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Amazon Doubles UK R&D Staff With London HQ Opening

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

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Amazon appears to be unfazed by the Brexit concerns as it boosts presence in the capital

Amazon is to double the number of research and development (R&D) roles in London to coincide with the opening of its new UK head office. 

The roles will help fill the 15 stories and 600,000 sq ft of office space Amazon has with its HQ in the Principle Place building in London’s trendy Shoreditch, an area were much of the UK’s tech startup scene takes place in. 

With the extra space Amazon can double the capacity of its London Development Centre from 450 to 900 “high tech staff”.

The online retailer come technology company has plans to boost corporate, research and development staff to more than 5,000 across the trio of sites it has in London; the other two being located in Holborn and Barbican. 

Beating Brexit 

EU Brexit referedumDespite concerns that Britain’s plans to leave the European Union will have technology businesses and workers high-tailing it out of the nation, Amazon appears to be unconcerned with the potential negative affects Brexit could have. 

It boasted an investment of £6.4 billion into the UK since 2010, so it would appear Amazon is here to stay. 

“London is one of the world’s truly great cities and home to some of the most talented, creative people on the planet, and we are delighted to provide our teams of innovators with a new, purpose-built workplace,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon.

“While we open a new development centre to house today’s innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles.”

Amazon’s commitment to the UK is also a testament to the power of London as arguably the world’s capital city, to attract both businesses and people despite the high costs of living and the results of a divisive referendum. 

Naturally, the government jumped on the opportunity to talk up the UK’s position as a hub of technology, rather then acknowledge the rather unique appeal of London perhaps compared to other UK cities. 

“This is great news for Britain – Amazon’s increased investment in developing cutting-edge technology in London is another vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading centre of creativity and innovation,” said Minister for Digital Matt Hancock. 

Google is another company that seems to have shrugged off concerns over Brexit, having opened a new cloud region in the UK. 

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