Google splashes $1bn on new London HQ

Google Central Saint Giles
(Image credit: Google)

Google is seriously expanding its presence in London, snapping up the Central Saint Giles development next to Tottenham Court Road station for $1 billion as part of a plan to expand its UK workforce to 10,000 people. 

Google already rents office space in the development, which was designed by architect Renzo Piano. The building comes with distinctive outside colouring, 38,000 square metres of office space, as well as 100 apartments alongside cafes and restaurants on the ground floor. 

The company is continuing to build its flagship UK office space in King's Cross, announced way back in 2013 and costing £1 billion. According to The Guardian, the King's Cross office will be finished in 2022 and will stand 11 storeys tall. 

Google Central Saint Giles

(Image credit: Google)

Google remains aware that the working landscape has changed during the pandemic, especially in relation to working in an office. The plan, according to the company, is to let employees use a hybrid model. 

"We believe that the future of work is flexibility," Ronan Harris, Google's UK and Ireland boss, says. "Whilst the majority of our UK employees want to be on-site some of the time, they also want the flexibility of working from home a couple of days a week. Some of our people will want to be fully remote. Our future UK workplace has room for all of those possibilities."

Google CFO Ruth Porat said: "We have been privileged to operate in the UK for nearly 20 years, and our purchase of the Central Saint Giles development reflects our continued commitment to the country’s growth and success."

The Financial Times says Google will become a landlord to all existing tenants in the Central Saint Giles development, including NBCUniversal.

Google also recently completed the Grace Hopper subsea cable from America to the UK, further strengthening the link between the search giant and the country. The company has also invested in subsea cables to Africa. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.