Accountancy firm KPMG creates 200 jobs in Belfast

By Clodagh Rice
BBC News NI Business Correspondent

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Accountancy firm KPMG is creating 200 jobs in a new "centre of excellence" in Belfast.

The £14m investment will deliver services in cyber security, applied intelligence and digital transformation.

This will benefit clients in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Some 160 of the roles will be involved in the Assured Skills Training Programme with Belfast Met aimed at graduates over the next three years.

Johnny Hanna, partner in charge of KPMG in Northern Ireland, said: "The creation of the new centre of excellence is the next step in the evolution of KPMG in Northern Ireland.

"We have continually grown the firm to meet the ever-changing demands of our clients and the addition of this digital centre adds an exciting offering, which will have global reach."

He also said the new post-Brexit trading arrangements in Northern Ireland offered "lots of opportunities".

'Confidence in Northern Ireland'

While acknowledging some disruption in the first weeks of operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, he said he was optimistic issues would be resolved quickly.

"We all recognise that there are many challenges at the moment and the disruptions - we're going to need to address some of them, certainly on the GB-NI part of it.

"But there's lots of opportunities would be my view - I think once things settle down and we get a bit of time."

He said the protocol, which gives Northern Ireland companies unfettered access to sell into both the Great Britain and EU markets, could prove beneficial but added this latest investment was not linked to Brexit.

The Department for the Economy is funding almost £1.3m of training over three years.

Economy Minister Diane Dodds said the jobs would contribute more than £7m a year in salaries.

"This investment also reinforces KPMG's confidence in Northern Ireland as a key business location post-EU Exit," she added.

Invest NI has offered £1m of support.

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