Facebook expanding in Ireland as it acquires Ballsbridge campus

8 Nov 2018

A planned image of the new campus, which will be located in Ballsbridge. Image: Hume Brophy/Transparent House

Facebook says it is expanding its presence in Ireland by acquiring a lease for a new campus in Ballsbridge, Co Dublin.

Internet giant Facebook said today (8 November) that it is expanding its investment in Ireland by acquiring a long-term lease of 14 acres in Ballsbridge for a new campus development. The Bank Centre, a premises currently occupied by AIB, will be the site for the brand new campus for the company.

According to Facebook, the move sees it quadruple its current floorspace to 870,000 sq ft across a number of buildings. The company said it would also open up capacity for an additional 5,000 employees. At present, Facebook employs more than 4,000 people in Ireland.

A significant investment

Head of Facebook Ireland, Gareth Lambe, said: “Ireland is one of the best places in the world to be a technology company and we’re investing here for the long term. By the end of the year, we’ll employ more than 4,000 people across four sites in Ireland working on our family of apps including Facebook, Instagram, Whats App and Oculus.

“This significant investment in a 14-acre campus with capacity for thousands more employees demonstrates our commitment to Ireland, our desire to grow our business here and continue to contribute to the economy.”

He continued: “We’re very excited about the campus project, which will provide our employees and partners a state-of-the-art, modern work environment with lots of collaborative spaces, training spaces and an outdoor plaza with seating areas. As the site will be renovated in phases, the move will happen over three years and will see all 2,000 employees currently based in Grand Canal in the new campus by 2022.”

Last year, Facebook opened its third office, the Samuel Beckett Building in East Point. It also boasts international headquarters in Grand Canal Square, a major data centre in Co Meath and Facebook Reality Labs in Co Cork.

A number of global and regional teams are operated out of Ireland, including the global gaming team and the EMEA SME team. Infrastructure engineering for EMEA is also based in Ireland, with the team overseeing infrastructure operations across the region, ensuring data centres and networks continue to run smoothly.

A landmark for Facebook

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, said: “The acquisition of this new campus is a landmark day for Facebook, which established its international HQ in Dublin in December 2008 and has expanded significantly in Ireland over the last three to four years.

“Without a doubt, this expansion is a huge vote of confidence in Ireland and our pro-enterprise policies. Above all, it is a testament to the calibre of our rich pool of talent, who have contributed so positively to the company’s global growth in the last decade.”

CEO of IDA Ireland, Martin Shanahan, said the announcement deepens Facebook’s commitment to Ireland. He added that the country has become the company’s “primary strategic international hub”.

Updated, 10.15am, 9 November 2018: A previous version of this article mistakenly used an image of a Google campus. This has been amended to include a mock-up of the planned Facebook campus.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects