Google has unveiled plans to invest approximately £1 billion in the UK.
The US tech giant announced its commitment to expand its presence in London by building a new campus in King’s Cross which could potentially create up to 3,000 new jobs by 2020.
Google will build a new 10-storey, 650,000 square foot complex alongside its new complex in Pancras Square. It will be company’s first wholly owned and Google designed building outside the US.
There are currently around 4,000 Google employees in the UK, but with the new London HQ that figure will likely rise to around 7,000.
It will be Google’s biggest development outside of the US.
In an interview with the BBC, Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, said that Britain remains an attractive place to do business.
“The UK has been a tremendous market for us,” Mr Pichai told BBC economics editor, Kamal Ahmed.
“We see big opportunities here. This is 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.”
Pichai appears to be optimistic about Britain’s future, despite the uncertainty surrounding the vote earlier this year in favour of Britain leaving the EU.
Speaking on a visit to Britain in King’s Cross, Mr Pichai said:
“Historically, the UK has been an open and connected economy, and like a lot of businesses we are proud of and rely on the fact that we recruit the best talent from around world. We are optimistic that this situation will continue.”
“We understand there’s uncertainty, but we know for certain that the web and digital technology will be an engine of growth for the UK for years to come,” he said.
“We are committed to the UK and excited to continue our investment in our new King’s Cross campus,” Mr Pichai added. “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.”
A ‘big vote of confidence in Britain’s leading position as a global tech hub’
Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, welcomed the news. “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,” he said.
“Our technology industry is central to securing future economic growth and this Government is committed to ensuring it continues to thrive. It’s further proof that Britain is open for business and that we continue to be an outward-looking, world-leading nation.”
The expansion of @google strengthens our city’s reputation as a global leader in digital technology #LondonIsOpen pic.twitter.com/bPcOAqWm3m
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 15, 2016
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said inflows continue to be “robust” after the Brexit vote.
“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 at the event.