The decision by Facebook is a confidence boost for the UK amid all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit with the new job expansion increasing the US tech giant's workforce by over 50 percent in London.
Facebook has announced that it's new London office just off Oxford Street is now open. It plans to hire 800 hi-tech roles in the UK in 2018 and make London its biggest engineering hub outside the US. Total UK workforce will be 2,300 by the end of next year. pic.twitter.com/Q0Ru2X3ENZ— Sam Shead (@Sam_L_Shead) December 4, 2017
More than half the new jobs focus on engineering, making it Facebook's biggest hub outside of the US, and it will also house developer, marketing and sales teams. The team's offices are newly-built and situated in Rathbone Place, just off famous Oxford Street, in a building designed by legendary architect Frank Gehry, responsible for some of the most impressive buildings in the world. His oeuvre includes the Guggenheim in Bilbao, and Louis Vuitton museum in Paris.
It will also be home to LDN_LAB, a scheme launched by Facebook to encourage tech startups, with the company providing experts to advise and assist in engineering as well as products. Around 20 startups will be supported annually.
Commitment to UK
Making the announcement, Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president of Facebook's European operations, said: "Today's announcements show that Facebook is more committed than ever to the UK and in supporting the growth of the country's innovative startups. The UK's flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem and international reputation for engineering excellence makes it one of the best places in the world to build a tech company.
"And we've built our company here — this country has been a huge part of Facebook's story over the past decade, and I look forward to continuing out work," she added.
We're going to need a bigger infographic — now the UK's creative industries are contributing almost £92bn a year to the UK economy! https://t.co/iWcyFbC0q1 #createuk #worldclass #keepingup pic.twitter.com/SlgMVhyDT3— Creative Industries (@CreativeIndsUK) November 29, 2017
Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, welcomed the news, saying: "The emphasis on engineering and the 800 new jobs being created (by Facebook) shows London remains at the forefront of global innovation. What's more the launch of the company's incubator is set to play a crucial role in attracting vital talent to London and will help to pave the way for the next generation of successful startups."
Pleased to open the new Facebook offices in London today. It's great to hear they will hire 800 more highly skilled workers next year. pic.twitter.com/6c1p2956AG— Philip Hammond (@PhilipHammondUK) December 4, 2017
"The UK is not only the best place to start a new business, it's also the best place to grow one. It's a sign of confidence in our country that innovative companies like Facebook invest here," Philip Hammond, the British chancellor, commented.
The expansion comes after Amazon opened a new headquarters in the capital this summer with plans to double the number of research and development staff to 900. It hopes to expand its UK workforce to 24,000 by the end of 2017.
Google has also confirmed plans to build a new head office in the King's Cross district of London with the potential for 3,000 jobs. The 11-storey "landscraper" will from part of Google's London campus and house 7,000 employees.