Amazon has said it will double its number of research and development roles in London as it opens a new UK head office boosting its overall workforce with 5,000 new jobs across the country this year.
The company is currently moving into the 15 storey, 600,000 square feet new office, the Principal Place building in Shoreditch, so it can double the capacity of its London Development Centre from 450 to 900 high tech staff, as well as house other corporate roles from across the company.
By the end of the year, Amazon will have over 5,000 corporate and research and development roles in London across three offices in Shoreditch, Holborn and Barbican supporting its retail, digital entertainment, devices and Amazon Web Service businesses.
The e-commerce giant said it has invested £6.4 billion in the UK since 2010 and has previously pledged to create 5,000 new jobs in the UK this year, upping its British workforce to 24,000 permanent employees across the country. The new job opportunities are aimed at software developers, engineers and technicians, as well as those seeking entry-level positions and on-the-job training in operations roles.
As its head office opened, Amazon said it had increased community investment plans to help young people reach their full potential in the digital world including funding one million schoolchildren’s healthy breakfasts in the upcoming school year through the charity Magic Breakfast, and doubling the size of its Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary programme.
"This is great news for Britain - Amazon's increased investment in developing cutting-edge technology in London is another vote of confidence in the UK as a world-leading centre of creativity and innovation," minister for digital, Matt Hancock, said.
London mayor, Sadiq Khan, added: “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.”
Amazon’s UK Country Manager, Doug Gurr, said: “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.”
“There is a thriving creative community here in London, many of whom we already work with on Amazon Original and exclusive TV shows like "The Grand Tour" and the forthcoming "Good Omens",” said Jay Marine, v.p of Amazon Video Europe. “We also have hundreds of dedicated software engineers right here in London working hard every day to deliver a fantastic video experience to our Prime members, wherever they’re watching on whatever device they are using.”
Amazon staff reportedly started moving into the Shoreditch building earlier this month after the office plans were first announced in September 2014. Previously suggested office features, such as a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a tennis court on the roof terrace, have not come to fruition despite being circulated in computer generated images.