Northern Ireland

Stream creates almost 1,000 jobs at Belfast call centre

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Media captionAbout half of the 993 positions have already been filled, as the firm began recruiting in Belfast last year

Almost 1,000 jobs are being created by a call centre company in east Belfast.

The investment is by the US-based company, Stream, and is supported by government grants of more than £3m.

About half of the 993 jobs are already in place, as the firm began recruiting last year with the approval of Invest NI.

Stream used to employ a similar number of people in Londonderry, but Invest NI has emphasised that this is not a case of jobs moving from Derry to Belfast.

The Derry operation closed in 2011.

The new jobs are being created in a business that Stream bought at the start of this year.

'Exciting development'

It has established a new contact centre at Airport Road West in the east of the city.

The majority of the positions are in customer service. Stream provides customer support for firms like the mobile phone company O2.

Stream's chief executive and chair Kathy Marinello said: "Establishing this new centre is a very exciting development for our business in Northern Ireland and Europe.

"Invest NI has assisted us in bringing these plans to fruition. A number of locations were considered for this project, however Northern Ireland best met our needs."

Image caption Stream CEO Kathy Marinello said her firm chose NI as it "best met our needs"

The new jobs have been welcomed by Northern Ireland's first and deputy first ministers who attended the official jobs announcement on Thursday.

First Minister Peter Robinson said the £3.3m investment would "make a significant contribution to our local economy".

"To have so many of these jobs already in place at this new facility is fantastic news for us.

'Important win'

"While several alternative global locations were considered by the company, the requirements of its customers combined with Northern Ireland's attractive business environment resulted in Stream locating this new centre in east Belfast," Mr Robinson added.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said that "securing this major investment over competitors in other regions is an important win".

"The jobs at this centre will benefit the whole economy through the generation of £14m per annum in additional salaries.

"Once recruitment has completed Stream expects to employ more than 1,700 people here."

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