LONDON: Google on Friday agreed to buy a complex of buildings in central London for $1 billion, but stressed it remains committed to a new hybrid work model in the wake of Covid.
The tech giant will buy the Central St Giles office space where it is a tenant for the equivalent of €872 million.
Google says it will give the site a multi-million pound overhaul to enable flexible working models, including outdoor workspaces.
“This investment represents Google’s continued confidence in the office as a place for in-person collaboration and connection,” the group said in a statement.
The company expects about one-fifth of its workforce to continue working remotely due to job changes caused by the pandemic.
Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Google parent Alphabet, said: “We have had the privilege of doing business in the UK for nearly 20 years and our acquisition of the Central St Giles development reflects our commitment to UK growth and success. Continued commitment.”
“Our focus remains on creating flexible workspaces that foster innovation, creativity and inclusion.”
The acquisition is part of Google’s broader expansion in central London, which is also building a major development in central London.
Google will eventually have 10,000 employees in the UK, up from 6,400.
Meanwhile, the UK government has welcomed Google’s latest expansion as Britain looks to keep the heavyweight company after Brexit.
“Google’s investment in jobs is a vote of confidence in the UK as the world’s leading tech hub,” said Finance Minister Rishi Sunak.
“It also proves that the country remains one of the most attractive places in the world for leading companies to grow their business.”
This comes after Google last year announced plans to buy a New York City office building for $2.1 billion.