AN American global outsourcing firm is creating almost 1,000 jobs at a new call centre in east Belfast.
Stream – which earlier this year bought over LBM – announced the new posts on Thursday.
The jobs boost comes ahead of next week’s two-day economic conference in Belfast hosted by the First and deputy first ministers.
The 993 jobs are being supported by government grants from Invest NI to the tune of more than £3 million.
Around half of the jobs are already in place at Stream’s premises at Loughview on Belfast’s Airport Road.
The bulk of the new posts are in customer service.
The US-based company provides customer support for firms like the mobile phone company O2.
It has another centre at Springvale in west Belfast which handles inbound and outbound calls for Vodafone Ireland.
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.”
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.
“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.”