NI Science Park facility to house 500 knowledge jobs

2 Mar 2012

Frank Hewitt, chairman, Northern Ireland Science Park; Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster; and Roy Adair, CEO of Belfast Harbour

Northern Ireland Science Park (NISP) has announced its new stg£6m development is aiming to host up to 500 knowledge jobs when the facility opens, most likely in August.

NIS itself is headquartered within the 180-acre Titanic Quarter within Belfast Harbour Estate. The campus is one of the largest city-centre waterfront redevelopments sites in Europe. Right now it hosts more than 100 separate tenants, which between them employ more than 1,500 people on-site.

The latest stg£6m development is the second of three buildings known as ‘The Concourse’ at the park and is funded by Belfast Harbour.

NISP said today that Concourse Phase II will include agile and connected workspace on flexible terms to facilitate the growth of companies in a wide range of technologies in the ICT, life science, engineering and biotech space.

The new facility at NISP is already fully let and will become home to both local start-ups and major global corporations, including Kana Software, Export Technologies, Fidessa and Parity.

When they are fully completed, the three-building Concourse complex will represent an investment of more than stg£20m at NISP.
Frank Hewitt, chairman, NISP, said today that given the challenging economic climate, it is great that park is continuing to grow.

“The park is bucking the commercial property trend not only through its focus on knowledge and science-based enterprises and its commitment to cost-effective quality and flexibility, but also for its growing reputation as a key node in Northern Ireland’s innovation ecosystem,” he said.

Hewitt added that while Concourse II is already fully let, interest has begun in Concourse III.

“We are working to secure commercial funding to complete the Concourse development and we hope that, as economic conditions begin to stabilise, local banks and others will be in a position to help us fund our developments,” he said.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster was at the NISP announcement this week. She said the availability of this kind of high-quality business accommodation is fundamental for economic development as it offers both indigenous companies and inward investors cost-effective property options to facilitate investment and expansion.

“The infrastructure and facilities here are second to none it sends a clear message to the business community that we want to nurture and accommodate value-added, innovation-led ventures,” added Foster.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic