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Google to back East London Tech City with new start-up centre

Google is opening a seven-storey 'start-up centre' in East London, which will serve as a launchpad for new Internet companies.

Google is set to join the legion of Internet companies at East London Tech City after signing a 10-year lease for a start-up centre, which will serve as a springboard for new businesses and developers in the capital's knackered up-and-coming East End.

Backed by industry giants such as Vodafone, Facebook and Intel, Tech City has some 300 companies working in the area already, the BBC reports. The addition of the Internet's biggest company will only spark many more to join the party.

Speaking of parties, Google, which promises to retain its central London offices when the centre is opened, said the new building will host lots of cool Internet-themed activities, such as "hackathons, training workshops and product demonstrations" to support new companies. It's like a secret James Bond training bunker for geeks!

With additional office space also a feature of the scheme -- 25,000 feet to be precise -- Google will be able to keep a watchful eye on its growing Web-business babies, nurturing them to grow into big healthy corporations like their daddy.

The seven-story building, planned to open in 2012 in Bonhill Street, near Old Street Tube station, will be the first of its kind in the world. Staffed by a crack unit of nerds, or 'advisers' as Google boringly calls them, it will provide help and support to budding technology entrepreneurs.

Google's announcement skips arm-in-arm across the meadow of technology with the East London Tech City scheme -- an initiative announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in November last year to turn East London into a technology hub. It's hoped that eventually the region will become Britain's answer to California's Silicon Valley, where Google's headquarters reside.

Let's hope the Big G's new venture will inspire a wave of innovative tech companies to flourish like a virtual rose garden around Old Street's 'Silicon Roundabout' -- and create a few more much-needed jobs at the same time.