Facebook to expand size of UK operation by 50% next year

Facebook will expand its workforce by 50% next year when it opens its new London headquarters in Fitzrovia.

Nicola Mendelsohn is announcing the expansion at the CBI conference
Nicola Mendelsohn is announcing the expansion at the CBI conference

The social media giant will hire an additional 500 staff, including marketers, sales staff, engineers and project managers, to bolster its UK workforce to 1,500 people. 

Facebook’s EMEA vice-president Nicola Mendelsohn is due to announce the expansion at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference later today.

The development comes a week after Google chief executive Sundar Pichai reaffirmed his company was "committed to the UK" and planned to hire 3,000 more staff in the country.

Pichai said Google will employ 7,000 people at its London base by 2020.

Mendelsohn will say at the CBI conference that "the UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company" and reveal many of the new jobs will be "high-skilled engineering jobs".

The UK is currently already home to Facebook’s largest engineering base outside of the US.

Projects that engineers at Facebook's London office are developing include Workplace, a platform that seeks to improve communications between workers within a business.

The UK is also where Facebook is developing Aquila, a solar-powered, unmanned plane that seeks to provide internet connectivity to remote regions.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said:  "Facebook's decision to expand in London is further evidence that London’s strength as a tech hub keeps on growing. 

"The capital's vibrant tech scene is the envy of Europe and Facebook's continuing commitment is another sign that London is open to talent, innovation and entrepreneurship from all four corners of the world."

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