Google feels lucky in London: Tech giant bets big on London office space in major boost for capital’s global status

Google is set to pump almost three quarters of a billion into London in a major vote of confidence in the capital’s post-Brexit future.

The tech giant has snapped up the entirety of the Central Saint Giles development in which it currently leases office space, marking a major step change in the firm’s commitment to the city.

Google confirmed last night it would be paying £720m for the entire central London development, equivalent to $1bn, buying it from a joint venture between the Mitsubishi Estate and Legal and General Investment Management.

The firm also confirmed it would be upping its headcount in the UK from 7,400 to 10,000 employees.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak last night said the investment was “proof that this country continues to be one of the most attractive places in the world for leading firms to grow their business.”

Ruth Porat, the British-born chief financial officer of Google’s parent company Alphabet, said the purchase “reflects our continued commitment to the country’s growth and success”, and the deepening of its presence in the UK.

Designed by the Shard mastermind, Renzo Piano, the office complex is home to a host of tech firms as well as retailers and hospitality firms.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, echoed his point and added: “Investment in London’s tech sector has a huge role to play in rebuilding a fairer city for everyone as we recover from the pandemic. I welcome this investment and the exciting new jobs and economic prosperity it will generate for Londoners.”

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