Google to build new £1 billon London HQ in Kings Cross
17th Jan 2013 | 19:18
New campus to be developed on 2.4 acre plot
Google is planning to develop a new £1 billion UK headquarters after snapping up some prime real estate in central London.
The company has bought a 2.4 acre piece of land at the Kings Cross Central Development, where it will build a plush one million square foot campus, the developers behind the project have confirmed.
Reuters sources claim the search giant will spend around £650m on the plot and construction, with the value of the completed building set to top a £1bn once.
Work will commence later this year, with the 7-11 story building scheduled to be completed by 2016.
Home of the web
The company already has two offices in the Victoria and Holborn districts of the capital, but all staff will be moved to Kings Cross when the site is ready.
Google's Vice President for Northern and Central Europe, Matt Brittin, said: "This is a big investment by Google, we're committing further to the UK - where computing and the web were invented.
"It's good news for Google, for London and for the UK."
For tax reasons?
The new London HQ will join other international properties purchased by Google in Paris and Dublin, but some observers are already claiming the move to buy rather than rent is "tax motivated."
Tax campaigner Richard Murphy told Reuters: "If you're not going to send it back to the parent company to repurchase its shares, which is the normal route for a U.S. corporation sitting on a pile of cash, what else are you going to do with it?."
Google has come under huge criticism in the Britain following allegations of tax avoidance, with the government calling its practices "immoral and evasive."