Amazon will provide an additional 1,000 R&D job roles in the UK with the opening of a new office in Manchester and expansion of existing offices in Edinburgh and Cambridge.
The tech giant will open a six-storey, 90,000sq foot corporate office in Manchester’s Grade II-listed Hanover Building next year, allowing for an additional 600 job roles in areas such as software development and machine learning.
Expansion of its Edinburgh development centre in the city’s Waverley Building will provide capacity for more than 250 additional jobs. The centre in Cambridge, meanwhile, will be able to host 180 additional roles.
MP Liam Fox said: “Ensuring that the world’s best and brightest companies continue to invest in the UK is at heart of our Global Britain agenda.
“Amazon’s decision to create hundreds of highly-skilled jobs in Manchester, Edinburgh, and Cambridge is an enormous vote of confidence in the UK and a signal to the world that the UK is very much open for business.”
Doug Gurr, UK country manager at Amazon, said: “These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK.”
In July, Gurr reportedly told UK government figures that a no-deal Brexit could send the UK “into civil unrest” in a couple of weeks, but that his country is committed to a post-Brexit Britain.
“The UK is a fantastic place to do business,” he said. “We are trying to make sure all the businesses that work with us can continue to operate effectively.
“We don’t yet know exactly what the rules are going to be. We will wait and see what happens and adapt as necessary.”
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The 250 new Edinburgh roles will join the software engineers, machine learning scientists, and UX designers who currently work on advertising technology and personalised shopping recommendations.
The Cambridge development centre houses R&D teams that work on AWS, machine learning and retail systems, Amazon devices, the Alexa virtual assistant, and Prime Air, the company’s planned drone delivery service.
Amazon trialed Prime Air deliveries for two Cambridgeshire-based customers back in December 2016. It demoed drone delivery in the US a few months later.
The company opened a new 15-storey head office and development centre in Shoreditch, East London last year.
It also has London offices in Holborn and Barbican, supporting retail, digital entertainment, devices, and AWS businesses, and providing 5,000 jobs across the capital.
Amazon previously invested more than £9.3 billion in the UK to run operations at 17 fulfilment centres and over 40 delivery stations in the UK.
It is expecting to be providing employment to 27,500 people in the country by the end of the year – including around 6,500 roles in corporate, AWS, and R&D divisions.
In the UK, 85,000 people are employed by businesses selling on Amazon. As much as 60 percent of UK businesses selling on Amazon export, bringing in £2.3 billion in 2017.