Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to open London office

European HQ will forge links with organisations it funds

One of the world's largest charitable foundations is opening a headquarters in London.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a $30bn (£18bn) endowment and awarded $2.8bn (£1.7bn) in grants last year, will employ up to 12 staff in the capital.

The London office, which will open at the start of next year, will act as the foundation's European office. It already has offices in Washington DC, Delhi and Beijing in addition to its global headquarters in Seattle.

Joe Cerrell, director of global health policy and advocacy at the foundation, will lead the UK-based team, which will attempt to forge closer links with organisations in Europe that are funded by the foundation.

Geoff Lamb, managing director of public policy at the foundation, said he "would not be surprised" if having a European presence sparked closer relationships that led to an increase in funding in Europe.

The foundation, which funds health and global development initiatives, has awarded $3bn (£1.8bn) to European organisations since it was founded.

It mainly supports state-funded programmes but also has a charitable sector support scheme.

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