Posted on Thursday 7 March 2019 by Ulster Business

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PwC is set crack the 3,000 staff mark by the end of next year as it moves into its new £75m offices in the heart of Belfast city centre, Ulster Business can reveal.

Just 18 months after being appointed to PwC’s national management board as head of UK regions, Paul Terrington, PwC’s NI regional chair, has no plans to reduce his commitment to keep growing the business here.

“This is an incredibly exciting time to be part of PwC. Since I took on the Northern Ireland role six years ago, we’ve doubled the workforce, become the fastest-growing UK region and are now the biggest office outside London with just over 2,200 people,” he says.

“Our strategy was to be the leading provider of professional services in the Northern Ireland market but there’s no way we’d be the size we are now had we only focused on that.”

Speaking about the move to its new headquarters in Merchant Square – a £75m, 200,000 sq ft office – Mr Terrington said:

“We have great people and one reason why we’re moving to the city centre is because that’s where they want to be. By the time we’re ready to relocate towards the end of 2020, we will have at least 3,000 people moving in to the heart of Belfast.”

On the current political uncertainty, he says: “The business community wants clarity and certainty. Ideally we want to see a Brexit withdrawal agreement that then gives the scope for a trade deal that offers Northern Ireland the capacity to trade both with the EU and as part of the UK. The potential competitive advantages and ability to attract investment would be terrific and the kind of economic accelerator which we have sought for years, but never managed to gain.”

Meanwhile, lettings in Belfast are expected to remain buoyant this year despite the uncertain political climate, according to a report from Lambert Smith Hampton. That’s been buoyed by PwC’s pre-letting of the Merchant Square development, which is currently under construction. The Merchant Square relocation project is led by Kieragh Nelson, a director who joined the firm in 2017.

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