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Google's London office expansion to boost digital jobs

08/03/2013

Google's decision to establish a new London headquarters in King's Cross could lead to a wealth of new digital job opportunities in the capital.

The search engine giant has purchased a 2.4-acre plot at the King's Cross Central development, where it intends to build a one million sq ft office. Construction should start later this year and the building will be ready in 2016.

Once completed, the office will become the new home for staff currently working at Google's bases in Victoria and Holborn. According to one source, it could be worth up to £1 billion.

Argent, the developer of King's Cross Central, is thought to have been in discussions with Google about the move for several years.

Google executives have signalled that the company intends to boost its presence in the enterprise sector and target major growth over the next few years, as it continues to rival industry veterans such as IBM and Microsoft.

In a statement from Matt Brittin, Google's vice president for northern and central Europe, the new London headquarters was described as "a big investment by Google".

He said: "We're committing further to the UK - where computing and the web were invented. It's good news for Google, for London and for the UK."

This has been corroborated by the news that Google has officially launched its new digital training initiative, Squared, in the English capital.

Dan Cobley, UK managing director of Google, told Campaign that there is a concern the marketing and advertising world is insufficiently tuned in to the needs of the digital world.

"It's not just about Google either - we had a panel in one of the pilots where we had Facebook, Twitter and Google all together talking about how social was a new force in marketing," he added.

The Squared curriculum is designed to respond to the demands within the industry through a free six-week course open to graduates and senior agency staff.

Despite the company's latest commitment to London, it has faced criticism for its corporate tax avoidance strategy. It recently emerged that Google used Bermuda as a tax haven, while paying just £6 million in corporation tax in the UK in 2012.

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