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Facebook To Hire 500 UK Staff Next Year To Boost Engineer Workforce

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The expansion comes on the heels of Google’s approval of a £1bn UK investment

Facebook is to expand its British workforce by half when it moves into its new London headquarters next year, the company will announce today.

The company currently employs about 1,000 staff in the UK and plans to add another 500 employees, many in highly skilled areas such as engineering roles, the company’s European head Nicola Mendelsohn will announce at a conference of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Monday.

Expanded engineering base

Facebook's new headquarters

The social media company’s new offices, where the majority of its staff will be based, are to be located at a site currently undergoing redevelopment in Fitzrovia, near the West End, and are set to open in 2017.

“The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company,” Lady Mendelsohn stated. “By the end of next year we will have opened a new HQ and plan to employ 1,500 people.”

She noted that the UK hosts Facebook’s largest engineering base outside the US, including its Aquila project, based in Somerset, for providing Internet connectivity to remote areas via solar-powered unmanned planes.

London engineers are involved in the development of the Workplace enterprise offering, made generally available last month after a period of trials.

The new hires are to include engineers, marketers, project managers and sales staff.

Brexit turmoil

The news follows Google’s formal announcement last week that it would push ahead with a £1 billion UK expansion that had been thrown into doubt by the EU referendum and disagreements over the design of massive new Kings Cross premises.

Amazon has said it plans to move from its longtime base in Slough to a 15-floor office in the City of London next year.

London mayor Sadiq Khan said Facebook’s move indicated continued confidence in the British economy by major US companies.

“The capital’s vibrant tech scene is the envy of Europe, and Facebook’s continuing commitment is another sign that London is open to talent, innovation and entrepreneurship from all four corners of the world,” he stated.

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