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Northern Star


Hanover building in Manchester. Photographer: Ian Canham/Alamy

Amazon.com Inc, the world’s largest online retailer and a prominent cloud services provider, has opened its first corporate office in the UK - in Manchester. The company has leased the century-old Hanover Building, and will populate the six floors and 90,000 square feet with 600 people, creating new jobs in the city, including software developers and branding specialists.

The new office is nestled in a district populated with trendy bars, restaurants, theatres and cultural history. With the city’s 15th-century cathedral and the Manchester Arena concert venue within walking distance from Amazon’s office.

Amazon UK, country manager Doug Gurr said in a statement “We are already actively hiring”. As of Jan 15, the company had 19 open positions in Manchester classed as corporate, including a sales manager and a tax analyst.

A spokesman for Amazon separately said that although the retailer has other sites around the UK, including Edinburgh, Cambridge, and parts of England’s north west, they were primarily either R&D hubs or distribution centres.

By selecting Manchester as a non-London central hub for corporate roles, the retail giant follows companies such as the BBC, which over the past decade has created or moved thousands of jobs into a purpose-built site in nearby Salford. Additionally, Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google both have outposts in Manchester.

Nonetheless, London’s appeal to investors continues to wildly outweigh that of cities like Manchester, Cambridge, Bristol and Edinburgh, all of which are home to top scientific universities and notable tech firms, which only accounted for about a fifth of Britain’s total 3.17 billion pounds of technology VC funding for the first half of 2019.


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