LONDON, U.K. - By opening a new office in London, Facebook will be adding 800 jobs to the British capital, in a move that is said to be a huge vote of confidence in the U.K. amid the uncertainty of Brexit.
The new office of the tech giant in London, will be focussed on engineering, and will also reportedly house LDN–LAB, a new scheme to nurture U.K. tech startups.
Facebook has said that all the 800 new jobs would be created over the next year and will increase the company’s U.K. workforce by more than 50 percent.
The company has operated offices in the U.K. for over a decade and as part of the new expansion, Facebook has said that by the end of next year, it would employ more than 2,300 people in the U.K. and more than half of those at the London site would focus on engineering.
This, the company believes would make it Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside the U.S.
Facebook said that the Frank Gehry-designed offices are located in Rathbone Place, just off Oxford Street and will also house developer, marketing and sales teams.
Under the company’s first in-house start-up incubator, called LDN_LAB, tech startups will be invited to take part in three-month programmes designed to help accelerate their development.
Facebook said that it will be looking for an initial five to six startups to join the first programme with application starting this month.
Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president of Facebook’s European operations, said in a statement on Monday, “Today’s announcements show that Facebook is more committed than ever to the U.K. and in supporting the growth of the country’s innovative startups.”
Mendelsohn added, “The U.K.’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 our work.”
Meanwhile, commenting on the announcement, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, said, “The U.K. 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.”
Commenting on the announcement by Facebook, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “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.”