Key business sectors
Belfast has a number of key sectors driving economic growth and job creation including business and professional services, financial services and fintech, creative and digital sector, clean tech, cyber security and tourism.
The city is currently Europe’s leading destination city for new software development projects and is the number one destination globally for financial technology investment. Indigenous businesses are growing up around global brands and the city now has the second fastest growing digital cluster in the UK.
Business and professional services
Belfast has a thriving business and professional services sector. There are significant strengths in a range of fields including human resources operations, legal services and technical and digital support.
Financial services and fintech
Belfast is an ideal near shore centre for financial services activities. More than one third of the 30,000 people employed in the sector work for globally recognised brands such as
- CME Group and
- Liberty IT.
Creative and digital
Belfast’s international reputation for its distinct and original creative and digital sector is growing rapidly. Over 20,000 people are now employed in the sector which is made up of around 1,600 businesses, accounting for four per cent of the regional GVA.
Offshore energy investors are availing of Belfast’s robust supply chains and access to clean tech infrastructure such as Belfast Harbour’s accessible port, North Foreshore clean tech Business Park and specialist support provided by research and development organisations.
Belfast is becoming a global cyber security hub with specialist university research centres and an impressive cluster of global cybersecurity investors.
Tourism in Belfast is booming as the city becomes a must-see destination for many international tour groups as well as visitors from the UK and Republic of Ireland. Belfast is a driver of Northern Ireland’s tourism economy with the visitor economy estimated to be worth £450 million annually, sustaining 17,000 jobs and generating £200mn in wages. The sector has been highlighted as a key focus in the government’s blueprint for growth.
Growing maritime, offshore and renewable energy sectors alongside the established aeronautics industry have significantly changed the home of the Titanic.
Life and health sciences
Belfast's strength in medical innovation isn't new. From the development of the first portable defibrillator fifty years ago to the leading role played by the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology in the global battle against cancer. Today the city is rich in medical research and experience.