Ama­zon HQ could be just the start as Lon­don’s City

Irish Independent - Business Week - - TECHNOLOGYTECHNOLOGY - Sam Cham­bers

AMA­ZON.COM is ex­pand­ing the size of its new UK head­quar­ters to sup­port the growth of its Prime Video ser­vice in Europe.

The world’s largest on­line re­tailer will oc­cupy the en­tire 15 f loors of the newly con­structed tower on the edge of the City of Lon­don, af­ter ini­tially hav­ing planned to only take 11. The ad­di­tional space will house 450 new re­search and de­vel­op­ment re­cruits for its on- de­mand movie ser­vice.

“The UK is a fan­tas­tic place to find tal­ent and we feel good about build­ing a global R& D cen­tre here,” Doug Gurr, head of Ama­zon’s UK busi­ness, said at the open­ing of the site.

“We’re very con­fi­dent we’ll be able to re­cruit ev­ery­one we need.”

Ama­zon joins a list of large US tech firms, in­clud­ing Snap, Face­book and Google in dou­bling down on Lon­don ex­pan­sion plans ahead of the UK’s de­par­ture from the Euro­pean Union. As in­vest­ment banks plot re­lo­cat­ing some op­er­a­tions away from the City of Lon­don, landlords are over­haul­ing workspace his­tor­i­cally oc­cu­pied by fi­nan­cial firms in a bid to at­tract tech com­pa­nies.

Ama­zon is ex­pand­ing its space in the new build­ing, which fea­tures a roof gar­den and is sur­rounded by new cafés and restau­rants, amid ner­vous­ness in the prop­erty mar­ket cre­ated by un­cer­tainty over the na­ture of the UK’s di­vorce from the EU.

‘You might see some banks and sim­i­lar in­sti­tu­tions run into prob­lems — any­thing that hasn’t been up­dated in a few years is go­ing to have is­sues’

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