One of the country's longest-established financial services and technology companies is partnering with Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology in Tralee to create more than 300 new jobs over the next four years.

The jobs will be in a research, development and innovation hub which has been built and donated by Fexco, and is being opened in Killorglin in County Kerry.

"The basis of the partnership is to help to create new high end jobs in Kerry, through building on the strength of Fexco in IT and software development," explained Fexco chief executive, Denis McCarthy, "and using that to help to attract other large corporates to the area, and to provide a space for start-up businesses as well."

The new facility cost €21 million. "You can see every penny in it. It really is a fantastic space," Mr McCarthy said. "We are commited to the local community here, and we have put a lot of our own money into this building, and we have got a grant from Enterprise Ireland, so it really is a partnership."

Fexco was established in Killorglin in 1981. It was one of the first companies in the country to apply developing computer technology to financial services, payments and transactions and it has thrived. 

The company employs 2,500 people in 29 countries across the globe. More than 1,000 of those are based in Killorglin. 

Mr McCarthy said it is possible to be very successful in a small town such as Killorglin in the fintech space. "The quality of life in Killorglin is really fantastic, and we are hoping to attract people who want a change in lifestyle," he said.

"We find it is more difficult when people are younger, in their 20s, but when they hit a certain age and start having families, often what you find is that people are looking for a higher quality of life, and especially given that you can buy a mansion of a house in Kerry for the cost of a 2-bed apartment in Dublin, there are certain pretty logical reasons why a place like Killorglin can be attractive.

Innovation has made Fexco a world leader in the payments and foreign exchange sectors.

The new research, development and innovation centre will host 125 of its existing R&D staff, and it has promised to create a further 305 jobs by 2024. 

The new jobs will be in RDI Hub, a not-for-profit public/private partnership between Fexco, Kerry County Council and the Institute of Technology in Tralee. 

The hub is a first for the area and is being backed by Enterprise Ireland, which is investing €3.6 million in the project and will validate the jobs being created.

RDI Hub has already begun to identify companies and start ups which will base themselves in the centre.