Online retailer to expand R&D operations in the city as well as in Edinburgh and Cambridge
Amazon has said the UK will be “taking a leading role in global innovation” as it announced plans to hire 1,000 more technology, research and other skilled workers by next year.
The US online retailer is to open its first office in Manchester, with room for 600 new jobs in the Hanover Building in the city’s Northern Quarter – once the headquarters of the Co-operative Group.
Doug Gurr, the UK manager for Amazon, said the UK was “taking a leading role in our global innovation”.
“These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK,” he said.
Amazon said the new Manchester team would work on research and development, including software development and machine learning.
Gurr said: “Manchester was at the heart of the industrial revolution and has a fantastic history of innovation. The city offers an incredibly talented workforce and a budding tech scene with some of the most exciting, fast-growing tech companies in the UK situated here.”
Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “Amazon opening their new office in Manchester is another vote of confidence in our city-region as a global digital leader.”
In the latest phase of Amazon’s UK expansion, the firm said it was also creating space for 250 more high-skilled roles in Edinburgh, where it is taking three floors of the Waverley Gate building.
The company is also expanding its offices in Cambridge, where technicians work on the group’s Alexa digital personal assistant system, drone development and other Amazon devices. Amazon is making room for 180 new roles in Cambridge.
Amazon’s rapid global growth has spurred it to hire thousands of workers in Britain in recent years, most of whom are based at its warehouses.
The company this month responded to criticism of poor pay and conditions for its warehouse workers with the announcement of a pay rise to £10.50 an hour in London and £9.50 across the rest of the country.
However, it later emerged that the company had slashed share bonuses for those workers, offsetting at least half of the pay rise.