New facility in Bonhill Street to host hackathons and help start-ups
Search engine giant Google has signed a ten-year lease on a seven-story office block in East London, the company has confirmed, in a move aimed at boosting the ‘Tech City’ project.
Google said it would open up its new office space “to other organisations that support technology entrepreneurs, working together to provide a launchpad for new London-based start-ups and developers”.
The deal is not thought will affect Google’s London HQ in Victoria.
The office space, of which the lease comes at a significant cost, will host programming hackathons, training workshops and product demonstrations, Google said.
“Finding a suitable building is the first major step, and we hope to announce more details about the organisations we’ll work with and how they will use the space in the coming months,” said Google UK engineering director David Singleton.
The Chancellor, George Osborne, said the move shows that Tech “City can create the right environment to attract start-ups and established high-technology businesses".
"This shows that Britain is open for high-tech business,” he added.
Tech City is a government-backed initiative to grow a new cluster of start-up tech companies across the East End. The zone runs from the Shoreditch to Stratford.
The so-called ‘Silicon Roundabout’ is the focus of the project, and situated at the heart of area. It is hoped that hundreds of start-up tech companies will open around and nearby the Old Street roundabout.
Imperial College London, Loughborough University and University College London have agreed to be academic partners in the hub.
In 2008, there were thought to be just 15 high-tech companies around Silicon Roundabout, while today there are an estimated 200 companies occupying the zone.