back to article Builder could lose golden ticket to Google's King Cross chocolate factory

Google will not start work on its swanky London headquarters for another three years, the head of the firm which won the main contract for its construction has admitted. It is now likely that BAM Construct will lose the contract to build the Kings Cross HQ, as it may be put out to tender. In the annual report, Graham Cash, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Is this better for the UK, Ireland, Wales and Scotland? UKIWS? UKWSI? WUKSI? SUKWI? Yeaah, SUKWI....

    1. joeW

      Re: EMEA

      UK covers Scotland and Wales already, so you're just left with a U and an I.

      Unless you want to go Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland and England... SWINE!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: EMEA


        Anyway, believe it or not I forgot about the designation of England...only Great Britain came up :D

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: EMEA

      I guess they need lots of extra space at Borg Central for all those direct NSA and GCHQ feeds of everything Google spy on about their customers....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And we all pay for it as pretty much all companies use Adwords - at least with people like Apple you can choose whether to buy their stuff.

    1. Don Jefe

      Marketing costs are in the price of everything. Even in things where laws in your country might prohibit certain things from being actively marketed. Pharmacuticles for example, even though the TV, magazines and radio in Europe aren't covered up with adverts for anti-malarial penis pills that lower your cholesterol, everybody on Earth pays a little bit towards the adverts we're graced with having here...

      Regardless, Google provides dirt fucking cheap targeted marketing. That's why 'everybody' uses their products and services. You should see the prices for a two week primetime TV spot for an entire region of the US. Radio is cheaper, but it still ain't cheap if you want to reach your target demographic.

      Google actually provides a rarely discussed social service that I believe is valuable enough to offset a small portion if the bullshit they pull with many of their other practices. Their affordable marketing makes it possible for lots of tiny little businesses to stay open and allows lots of tiny little businesses to open that would simply not exist if a $20 AdWords spend didn't take them directly to the eyeballs of the people who actually want to buy whatever the tiny little business sells.

      Marketing is a necessary part of business and always has been. Some modern practices are deplorable, but that's a function of greed, not the marketing itself. Don't knock it too hard, without marketing you very well might not have a job :)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uk sales

    All this talk of having "UK Sales" positions in London, one would have thought that would mean paying some tax there too ...

    ... rather than just "finding leads" positions, as they claimed.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Uk sales

      Not that I don't agree with you, but Google is the wrong target. Sales has been split into lead qualification, pre-sales, technical pre-sales, finance & insurance and closing since long before Eric Schmidt was born.

      It was that way before most of your Parliament was born. It's those folks in Parliament who you need to take the issue up with. They've spend the last three decades waving the flag of globalization and creating 'business friendly environments' knowing full well they were creating the perfect system to allow companies a legal out for paying taxes. They've stood up on television and traveled the globe bragging about how they've pushed for greater 'flexibility' to 'better suit the needs of modern business' and ensure the 'digital economy' thrives.

      Then they run whining to everybody that they've got a revenue problem. I can assure you, everybody who has interest in international trade saw this coming years many ago. All that was needed were businesses that could bring in big bucks but didn't need to actually make much in the way of physical products. The politicians thought that was great too.

      So get the people who broke it to fix it. The problem is they don't want to do that. None of which can be blamed on Google.

  4. Buzzword

    Just not big enough

    It does seem strange to put a low-rise building on such a valuable prime central location. Presumably their new plans will be taller.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Just not big enough

      Small, inefficient buildings are all the rage nowadays for new companies trying to show their wealth and that they are 'hip, cool and down to earth' and all that rot. If anything they'll probably make it shorter and more space inefficient.

      I suspect that a lot of this is the executives trying to maintain the delusion that they are still in college or something (Which would explain why Zuck and others like him dress like they haven't done laundry in months)

  5. bpfh


    With a bit of luck, Camden may make more money out of tax on the building than the Inland Revenue makes out their taxed profits...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Taxes

      Perhaps they should lease out some of the space to Starbucks, Vodafone, Rolls Royce, Amazon et al. Get Bob Geldof to manage the project. It would be like London's own little piece of the Cayman Islands.

    2. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Taxes

      Nah, the building would end up being owned by some shell company based out of Ireland, The Netherlands or the Caribbean that will be leased by Google Ireland, which happens to be a loss-making staffing and services provider to Google, Inc. At least this is what they do to avoid paying taxes on income, I don't doubt they'd just extend this scheme to real estate.

      1. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: Taxes

        The building will be owned by an offshore company. That in itself doesn't save that much money, it pays 20% income tax rather than 21% corporation tax on the rental income, though corporation tax used to be a lot higher. The real saving comes from having another offshore company lend the money to the property-owning company to buy the building. Loan interest is an allowable expense against rental income, and for the finance company, a company outside the UK receiving interest from another company outside the UK is of no concern to George Osbourne. The rent that the operating company pays to the property company is of course an allowable expense against its corporation tax bill, so there is a saving there as well.

    3. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Taxes

      Non domestic rates go to central government. The council just collects the money.

      1. Mike Pellatt

        Re: Taxes

        NNDR does go to central government, but is then re-distributed back to local authorities as an element of the grant.

        This is the reason that a 1% change in council spending translates to a 3% change in your council tax. Until this changes, there's no way that local authorities can be transparent or realistically accountable to their local electorate. As it is, they really are little more than an arm of central government. Whatever Eric Pickles might claim. And don't get me started on the proportion of our council tax that goes into the unsustainable local government pension scheme.

        I speak as one who, back in the day, was told off like a naughty schoolboy by a minister for breaching their limit on council tax rise by <0.1%.

  6. Warm Braw Silver badge

    Perhaps they're waiting...

    ... to see what the next government's policy on corporate taxation turns out to be. Must be plenty of other places keen on a bit of "investment".

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge

    "understood to have torn up the original plans"

    I guess not even Google can evade scope creep.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "understood to have torn up the original plans"


      More likely it is "generating good press" while waiting to see how our national "exit Europe" adventure is developing.

      I would have done the same - only a mindless cretin would invest into Eu HQ in a country that is about to possibly exit Eu. So any excuse in delaying the delivery is a good excuse now.

      1. Brandy

        Re: "understood to have torn up the original plans"

        Drink sometime?

  8. Brandy

    Mr nathy

    I like chocolate flash

  9. Nunya Biznas

    I know!

    I've been told on the DL by GCHQ via NSA that a VIP at the IAEA would swap for EMEA ASAP but would need to be RSVP'd on the QT...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    950,000 sq ft not big enough?

    Strewth, how big is this chocolate teapot going to be?

  11. Oh Homer

    "what we can achieve in King’s Cross"

    It's just a building. What exactly do they expect to "achieve" in one building that they wouldn't in any other?

    I'd be more concerned about what certain people "achieve" outside a building in King's Cross, especially after dark.

    Or maybe that's part of Google's perks package.

  12. Saqib_s

    Happy to have EMEA

    Europe Middle East Africa, I would be happy to have that in my title, it's a big region to hold. I currently look after Europe adding ME&A would be a fairly significant step up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Happy to have EMEA

      EMEA is a standard term, along with BRICS which makes that one look puny.

  13. Big_Boomer

    Europe AFLAME

    No, not the latest UKIP anti-European sh!te <LOL> this is one of the region names at the company I work for. It means Europe, AFrica, Latin America, Middle East. My Dad used to be responsible for a region known as ROW. Yup, it was a Yank company and ROW meant Rest Of World (ie. not USA or Canada). It sometimes amazes me that they realise that there is a world outside North America. Certainly many software developers seem ignorant of the fact that only the USA uses that stupid bass-ackwards date system.

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