Recent news of several noteworthy new data centre developments has generated excitement in our Open Space team. These projects signal the government and public's commitment and confidence in continuing digitisation of the UK's infrastructure, and represent a sizable investment in land, infrastructure and the workforce.
Why The UK Needs More Data Centres
There is no escaping the fact that the UK is on a rapid digitisation journey. UK businesses and individuals are embracing the benefits that technology offers and enjoying a life which is simplified by smart technology, much of which is cloud hosted.
The government's continuing commitment to 5G and the Internet of Things will only continue to grow this reliance on data and protecting this data requires investment in cyber security, physical security and emergency preparedness. Much of this is handled by routing data through dedicated data centres.
These hubs are specifically designed to host vast quantities of data securely and safely, to comply with legislation and industry standards and to compartmentalise each user's data to ensure that data privacy is maintained at all times.
It is impossible to achieve the government's digitisation roadmap without investing in the necessary infrastructure and workforce to perform the task to adequate standards. This is why our Open Space team is delighted to hear the news of two new developments.
Google's Waltham Cross Development
The first of these new developments is owned by Google and will be situated on a 33 acre site at Waltham Cross in Herefordshire. The site already belongs to the company, having been acquired in 2020, and the project, with an estimated order book value of £789m is already under construction.
Curiously, however, whilst many details relating to the construction have been released, it is as yet unclear who the lead contractor is for the project. The project was announced at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos and is anticipated to accelerate the growth of AI and improve the reliability of Google services for UK users.
The company has committed to integrate environmentally-conscious measures into the build, and will use next-gen techniques to distribute the heat that is generated by the facility to homes and businesses in the local area, reducing their reliance on traditional forms of heating and minimising the facility's carbon impact.
Google currently employs 7000 people in the UK and anticipates that this new data centre will dramatically increase this figure, particularly during the build phase. This means that this project will not only deliver long-term digitisation benefits to the UK public and businesses but also represent a continuing commitment to the UK's economy and an investment in its people.
Royal Docks Data Centre
Developer GLP has reduced their shortlisted candidates. leaving two in the race to assume lead contractor for their planned Silvertown data centre, based in the Royal Docks in London. The intent is to completely transform the 19 acre site, much of which is derelict, into a thriving inner-city data centre hosting impressive infrastructure and office space.
Having been subjected to thorough review and consultation, the development will dramatically enhance the area and create jobs, now and in the future, for local people. The two construction firms in the running to transform this site are Mace and McLaren. Both are Build Space clients, and we wish them the best of luck in their endeavours and stand ready to support them with the provision of talent at any point that it is required.
The UK is on an exciting digitisation journey, and news of projects such as these reinforces the government's commitment to easing the burden for UK businesses and enabling digital access for all of the UK's citizens. Both projects will create jobs in their local communities, provide valuable upskilling opportunities for existing workers and contribute to the country's long-term economic stability.
As with all new projects, they will doubtless incorporate energy efficiency measures to reduce their carbon footprint, and it is very likely that the carbon reduction and offset strategies that they employ will be revolutionary and exciting. We look forward to watching these projects develop and to supporting them through the provision of talented construction professionals where this is required.
To find out more about how our Open Space team is supporting the data centre revolution, please contact us today.