Facebook announces 50% expansion in UK jobs

The company will hire 500 new people as it moves to new London offices

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Facebook has unveiled plans to increase its number of UK employees by 50%, as part of its move to a new London headquarters next year.

The social network giant will bring on an extra 500 members of staff, supplementing the existing 1,000-strong workforce. Most will be housed in its new, currently unfinished Fitzrovia office space, although some will be based at the company's Somerset site.

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The plans will be announced by the company's EMEA vice president Nicola Mendelsohn at the Confederation of British Industry conference later today, who said: "the UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company and is an important part of Facebook's story."

"We came to London in 2007 with just a handful of people, by the end of next year we will have opened a new HQ and plan to employ 1500 people," she said. The news was welcomed by London mayor Sadiq Khan, who said that it was "further evidence that London's strength as a tech hub keeps on growing".

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

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New job opportunities will be spread across a variety of roles including sales and marketing, but Mendelsohn confirmed that many will be "high-skilled engineering jobs", and pointed out that the UK is Facebook's largest non-US engineering base. British-based development teams have developed several key innovations for the company, including collaboration tool Workplace and the solar-powered Aquila internet drones.

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