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Dyson picks former nightclub for new Singapore base after UK exit

Hannah Boland
Dyson's concept image for its new headquarters

Dyson has chosen former nightclub complex Saint James Power Station as its new Singapore headquarters, saying it would provide a "most inspiring backdrop" for its staff.

The 110,000 square foot site had housed one of the largest nightlife destinations in Singapore up until last year, with 11 so-called "concepts" including nightclubs and food sites.

Dyson said the property would be converted into research laboratories, which would allow it to double the number of engineers and scientists it could employ in Singapore over the next five years. Currently, around 1,200 people work for the British business in Singapore, of which more than 350 are engineers. 

Jim Rowan, chief executive of Dyson, said: "After 12 years of growth in Singapore, continuing expansion in the UK, and growing sales globally, we have outgrown our current technology centre in Singapore.

"It will be a hive for our research and development endeavours."

The company announced it was moving its headquarters from the UK to Singapore in January – a decision which prompted a public backlash amid claims Dyson was abandoning its heritage and potentially depriving the UK of millions of pounds of tax revenue. 

At the time, Layla Moran, then an MP and now the Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon, said: “James Dyson can say whatever he wants but he is ditching Britain."

The company had insisted the move was a commercial decision given its manufacturing base and supply chain is located in the Far East, saying having management there "makes sense". 

Some had pointed to Singapore's more lenient tax regime compared to the UK, with corporate tax at 17pc compared to 19pc in Britain, although Dyson has denied suggestions its decision was related to tax. 

Since moving its headquarters, the company's founder Sir James Dyson has bought a three-storey penthouse in the city for a reported S$73.8m (£43.3m). It is located at the top of Singapore's tallest building, the Guoco Tower.