Author Lauren Howells

Facebook has opened a new London office, which includes a dedicated “incubator space” for start-ups called LDN_LAB, which it says shows that it is “more committed than ever” to the UK.

London site will be Facebook’s biggest engineering hub outside the US

In a move that will make the social media giant’s London site the biggest engineering hub outside of the US, Facebook has announced that it will create 800 jobs in the UK in 2018, bringing its total number of UK employees to more than 2,300 by the end of next year.

Office will deliver “new thinking and continued contribution to the UK”

Facebook said that the new office, which has been designed by award-winning architect Frank Gehry, aims “to bring world-class talent in engineering, technology and creativity together under one roof” to deliver “continued contribution to the UK”. The 7-storey building, together with a new public square, is located just off Oxford Street in Central London.

Facebook will invite UK-based start-ups to its LDN_LAB

UK-based start-ups will be invited by Facebook to take part in 3 month long programmes at its LDN_LAB, which have been designed to help start-ups to kick-start and accelerate their businesses.

Facebook say that its experts from disciplines including engineering, product and partnerships, will share their “knowledge, expertise and mentorship” as part of this programme.

UK is “one of the best places in the world to build a tech company”

Vice President of Facebook Europe, Middle East and Asia, Nicola Mendelsohn, said:

“The UK’s flourishing entrepreneurial ecosystem and international reputation for engineering excellence make it one of the best places in the world to build a tech company. And we’ve built our company here – this country has been a huge part of Facebook’s story over the past decade, and I look forward to continuing our work to achieve our mission of bringing the world closer together”.

Chancellor described it as a “sign of confidence in our country”

The Guardian reported that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, commented on the office opening, by saying that it was “a sign of confidence in our country that innovative companies like Facebook invest here.”

The CEO of techUK, which represents technology firms throughout the UK, said:

“It is great to see a world-leading company like Facebook continuing to invest in London’s renowned tech ecosystem, despite the uncertainties surrounding Brexit.

“Large businesses are key to supporting innovation and we are excited to see what becomes of the start-ups that can grow and scale as a result of this endeavour. The message is clear: London is open, and tech is the flag bearer.”

Amazon already confirmed its intention to increase staff in London

Earlier this year, the Guardian reported that online retailer Amazon had confirmed that it was to increase the number of research and development staff in London and was intending to expand its UK workforce to 24,000, by the end of this year.