Google has announced a billion-dollar investment in a UK data centre in a move hailed by the government as a “huge vote of confidence in Britain”. The data centre, which will be built on a 33-acre site in Hertfordshire, will power Google’s cloud and AI services for British customers and will be the company’s third big site around the capital, after King’s Cross and Central Saint Giles in London.
It marks the latest investment by a leading American technology company in Britain, coming less than two months after Microsoft said it would invest £2.5 billion to expand data centres for artificial intelligence nationwide.
Ruth Porat, 66, the chief financial officer of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, said the Waltham Cross site would “create construction and technical jobs for the local community”. Prime Minister Sunak who has been wooing Silicon Valley companies to invest in Britain over the past year, said the Google investment “is testament to the fact that the UK is a centre of excellence in technology and has huge potential for growth. Foreign investment creates jobs and grows all regions of our economy and investments like this will help to drive growth in the decade ahead.”
Google said it had started to build the facility on a 33-acre site in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, which it bought in October 2020, would be constructed in line with its net-zero aims, with plans for the significant heat generated by the data centre to be used to heat homes and businesses in the local area. Construction should be completed by 2025.