£43m data centre to boost Leeds connectivity
Leeds is set to gain a £43m data centre, after Leeds City Council approved plans for the hub on the city’s South Bank.
Yorkshire firm aql, who are to develop the facility, say it could attract major industry names to join the likes of Cogent, SSE Telecom, Level (3), Janet and Fujitsu who currently have presences in aql’s datacentres.
The company are working with Leeds and Partners on the project, known as DC4, which will act as a hub of international networks.
Dr Adam Beaumont, chief executive of aql, said: “aql’s city centre DC2 facility is the home IXLeeds - the only mutual not-for-profit internet exchange outside of London whose aim is to improve connectivity between operators for the good of the region.
“This exchange, formed 2 years ago, provides a hub which allows regional operators to exchange traffic via the most optimum routes – this not only allows faster access speeds, but also increases the quality of the connectivity, which is important for services such as video conferencing and webinars – an important part of e-learning.
“We’re on track to fill our existing sites by mid-2013, so the new DC4 site will allow expansion room to support the data growth from the IT, media and mobile sectors – including the huge demands which 4G mobile will place on the regions infrastructure.”
Lurene Joseph, Leeds and Partners chief executive, said: “The data centre anchors the region’s digital sector, sending the strong message to national and international investors that they can have confidence in our infrastructure.
“Businesses in Leeds across a wide variety of sectors, from retail and fashion to medical technology and bio informatics, can utilise faster more reliable connections that are independent and protected of any problems in London.”
Local architects Garnett Netherwood are working on the design of the building, to sit within a larger scheme by Yorkshire Design Group.
The centre will cover 120,000 sq ft of space, and will share heat with neighbouring businesses and residences.