By Natasha Bach
December 4, 2017

Brexit isn’t scaring Facebook out of the U.K.

The social media giant announced Monday that it will be hiring an additional 800 employees in London, expanding its workforce in the British capital to 2,300.

The majority of the new hires will be in engineering roles and are to be recruited over the next year, according to Bloomberg. These changes will make the London office Facebook’s largest engineering hub outside of the U.S.

The new hires will ultimately work in Facebook’s new London office, a space designed by Frank Gehry and located near Oxford Circus that opened Monday. In addition to housing Facebook employees, the social network’s new London headquarters will host a dedicated incubator space for startups called LDN_LAB. Starting Monday, startups can apply to take part in three-month programs designed “to help you achieve your business goals, with training and mentorship from our Facebook team and a range of other top professionals.”

Facebook's new London HQ near Oxford Circus opened Monday.
TOBY MELVILLE—REUTERS

Facebook’s decision to expand its British presence despite the looming uncertainty of Brexit echoes that of other tech giants such as Google and Amazon. In July, Amazon announced an additional 450 high tech jobs and opened a new office in London. And Google has plans in place to build an 11-story “landscraper” in London, which will be as long as London’s highest building is tall, the Shard. The new office will create 3,000 jobs.

Read: How Facebook Plans to Use Artificial Intelligence to Help Prevent Suicide

U.K. Chancellor Philip Hammond said in a statement that “It’s a sign of confidence in our country that innovative companies like Facebook invest here.” The U.K. hopes that the sustained presence of tech giants like Facebook and Google will reassure startups and venture capital firms and reassert the attractiveness of London as a tech hub in Europe.

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