The internet giant Google has unveiled plans for its new £650m London headquarters, which could give it the room to more than double its 2,000 staff in the capital.
The company has already gained planning permission for its base at King's Cross, but today submits a further application to the London Borough of Camden for the detailed designs of the building, drawn up by the architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris. Google has 2,000 staff at two sites in the capital, but the new site potentially has room for 4,500 employees from 2017.
Construction of the 725,000 sq ft building – the first purpose-built by Google anywhere in the world – is set to begin early next year, potentially generating 1,500 jobs.
This may help to ease the pressure on the search behemoth, which has come under fierce scrutiny and criticism from MPs in recent weeks for its tax affairs. Margaret Hodge, the chairwoman of the Public Accounts Committee, accused the company of "aggressive tax avoidance". The PAC said the firm paid the equivalent of just $16m (£11m) in UK corporation tax between 2006 and 2011, despite revenues of $18bn.
Dan Cobley, Google UK's managing director, said: "Building our new headquarters in King's Cross is good for Google and good for London."