In a major boost for London, Google is spending $1 billion (£730m) to purchase an office building in London’s West End and spending a further $1 billion (£730m) to construct a separate one-million-square-foot building in King’s Cross.
The investment will be seen as a vote of confidence in London at a time when many offices remain empty or at partial capacity due to Covid-19 work from home guidance and a sign that the tech giant is betting on a return to physical workplaces.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“This investment is proof that this country continues to be one of the most attractive places in the world for leading firms to grow their business.”
The two office spaces, together with another office in Manchester, will give Google the capacity to hold up to 10,000 UK employees.
Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Google and its parent company, Alphabet, said the purchase of Central Saint Giles reflected the company’s “continued commitment to [the UK’s] growth and success”.
It comes as the tech giant added 700 UK staff last year, bringing its total headcount in the country to 6,400.
Ronan Harris, vice president and MD of Google UK and Ireland said:
“We believe that the future of work is flexibility. Whilst the majority of our UK employees want to be on-site some of the time, they also want the flexibility of working from home a couple of days a week.
“Some of our people will want to be fully remote. Our future UK workplace has room for all of those possibilities.”