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Meta pays £149m to ditch London office lease

Meta London
Image credit: Tada Images / Shutterstock

Meta has paid £149m to exit its lease on an office building in London as flexible working continues to dominate in the city.

The Facebook owner, which has three other locations in the UK capital, paid the fee to British Land, which owns the building near Regent’s Park.

Despite agreeing to the 20-year lease back in 2021, Meta had yet to actually move in any employees to the location and is instead opting to cut costs on office space in city.

British Land said the surrendering of the lease, even with the hefty payment, would reduce its earnings over the next six months.

Despite this, the FTSE 250 property firm said in a trading statement that it saw the move as an opportunity for future growth.

“Meta’s surrender of our building at 1 Triton Square… enables us to accelerate our plans to reposition Regent’s Place as London’s premier Innovation and Life Sciences campus.”

Meta has been keen to cut costs over the last year as costly investments into untested areas such as the metaverse have yet to provide financial relief from heavy inflation and interest rate rises.

In April, the company announced plans to cut 10% of its UK workforce and backtracked on previous plans to establish London as the operational centre of Instagram.

Reducing office space is another cost-cutting measure, with flexible working emerging as the preferred option for UK office building landlords.

Recent data published by the Instant Group found that the majority of UK landlords are planning to develop additional flexible workspaces, with 78% claiming to have seen a rise in demand.