New data centre to transform Hull's economy

The digital economy of the city of Hull is to take a massive step forward with the opening of a new multi-million pound data centre in the city.

The centre is to be constructed at the University of Hull as part of a new partnership between the university and communciation firm KCOM.

The partnership hope the centre will begin the process of addressing the lack of high quality data centre provision in the region and support wider digital transformation.

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Called The Hull Data Centre, the £13m facility will serve the needs of the university as well as KCOM and Hull College and support future developments in high performance computing, related research and new forms of digital education.

It will also have the capacity to provide data centre and IT services to other academic institutions as well as public and private organisations across the region.

A planning application for the centre has been submitted to Hull City Council and, if approved, will be based on university land to the north of Inglemire Lane, next to the University playing fields.

Organisers hope the data centre will be open for business in the autumn of 2018.

Currently, many East Yorkshire businesses are forced to utilise data centre facilities in Leeds or further afield. The arrival of the Hull Data Centre will mean many local and wider regional businesses are able to invest in their own area, while the cutting edge facilities on offer at the University could also attract outside investment and create dozens of high tech jobs in Hull.

John Hemingway, Director of ICT at the University of Hull, said: “This partnership is allowing us to create an outstanding data centre facility within the region, one which the university would not be able to create alone. The partners will benefit from a showcase data centre offering leading edge power efficiency. Our partnership with KCOM and Hull College is a fantastic example of how a university, a further education college and a commercial organisation can come together for the benefit of each other and the region.

“The Hull Data Centre will mean the university, via a facility managed by KCOM, can provide 24/7 support for its key ICT services and continue to develop its High Performance Computing capabilities.”

KCOM’s executive vice president, Gary Young, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Hull in this major multi-million pound investment. The creation of the data centre is a significant development not only for Hull but for the region as a whole. As well as keeping Hull and East Yorkshire at the forefront of the digital revolution, this centre of excellence will drive innovation, attracting more tech sector businesses to what is already a vibrant environment for new and emerging companies.

“Hull is becoming known as an important player in the UK’s tech scene and this data facility will bolster that reputation and stimulate the digital renaissance the city is undergoing.

“The KCOM managed centre will be able to utilise our industry leading fibre connectivity making it super-efficient, super-intelligent and ultra-fast.

“Through the development of this centre KCOM is consolidating the data needs from around the UK into Hull, showing confidence in the region and contributing significantly to the local economy.”

The facility will be among the most energy efficient in the country.