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).
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.
The Slough Estate also benefits from close proximity to Central London (17-minute train journey), London Heathrow Airport (10 miles), and an extensive UK motorway network, with direct access to the M4, Junctions 6 and 7, and from there, the M25 and M40. Burnham station, on the western edge of the Estate, provides rail access to commuters. Additionally, the Trading Estate will benefit from two future UK connectivity projects – Crossrail and Western Rail Link to Heathrow (WRLtH). Crossrail, which is due for completion in 2022, will serve the whole Great Western Railway line to Reading, providing four trains per hour to improve connectivity to Central and East London. WRLtH is a proposed new railway line that will provide an 8/9-minute journey time and direct link between Slough and London Heathrow Terminal 5.
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).
Secure Power: On-site biomass power station backed up by connections to National Grid.
Centre of Excellence: Experienced and dedicated in-house operation collaborating with an established local team.
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.
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.
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.