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Data Centres

Why Data-related industries and investment?

Data centres are at the heart of the UK’s digital infrastructure and represent the focal point where the (UK Government’s) Industrial Strategy and the digital strategy should meet (Tech UK).

 

The UK is a globally important data centre market (holding 6% of the world market share), home to the largest datacentre market in Europe (holding 22% of market share) and the world’s second largest commercial cluster.

 

There are approximately 400-450 data centre facilities in the UK and over 289 colocation centres. Each new datacentre contributes over £400m Gross Value Added per year to the UK economy. COVID-19 has boosted growth expectations for the sector, with an anticipated increase from £2.7bn in 2019 to £7.4bn in 2024.

 

The South East ranks 3rd in England for the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources and is home to numerous regional and national fibre networks, including Openreach, CenturyLink, Vodafone and SSE/NEOS.

 

In particular, the Thames Valley is central to the UK’s data centre landscape and is supported by 21st century digital infrastructure, complete supply chains and a focus on green-tech and sustainable energy sources. Moreover, the launch of the Fibre Spine Project will accelerate the effort to build a dark fibre route (with dark fibre buildings concentrated in Slough and Reading within our region).

 

This heart’s natural pacemaker is the Slough Trading Estate in Berkshire.

 

Why SEGRO’s Slough Trading Estate?

“By most analyses, Slough would be considered the 2nd largest global data centre cluster, behind Ashburn, Virginia (USA)”.

 

The Estate benefits from having many of the essential requirements data centres are looking for:

 

  • Connectivity: A dense fibre network with high latency to the City of London, the USA and Europe. All major carriers serve the Estate, the majority with network immediately adjacent.
  • High Security: SEGRO provides the highest security standards on the Estate – 24/7 on-site monitored CCTV system with 92+ cameras; out-of-hours security patrols, ANPR, airwave radio and video link and Business Watch Manager.
  • Internet Exchange Points (IEP): Access to at least four internet exchange points (see: Link London Network).
  • Planning Certainty: A Simplified Planning Zone covers the whole Estate and is operational until November 2024, allowing redevelopment with minimal planning requirements. Maximum site coverage – 49.9%; maximum building height – 16m.
  • Risk mitigation: The Estate is not in a flood risk area (defined by the Environment Agency); not under the main Heathrow flight paths and has no adjacent or nearby COMAH registered sites.
  • Secure Power: On-site biomass power station backed up by connections to National Grid.
  • Strong Track record: Developing buildings and partnerships with customers.  Able to deliver at speed to create what an individual client requires, flexing space and power.
  • Bespoke leases: Giving occupiers operational control and financial certainty – leases available on minimum 15-year term certain.
  • Buildings Built by Design/Standard: Buildings constructed with the highest standards of eco-features, including EPC (A+), BREEAM (Very Good) Ratings and the very latest in M&E design.
  • Centre of Excellence: Experienced and dedicated in-house operation collaborating with an established local team.

The Slough Estate is Europe’s largest data centre conurbation, currently hosting 29 data centres across a total of 333,000 sqm gross floor area – 108,000 sqm of datacentre take-up since 2018.

 

Key businesses present include: Century Link, China Mobile, Cyxtera, Equinix, Go Daddy, Iron Mountain, Logicalis, NTT Communications, Rackspace, Virtus and Zenium.

Additional key locational advantages include:

  • Proximity to Central London (17 min train journey); London Heathrow airport (10 miles) and UK motorway network – direct access to the M4, Junctions 6 and 7 and from there, the M25 and M40.
  • Compelling Price Point: property costs are often up to a third cheaper than London.
  • Crossrail: due for completion in 2022 and serving the whole Great Western Railway line to Reading. The Estate is served at the western edge by Burnham station. Four trains per hour will improve connectivity to Central and East London.
  • Western Rail Access to Heathrow: a proposed new railway line will provide an 8/9 minute journey time and direct link between Slough and London Heathrow Terminal 5.