Belfast has recently been awarded the prestigious title of UK city of the future despite stiff competition from more than 20 other North European cities including London.
FDI’s panel of judges poured over winning entries from round one of the competition to discover the best locations in northern, eastern, southern, western and central Europe. In total, 33 individual criteria were used to gauge which locations offer investors the best deal in the first of FDI’s annual competition.
At €30,837,Belfast’s gross value added (GVA) per capita has increased at a faster rate than most other major UK cities – up 55% between 1995 and 2001. The city attracted €188 million of FDI in the financial year 2003/4. Significant inward investments include HBOS and Citigroup. Citigroup, the world’s largest financial institutions, recently announced plans to open a new technology centre of excellence in Belfast to support its growing corporate and investment banking business across Europe,the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The new technology facility, supported by Invest NI, is expected to create up to 375jobs and contribute some £65 million to the local economy over the next five years. Belfast has two major airports and Ireland’s busiest port. Recent construction projects in Laganside alone include the €48 m Waterfront Hall, the €30m Hilton Hotel and the €52.5m BT Tower.
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