(AFP) – Global technology colossus Apple on Wednesday announced plans to create a London headquarters in the iconic and long-abandoned Battersea Power Station on the banks of the River Thames.
“We are looking forward to opening Apple’s new London campus at The Battersea Power Station in 2021,” the world’s most valuable company said in a statement.
Around 1,400 staff from eight existing offices in London will relocate to the renovated landmark, whose distinctive chimneys have towered over the central neighbourhood of Battersea since the 1930s.
The former power station lay derelict since it stopped generating electricity in 1983, but is undergoing a £9 billion ($11.7 billion, 10.4 billion euros) makeover to turn the 42-acre (170,000 square metre) space into offices, apartments, shops and leisure facilities.
The new “Apple complex” will take over 40 percent of the office space.
The firm called it “a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighbourhood rich with history.”
Finance minister Philip Hammond said the announcement “further strengthens London’s position as a global technology hub, and demonstrates how the UK is at the forefront of the next steps in the tech-revolution.
The power station is one of the world’s largest brick structures, and is noted for its Art Deco interior fittings.
It has frequently popped up in popular culture, featuring in The Beatles film “Help!” and on the cover on Pink Floyd’s 1977 album “Animals”.