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Northern Powerhouse Gets aql Data Centre Boost To Power Digital Future

Sam Pudwell joined Silicon UK as a reporter in December 2016. As well as being the resident Cloud aficionado, he covers areas such as cyber security, government IT and sports technology, with the aim of going to as many events as possible.

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New data centre will play a key role in providing digital infrastructure to support Northern Powerhouse

The opening of an aql data centre in Yorkshire will help to meet businesses’ supercomputing demands across the county and super-charge the Northern Powerhouse.

Located on the South Bank of Leeds and officially opened by Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy MP, the data centre represents a significant investment in the infrastructure that will power Leeds’ digital growth.

It has been designed to support the secure processing and storing of big data for sensitive applications such as health informatics.

University_campus_night_leeds

Powering Leeds

aql has also won the contract to serve the UK’s universities, colleges and teaching hospitals via a multi-terabit network operated by not-for-profit organisation Jisc.

“Big data storage is a growing requirement for the academic community as part of University-Business research projects, so we plan to continue our investment in the city and build further facilities, as needed by Jisc and our UK academic tenants,” said Adam Beaumont, founder and chief executive of aql.

“The new data centre is also designed to play an important role in Leeds’ green energy future by recycling its waste heat. More locally, we’re also able to interface our data centres with the newly-planned district heating system in Leeds, so we can donate what will be megawatts of waste heat back to the city.”

The facility’s location was chosen for its ability to connect to every UK fibre operator, which played a key tole in creating IXLeeds, the first independent internet exchange outside of London.

At its opening on the 8th December, Andrew Percy MP spoke about the importance of the data centre as part of a wider digital strategy: “Our Northern Powerhouse Strategy sets out how we will make the North an even greater place for enterprise and innovation, with digital technology playing a key part.

“That’s why we’re supporting this new data centre which will make Leeds a hub for digital development in the North, providing data storage for universities, businesses and millions of users across the UK.”

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