Northern Ireland

Google and PwC to establish joint base in Belfast

Google Lab in Belfast
Image caption The Google Lab is based at PwC's Northern Ireland headquarters

A partnership between Google and the professional services firm PwC is to establish a base in Belfast.

The companies formed the partnership last year, aimed at getting more business clients to use Google's software products.

It is the first centre of its kind in Europe, but will not immediately create new jobs in the city.

However, it is understood that there will be recruitment in the coming months as the workload increases.

The Google Innovation Lab will be based at PwC's Northern Ireland headquarters in Belfast's Waterfront Plaza.

'Vote of confidence'

The office will be similar to operations in New York and Sydney.

PwC employs about 1,300 staff in Belfast and in recent years has been building up its digital solutions "hive" in the city.

Image caption Google describes the centre as an immersive technology experience

Google is best known as an internet search engine but it makes a whole range of software.

It wants to get more businesses to use these products, allowing it to take on firms like IBM and Microsoft in the corporate market.

Paul Terrington, PwC's regional chairman, said the decision to base the site in Belfast was "a huge vote of confidence" in Northern Ireland.

"PwC's Belfast technology investment is already delivering real solutions to clients in Northern Ireland and beyond," he said.

"Looking to the future, our Google Lab alliance will substantially increase our ability to attract and deliver new global client solutions from Belfast."

Murali Sitaram, Google's director of global partner strategy, said: "We're excited that customers in the UK will be able to benefit from the immersive technology experience at the PwC and Google Innovation Lab in Belfast."

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