Google to build new tech hub in London despite Brexit
Image credit: PA
Google has committed to post-Brexit Britain with an announcement of a new tech centre to be built in London, which is set to provide 3,000 jobs.
The new ten-storey building will extend Google’s London headquarters in King’s Cross, the firm’s first wholly owned base outside the USA.
“Here in the UK, it’s clear to me that computer science has a great future with the talent, educational institutions, and passion for innovation we see all around us,” said Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, who is currently visiting the UK. “We are committed to the UK and excited to continue our investment in our new King’s Cross campus.”
Google currently employs 5,700 workers in the UK including 2,000 engineers. Following the expansion of the King’s Cross centre, the number will rise to 7,000.
Pichai said Google hasn’t lost confidence in Britain despite the June Brexit vote.
“That’s why we are investing in London in both engineering talent and infrastructure,” said Pichai, Google CEO since October 2015 when parent company Alphabet was created.
“We understand there is uncertainty and even concern about topics like Brexit and the pace of technological change in our times, but we know for certain that web and digital technology will be an engine of growth for the UK for years to come.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan welcomed the announcement as further proof that investment into the capital will remain robust post-Brexit.
“London isn’t just the tech capital of Europe, we are on the shoulder of New York and we are catching up with Silicon Valley,” Khan said.
“Google’s expansion will further strengthen our city’s reputation as a global leader in digital technology.”
Chancellor Philip Hammond said Google’s move demonstrates that the UK is still seen as an open-for-business, outward-looking nation.
“This is big vote of confidence in Britain’s leading position as a global tech-hub and more evidence that leading firms are choosing to invest here,” Hammond said.
“Our technology industry is central to securing future economic growth and this Government is committed to ensuring it continues to thrive.”
Google has been recently caught up in the backlash against digital companies which allegedly enabled spread of false content ahead of the US presidential election.
The company, along with Facebook, on Monday announced measures aimed at halting the spread of ‘fake news’ on the internet by curbing advertising on websites spreading inauthentic content.