Google has announced that it will open a new headquarters in London as a part of a £1 billion UK investment plan.
The company has decided to invest in a new 650,000 sq-ft building located in King's Cross, designed by Thomas Heatherwick who also designed the “garden bridge” on the other side of the Thames. Initial designs for Google's new UK headquarters were put forth in 2013 though they were considered to be “too boring” by Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Currently the company employs around 4,000 people in the UK but this figure could increase to 7,000 by 2020 as a result of its latest announcement. Google's office space in King's Cross will double in size, some of which could be used to house new employees.
Though the company did not reveal the exact financial details of building its new headquarters, development experts have estimated that the cost of its construction along with hiring new staff to fill it would put the total cost at over £1 billion.
Google's CEO Sundar Pichai believes that the UK is an excellent place to do business and spoke of the company's long term investment in the country, saying: “The UK has been a tremendous market for us. We see big opportunities here. This a big commitment from us – we have some of the best talent in the world in the UK and to be able to build great products from here sets us up well for the long term.”
Google's decision to build a new headquarters in the UK combined with its recent announcement that it will be providing free digital skills training to UK residents highlights the company's continued commitment to the country.
Charlotte Holloway, Policy Director at techUK commented: “Google’s major investment in the UK is proof that UK tech is, and can continue to be, a vibrant global success story. Building digital skills across all levels is absolutely pivotal for the future of the UK economy. The tech industry and Government will continue to work together to ensure that latest developments in the digital economy benefits people of all ages and demographics up and down the country. Helping people acquire the skills they need to unlock the benefits of tech is key to achieving that.
“Ahead of next week’s Autumn Statement, it is clear that we must build on the UK’s strengths in tech and digital to drive new growth, jobs and productivity right across the economy. Google’s announcement reminds politicians of what is possible if the UK remains open to business, talent and investment.”
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