Tech and Media giants take capital space
Facebook officially opened its first engineering office outside of the US in East London this week, whilst broadcaster Channel 5 has been revealed as a frontrunner to occupy the Olympic media centre in Stratford.
The social networking site is set to employ as many as 20 engineers to work on mobile, platform and machine learning products in technology hub Tech City. Representatives said London was chosen as a preferred location for its access to highly qualified and experienced staff.
A source said: “London is a perfect fit for Facebook engineering – it’s a global hub, and it has a vibrant local start-up community with lots of great technical talent. Our team in London will start small, focusing on building a core of great engineers.”
Chancellor George Osborne attended the opening, calling it a “vote of confidence in our capital and our country.”
He continued: “It is fantastic that Facebook, one of the world’s leading technology companies, has chosen London as its first major engineering hub outside of the US.”
“This reflects the attractiveness of London, its culture, its infrastructure and its people, but also the hard work that the British Government has put in to make sure that the UK becomes the technology hub for Europe.”
Elsewhere, the Evening Standard uncovered on-going talks between Channel 5 and the iCity consortium, who won the bid to turn the Olympic media centre in to a “digital cluster”.
The television company is eyeing a move to the broadcast centre of the £330m complex – the same size as a Canary Wharf skyscraper – which was home to 20,000 journalists during the 2012 Games.
iCity, owned by property developers Delancey and ‘data centre experts’ Infinity, said it had been in talks with other broadcasters alongside Channel 5. Hackney Community College and Loughborough University have already been signed up to move in next year with the creation of 4,500 jobs.