A group of people standing on the rooftop of a building in Belfast.
From left: Ian McConnell, PwC; Kevin Holland, Invest NI; Northern Ireland minister Paul Frew, and Deborah Stevenson, PwC. Image: Invest NI

Over 750 jobs created at new PwC R&D centre in Belfast

16 Jun 2021

Hundreds of highly skilled jobs will be created in Northern Ireland as PwC announces a £40m investment in a new research and engineering centre.

Professional services firm PwC will invest £40m into a new advanced research and engineering centre in Northern Ireland, creating more than 750 jobs in Belfast over the next five years.

Recruitment for the centre, which will form part of PwC’s fast-growing Operate division at the company’s new Belfast headquarters in Merchant Square, will begin immediately.

The centre will open this summer and employees can expect to be involved in the development of innovative technology and data assets to support clients.

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A total of 771 new technology and operational jobs will be filled over the years of this recruitment round, including 108 software and engineering roles. A further 38 university research posts will also be created with Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University. These universities will come together to develop joint research teams to deliver the PwC centre’s research and engineering programme.

Speaking at the announcement earlier today, Northern Ireland economy minister Paul Frew praised the plan’s financial backers and spoke of his hopes for a strengthened STEM workforce in Northern Ireland.

“This significant investment by PwC is a vote of confidence in the talent of our local workforce and the success it has already achieved here. With almost £10m of support from Invest Northern Ireland towards the new centre, this investment will lead to the creation of almost 800 new jobs which will generate approximately £25m in additional annual salaries for our economy,” he said.

Invest NI has offered PwC more than £9.8m in support for this investment, which will contribute towards 37 R&D projects in core technology areas such as robotic process automation, workflow automation, AI and data analytics.

Ian McConnell, partner lead for PwC Operate, said basing the advanced research and engineering centre in Merchant Square places Northern Ireland at the heart of PwC’s future technology strategy.

“We’re creating a team of engineers and technologists who’ll work within a bigger innovation ecosystem, including government, academia and business, to help our clients take giant leaps, rather than incremental steps,” said McConnell.

“It’s a huge statement of confidence from PwC UK’s Executive Board in both the Operate business and our local talent. The strength of our people has already enabled us to turn Operate into PwC’s fastest-growing division and I’m very proud that this gives us the opportunity to create hundreds more highly skilled jobs in Northern Ireland.”

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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