Amazon staff have started moving into a huge new office in London, according to two of the company’s employees.
The Seattle-headquartered tech giant announced the new 15-storey office in September 2014, saying it was necessary to support its continued growth in the UK.
Bill Burkland, head of Amazon Business in the UK, and Matt Keirle, an Amazon PR manager, told Business Insider on Wednesday that a number of staff have already moved into the new building, located on the border of trendy Shoreditch and the City of London.
The 600,000 sq ft building, known as Principal Place, can accommodate over 5,000 Amazon employees. Plans for the office show that it has a swimming pool, a basketball court, and a tennis court on the roof terrace.
Amazon’s UK country manager Doug Gurr is hosting an office launch party on July 26 to mark the official opening of the new building.
There were concerns that tech giants would cancel their new London offices as a result of Brexit but Amazon remains committed to the UK.
Tech City UK CEO Gerard Grech told Business Insider in June 2016 that it was “hard to tell” whether companies like Google and Amazon would relocate their UK headquarters if the UK voted to leave the EU.
Amazon announced in May that it has invested £6.4 billion across the UK since 2010. This year, it has pledged to create 5,000 new permanent roles across the country, bringing its full time workforce to 24,000.
Amazon first started operating in the UK in 1998 from an office in Slough. The company has since expanded rapidly and today it has a number of offices across the country.
Indeed, there is a large Amazon office in London near St Paul’s, as well as Amazon research and development (R&D) centres in Edinburgh and Cambridge. Then there’s the network of vast Amazon warehouses across the country that contain products sold on Amazon’s website. Amazon also has a secret drone test site just outside Cambridge.
Google is also in the process of expanding its property empire in the UK, with a new Google “groundscraper” planned for a plot of land behind King’s Cross train station in London.
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