Sectors - Civil

Home Working Boosts Digital Infrastructure



The increased use of the internet and working from home due to the Coronavirus looks to lend a new sense of urgency to the programme for digital infrastructure construction.

The increased use of the internet and working from home due to the Coronavirus looks to lend a new sense of urgency to the programme for digital infrastructure construction.

With this, comes the increased interest from the Government in investing more into the sector. The 2020 budget already including an extra £5 billion in order to extend broadband to more remote and rural areas, along with this, a series of measures which were revealed by Ofcom earlier this year have bolstered the case for new, faster fibre broadband, to replace the copper network. There has also been more investment by BT Openreach, which as sought to encourage competition from new networks.

However, it is the major private sector investments in digital infrastructure construction of new data capacity to meet growing demand from businesses and household which off the most promising opportunities for contractors.

One such significant scheme is the Ark Data Centres’ new £600 million Union Park Data Centre in Hillingdon, West London. This involves the construction of a 56,000 sq m facility with a sub-station, as well as office space, along with onsite solar generation. Work is set to start on this scheme in Spring 2021 and will continue for 24 months.

Ark have also submitted plans for a separate £38 million data centre in Corsham, Wiltshire. This will cover some 13,100 sq m, with work set to start in Autumn 2020 and will continue for 17 months.

Over in Berkshire, plans have been granted to build £21.6 million worth of data centres, along with industrial units, at Bracknell Segro Park. The project is in the pre-tender stage, and work is pencilled in to start in the Spring of 2021.

Looking at Scotland, and Thurso to be specific, Green Highland Renewables have recently approached the local authority with a screening application for a 100,000 sq m facility, which will be named the Mygen Data Centre. Work on this project includes infrastructure as well as access roads, it is due to start in Spring 2021, and will run of eight months.

Investment in data in the education sector has seen new opportunities arise for contractors, one such opportunity is the £7.6 million Institute of Technology Digital & Data Centre at Exeter FE College which will include a 2,400 sq m facility. Work on this will continue to Spring of 2021, with Wilmott Dixon Construction being the main contractor.

There are also significant data centre’s in the pipeline for the Republic of Ireland, with detailed plans being submitted by EngineNode for a scheme which involves four new data storage buildings, the site will be in Clonee in Co. Meath. Work on the project is currently in the pre-tender stage and Clifton Scannell Emerson Associates are the architect and the works are due to start in late 2021 and will continue for just over three years.

In Dublin, plans have been submitted for a £179 million data centre in Damastown Industrial Park which will involve four buildings with a floorspace of just over 52,000 sq m. Nicholas Webb Architects have drawn up plans, and works could start in early 2022, and will continue for around three years.

If you would like to read more articles like this then please click here.

Click here to subscribe to our weekly newsletter >>