Google Commits To Locating In London’s Tech City

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Google is taking a ten year lease on a building in London’s tech city, known as silicon roundabout

The efforts of the Coalition government and the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson have been rewarded, as it emerged that search engine giant Google has taken a ten year lease on a building located in London’s Tech City.

Tech City is the East London area often referred to as “Silicon Roundabout“, which has been intended by Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron as an Olympic legacy .

Google is the latest in a number of big names committing to the area, which is rapidly emerging as something of a hub for Internet companies and start-ups. So far Tech City has gained investment from Cisco, Yammer and others. It has also been considered for Twitter’s European headquarters.

Another advantage is that it has also been given a 1.5Gbps broadband trial by Virgin Media.

LaunchPad Offices

Google has signed a ten year lease for a seven-floor building in the Old Street area (namely Bonhill Street). The building will apparently provide office space for other start-ups and entrepreneurs, and will host a range of activities, with speaker events, hackathons, training workshops and product demonstrations.

However Google reportedly said that the new building will not affect its current UK headquarters (in Victoria). The building will open in 2012, after being fully refurbished.

“We announced our involvement in the Tech City project last year, and we’ve been working hard to make this vision a reality,” David Singleton, Google UK’s engineering director was widely reported as saying.

“Finding a suitable building is the first major step, and we hope to announce more details about the organisations we’ll work with and how they will use the space in the coming months,” he reportedly said. “East London is already home to hundreds of innovative British start-ups, and has huge potential for economic growth and new jobs over the coming years.”

Great News

As mentioned above, the deal is welcome news for Boris Johnstone and David Cameron, as the government-backed project aims to establish ‘silicon roundabout’ as a rival to Silicon Valley in California.

The Chancellor, George Osborne, reportedly welcomed the investment, calling it “great news”.

“It shows that we can create the right environment to attract start-ups and established high-technology businesses,” Osborne was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph.

He also reportedly said it “shows that Britain is open for high-tech business”.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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