For centuries Belfast has enjoyed a wealth of commercial success that provides a great legacy for the city’s positioning in the business world. Belfast has an impressive list of historic businesses that have not only made their mark on the city, but also further afield. From Harland and Wolf shipbuilding to the world’s largest linen industry, Belfast has long been a city bursting with economic success and boasting great business acumen.
In more recent years, the city has evolved to make way for new opportunities in tech, finance, cyberspace, fintech and further areas, with entrepreneurs and leading businesses choosing to base themselves here.
With all this in mind, we celebrate business in Belfast – past, present and future, and its positioning as a booming business HQ.
Harland and Wolff, Belfast’s famous shipbuilding company, enjoyed much success in the 19th century. And, although its iconic cranes are no longer in use, the company continues to be a leading business for ship design and engineering and has evolved to provide services for building structures in the renewable energy market.
At the same time Harland and Wolff was born, Belfast became a base for the world’s biggest linen mill, tobacco factory and whiskey distillery. The linen industry was especially prominent, with it being pivotal to the social and economic development of Belfast, and its establishment as a city.
Then there are the many inventions developed in Belfast over the years. For example, in 1906, Royal Victoria Hospital was the first building in the world to use air conditioning. In the early 60s, Professor Frank Pantridge, a cardiologist based just outside of Belfast, developed the world’s first portable defibrillator.
In more recent years, Belfast has transitioned and responded to the emerging markets and business trends.
Firstly, the city’s establishment as the #1 destination globally for financial technology development projects (fDi Markets, FT) has firmly put the city on the business map, with Belfast fast becoming a cyber security capital, offering expertise in tech and cybersecurity.
Leading global businesses have also made Belfast their home. From Baker MacKenzie to Bombardier, PWC to Citi, the city has a strong portfolio of businesses – across a variety of areas – now based here and making the most of the city’s many benefits.
You need only look to Belfast’s thriving tech generation to see the exciting pace that the city is growing and developing into. Peter Edgar, Programme Manager at Ignite and one of the founders of Bank of Invention, a community designed to encourage and develop the city’s future leaders, says, “The city’s innovation ecosystem is reaching new heights of collaboration with Ormeau Baths (Barclay’s Eagle Labs) and Catalyst Inc., developing relationships between industry, academia and start-ups to scale the ambitions of the Knowledge Economy.”
He continues, “The start-up scene in Belfast is gathering a momentum and becoming one the most vibrant and incredible places to launch a new venture. At Ignite, we’ve been working with 30 start-ups, backed by a brilliant bunch of founders. We’re encouraged by the maturity of ideas and the capability of the people making them happen.”
What’s more, Belfast’s young and aspiring millennials are demonstrating the vibrancy and possibilities that lie ahead for the city.
With its easy access to the European and global market, lower operating costs and growing investment, Belfast looks set to be an increasingly popular city for businesses. If anything, this is just the beginning for Belfast.
Looking for an office space that’s future-fit and in the heart of Belfast? Get in touch with us to discuss options at Chichester House.
For more information on Chichester House and Future-Fit Space by Causeway Asset Management download the PDF brochure from the link below.Download the brochure
Causeway Asset Management Limited is a UK wide, private, multi-disciplinary, real estate investment and asset management company owned and managed by its directors.
Declan Flynn or David McNellis
1st Floor Montgomery House,
29-33 Montgomery Street,
Tel: +44 28 90 50 1501
Stuart Draffin or Greg Henry
Lambert Smith Hampton,
4–10 May Street,
Tel: +44 28 90 32 7954
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