Business

IT giant Fujitsu vacates Belfast office headquarters

Fujitsu's former headquarters on the Holywood Road, Belfast.

IT giant Fujitsu has confirmed the closure of its headquarters in east Belfast.

The Japanese company has decided not to renew the lease on the 23,619 sq ft Computer House on Holywood Road, which has been the main base for its operations in Northern Ireland for the past two decades.

The three-story building has now gone on the market with an asking price of £2.75 million.

Fujitsu said the move followed the adoption of flexible working for its 600 staff in the north.

It’s the latest employer to relinquish office space in the new hybrid working era.

Publishing and education giant Pearson vacated its 16,000 sq ft office base in Belfast city centre over the summer, preferring instead to switch to smaller flexible office space following the adoption of a hybrid working model for staff.

In a statement, Fujitsu told The Irish News: “In the short term we have expanded into other existing offices in Belfast and Derry and will be looking for new modern premises in Belfast to support our business in the future.

“Fujitsu has adopted an increased level of flexible working throughout the pandemic and we anticipate this will continue to reflect the expectations of our staff going forward.”

Fujitsu’s operations in Northern Ireland are significantly focused on major government IT contracts.

Last year a consortium led by the Japanese tech giant won the contract to deliver the Trader Support Service (TSS), the £355m system designed to facilitate the movement of goods between Britain and Northern Ireland under the post-Brexit protocol.

Fujitsu also runs the HR system built for the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

The original contract for the system, based on Oracle software, dates back to 2006. Valued at around £185m, the 15-year contract came to an end on March 29 2021.

However, the contract was rolled over earlier this year without competition, with Fujitsu signed up for another four years. The deal is potentially worth £58.2m, rising to £86.8 if it runs to six years.

The contract award was initially reported by The Register website.

The Department of Finance said the contract was awarded “to protect business continuity”, adding that negotiations with Fujitsu had “secured a reduction in charges of several million pounds over the terms of the contract extension”.

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