow and on the back of the recent Xansa acquisition, we are delighted to be investing in the next phase of our global growth and our Northern Ireland operation will be an integral part of our development strategy."