InvestNI boss believes Derry can grow as tech service hub

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InvestNI Chief Executive, Alastair Hamilton, has said building Derry as a hub for technology and financial services will help the local council achieve its goal of increasing the number of jobs in the city by 15,000 by 2032.

He said InvestNI was fully committed to working with Derry City and Strabane District Council to realise the economic objectives laid out in its Strategic Growth Plan, one of which is to raise the estimated 61,100 jobs in the Derry and Strabane area to 75,600 over the next fifteen years.

“We are fully committed to the economic strategies that are contained within community plans for DC&SDC. We’ve been heavily involved in that work,” he remarked.

“We have consistently said, let’s all work together to build a proposition that is attractive, then use that to promote to investors, to use it as a sales tool to bring them in. I can see we are starting to develop that,” said the InvestNI boss.

Mr. Hamilton was in town for the welcome announcement by Alchemy Technology Services, a firm run by Derryman John Harkin, that it will be creating 256 specialist insurance sector support jobs at a new base in the City Factory.

He suggested the decision by Alchemy to set up camp in Derry was a further notch in the belt as the city seeks to establish itself as a tech services hub.

“As you build that reputation and you get people like FinTrU, now Alchemy, MetaCompliance, and others, we can then bring potential new investors to see what’s going on. Let them talk to the founders of those operations, then that instils confidence and it allows us then to be able to support it.”

Mr. Hamilton praised Derry’s civic, business and educational leaders for operating an open door policy for inward investors.

“It’s that wider ecosystem whenever you bring an investor here,” he said. “They get that visibility and they get to have those conversations with those people...when you hear the story from the people who are locally here then it really, really strengthens that proposition.”