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.
“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:
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: