Struggling Nokia downsizes in move to London

Paddington to be the platform for a fresh attempt to revive the fortune's of the Finnish mobile firm

Mobile phone giant Nokia is to move its head office to London as part of the turnaround of the struggling Finnish firm.

Nine months ago its chief executive told the phonemaker's staff that they were "standing on a burning platform" and would have to jump into the "icy waters" below. The company is making 4,000 job cuts globally and as part of the restructuring it will close its large head office in Farnborough and relocate to to an office in Paddington in central London. Staff were told of the latest restructuring decisions in London last week.

But it has emerged that Nokia is close to selecting a 60,000 sq ft office near Paddington station. The development at Kingdom Street is already home to mobile phone network operators Vodafone and Orange as well as retailers Marks & Spencer and Kingfisher.

Nokia is in the middle of a turnaround and following the job cuts it launched last week a new phone – the Lumia 800. The phone has been well received but Nokia has a long way to go. Before the launch of the iPhone in 2007, Nokia was the main provider of mobile phones in Europe. It remains the world's biggest mobile phone manufacturer but its global share of sales last year fell below 30 per cent for the first time. It has to compete with Google's Android offerings alongside Apple's iPhone.

Nokia teamed up with Microsoft in an attempt to keep up in the fast-paced tech telecoms world and the Lumia 800 is the first product from the tie up. It has also announced it will launch a tablet rival to Apple's iPad that runs on Microsoft's Windows platform in the summer of 2012.

Nokia's design team is already in a small office in Soho. But Nokia hopes the move to Paddington will boost its credentials in the tech telecoms world. The space is more expensive than offices outside London, but the smaller space – 60,000 sq ft to house up to 400 people – is less than a quarter of the size of its current office in Southwood, Farnborough. Nokia announced in April 700 of its 2,400 British staff would lose their jobs.

It had originally looked at alternative offices in Woking, Weybridge and Stockley Park near Heathrow, but it decided central London would improve the calibre of people it could attract to the firm.

But it has snubbed Tech City in East London – the area promoted by the Government for technology companies to move to – an area that stretches from Silicon Roundabout at Old Street eastwards to Stratford.

Nokia is not the first business to turn down the East London area. Telefónica, Europe's largest telecoms company, has preferred a central London location.

Despite the snubs by Telefónica and Nokia, Tech City has attracted Google, which has committed to opening a hub for start -ups.

Last week, Tech City organiser Kevin Eyres, a former European managing director of LinkedIn, published an appeal for at least 70 more mentors to add to the existing 30 to advise the infant tech enterprises in the area.

Nokia could not confirm details of the move but said that staff had only been told "a new location for UK employees will be found in London". A spokesman said: "Our choice is dictated by the design of the building, the surrounding area and facilities and good transport links."

CBRE advised Nokia.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Sport
football
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk