Google leases London property for start-up launchpad

Web giant joins "Tech City" initiative by leasing seven-storey property "to provide a launchpad for new London-based start-ups and developers"

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Web giant Google has announced that it is to lease a seven-storey property in London's Old Street area, in order to house a "launchpad" for technology start-ups.

The company says it will open up the facility "to other organisations that support technology entrepreneurs, working together to provide a launchpad for new London-based start-ups and developers".

Google would not provide any more details on what kind of organisation this refers to, but said that it will "announce more details about the organisations we’ll work with and how they will use the space in the coming months".

The new site will also play host to "speaker series, hackathons, training workshops and product demonstrations for engineers who could benefit from Google’s knowledge of building large scale online services", Google said.

Google plans to open the facility next year, and has signed a lease that lasts until 2022.

The company's decision mirrors plans by networking giant Cisco, which announced a $500 million investment in the UK government's East London Tech City initiative earlier this year. Cisco is planning to establish two "innovation centres" – one in Shoreditch, the other on the Olympic site – where it hopes to incubate start-ups whose technology would stimulate demand for its networking equipment.

However, when it comes to Silicon Valley tech giant actually locating their own offices, the trend appears to favour Dublin over London. Last week, micro-blogging site Twitter announced a new international office in Dublin, where Google and Facebook already have international headquarters.