The US has Silicon Valley, now the UK gets Google’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’

Put it like that and it doesn’t sound so good does it?

But we mustn’t mock, Google has put some flesh on the bones of its ‘Tech City’ for London notion, agreed with the UK Government last year which is desperate to get something, anything, going to help the economy so long as it doesn’t cost any money.

The new development will be housed in Bonhill Street, just off the City Road in Shoreditch, more or less opposite the splendid HQ of the Honourable Artillery Company and famous Dissenters’ burial ground Bunhill Fields, where William Blake (something of a visionary himself) is buried.

This little corner of East London is known as ‘silicon roundabout’ after the nearby Old Street roundabout (pictured) as it already plays host to lots of small tech companies as well as top ad agencies Mother, Wieden+Kennedy and, nearby, AKQA.

Google UK’s engineering director David Singleton says: “We announced our involvement in the Tech City project last year and we’ve been working hard to make this vision a reality.

“East London is already home to hundreds of innovative British startups and has huge potential for economic growth and new jobs over the coming years.”

Google says it will offer space in the building to up-and-coming tech companies. Its main UK base is a lavish building in Victoria, on the edge of posh Belgravia. It was recently voted the top company in the UK to work for (staff enjoy free food and numerous other benefits).

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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