Amazon has announced that it is taking all the space available in a vast new office block in London in order to accommodate its growth in the UK.
The ecommerce giant said in a press release on Tuesday that it decided to take all 15 storeys of the 600,000 sq ft Principal Place building, which straddles trendy Shoreditch and the more corporate City of London.
Amazon, which has been moving staff into the office in recent weeks, was initially only planning to take 431,000 sq ft over an unspecified number of storeys.
The company said the additional space at Principal Place will allow it to double the number of research and development (R&D) roles that it has in London from 450 to 900.
But it’s unclear how many Amazon staff the new office will be able to accommodate in total and Amazon declined to reveal the number.
Last week, an Amazon webpage said Principal Place would be able to accommodate 5,000 staff but it has been amended in the last few days to say that number includes staff in Amazon’s two other London offices at Holborn and Barbican, which can both accommodate several hundred people.
It’s also unclear why the office no longer features the basketball court, tennis court, and swimming pool that were touted in the architect’s initial sketches.
Amazon also has research centres in Cambridge and Edinburgh, as well as warehouses and customer service centres across the country.
In February, the Seattle-headquartered company pledged to hire 5,000 new staff across the UK by the end of the year, bringing its total workforce up to 24,000.
“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,” said Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon in a statement.
“While we open a new development centre to house today’s innovators, we also want to help foster the next generation of inventors by funding a million healthy breakfasts to give schoolchildren the fuel to learn, and expand our bursary programme to help more women get university educations for high tech roles.”
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