Innovation at it's heart
Belfast’s young, dynamic population translates into a thriving business community with a determination to succeed. This is a place where innovators and entrepreneurs can find the support network and urban workspaces they need to nurture success. A city with innovation at its heart, technological advances infiltrate every sector, helping to build our competitiveness on the global stage
Home to the world's biggest companies
The prevalence of venture capitalists, business angels and private investors mean that young, high potential companies are booming in the city. In fact, Belfast is ranked in the top 10 cities in the UK to develop a digital career (Monster’s Digital Cities, 2019). There are almost 900 international companies located in Northern Ireland, making Belfast the second most successful city in the UK (after London) for attracting US trade. Belfast is also one of Europe’s top 10 small cities for Foreign Direct Investment strategy (Financial Times, FDI European Cities of the Future, 2018).
The Titanic Quarter has become an economic and technological powerhouse, hosting global companies such as Citi, Microsoft, IBM and HBO. Catalyst Inc, formerly the NI Science Park, houses 200 companies which are spearheading tech innovation. It is also the home of Queen’s globally-renowned Centre for Secure Information Technologies which has helped to create 1,100 new jobs in cyber security in Belfast over the past three years
A low cost of living
Northern Ireland has the lowest student cost of living in the UK. In fact, it's over £300 per month cheaper for students to live in Belfast compared to London (Which? Student Budget Calculator, 2022). At an average of £90 per week, Belfast was found to have the has the lowest student rent in the UK (NatWest Student Living Index 2020). The average student’s cinema ticket costs £4.95 and just £4.50 in Queen’s Film Theatre – less than half the price of London.
Belfast is a compact city, best explored by foot or by bicycle. The city’s popular Belfast Bikes scheme has cycle racks located all over the city. There are good bus and train services, with student travel discounts widely available.
A city of culture
Beautiful architecture, art galleries and museums, such as the Ulster and Titanic Museums, shape the city’s unique character. There's a thriving music and arts scene in a modern cultural landscape of cool gig venues, popup theatres and urban festivals. Queen’s University is at the heart of a city of artists, poets, writers and musicians celebrated in the Cathedral Quarter, with its busy restaurants, pubs and arts venues, such as The MAC and the Black Box. The energy of the city is tangible in the legendary nightclubs, artisan cafes, cloth-cap bars and cobbled streets, where street art, street food and street markets deliver a colourful punch at every turn.