Work has started this week in Fife on what will become Scotland’s largest and most energy-efficient data centre campus.
Contractors are now on-site at Queensway Park site in Glenrothes to start demolishing parts of the former Tullis Russell paper mill in preparation for construction of the state-of-the-art development, which has an estimated contract value approaching £150 million and will be carried out over three phrases.
More than 300 construction jobs will be secured during the build process and up to 50 full-time posts, including technical and operational staff, created on its completion.
Queensway Park will be the first facility of its kind in the UK to draw 100% of its energy from renewable sources, with an IT load capacity of up to 20 mega-watts and ultra-high speed broadband.
The campus will connect to the UK’s largest biomass plant and feature high speed carrier neutral data connections stretching to over 7,500 kilometres across the UK with global connection points.
The Queensway Park campus is a joint venture between Edinburgh based developers County Properties Group and AOC Group, who are in advanced discussions with Etix Everywhere, an international developer and operator of colocation data centres to run the facilities and provide technical support.
Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s deputy leader and executive spokesperson for economy and planning, said: “We are delighted that Fife is set to be the home of Scotland’s largest and most energy efficient data centre campus. Fife is at the forefront of renewable energy and innovation, and this most recent development reinforces our position. With over 300 construction jobs being available during the build process and up to 50 full time posts being created on completion, this investment in the Glenrothes area is a positive boost for local jobs and good news for people across Fife.
“Fife has a lot to offer businesses as we aspire to be the best place to do business. I am delighted to see this demonstrated by the confidence that County Properties Group and AOC Group has in Fife’s skills base.”
Queensway Park director Alan O’Connor said: “this is one of the largest and most challenging projects we have been involved in and is the culmination of four years carefully planning every aspect of design and resilience. We have built an excellent experienced project team who fully understand the demands on such an important part of Scotland’s critical IT infrastructure.”
Cloud computing is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors and data centres play a vital part in its transformation.
The campus will cater for all sizes of enterprise with facilities for co-location and dedicated server halls covering some 250,000 square feet. Phase one of the campus should be completed and ready for occupation within around 18 months and will accommodate up to 1,000 high performance computing racks.
Planning permission was given by Fife Council for the development, and County Properties Group and AOC Group have worked closely with Fife Council’s Invest in Fife team to secure the data centre in Fife, which will help Scotland compete globally.