Amazon to double R&D team size with new London HQ

Hiring spree will bring Amazon's London headcount to 5,000 by 2018

Amazon plans to double the size of its R&D team to 900 as it moves into its new UK headquarters in Shoreditch, London.

The London Development Centre, where the extra 450 hires will work, will occupy three floors in the 15-storey building, named Principal Place, with the remaining 12 being occupied by other corporate staff.

Software development engineers, user-interface experts, data analysts and graphic designers will all be based there, and will focus primarily on the R&D of Amazon's global Prime Video service.

Principal Place is one of three Amazon offices in London, the other two being located in Holborn and Barbican. The company said it hopes to increase its total headcount in the capital to 5,000 by 2018.

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"London is one of the world's truly great cities and home to some of the most talented, creative people on the planet, and we are delighted to provide our teams of innovators with a new, purpose-built workplace," said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon.

"While we open a new development centre to house today's innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles."

London mayor Sadiq Khan said the announcement is a demonstration of London's diverse and talented population, reaffirming the city as one of the world's tech innovators. He said the move will help portray London as a hub for entrepreneurship, encouraging more businesses to set up their head offices in the capital.

"London is open to talent, innovation and entrepreneurship and the natural place for major global companies to call home and it's great news that Amazon has put its confidence in our unique blend of talent, creativity and access to finance," Khan said.

"This is the latest in a long line of recent major investments in London by global tech firms over the last year, and shows once more that our great city is the tech capital of Europe."

Google is also moving to a new office in London, with work set to begin next year on a giant hub in Kings Cross

Picture: Bigstock

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