Building a data centre is a complex endeavour and there are strong barriers to entry for new players (not least the considerable up-front capital investment) which means it is significant when a new entrant comes along. So, why is Manchester such a good location?
While there is no doubting the vibrancy and importance of the digital economy in Manchester now, particularly with the maturing of MediaCity and Manchester’s well-educated workforce, we could have just as well chosen Liverpool or Leeds as a location for our data centre.However, there are some particular reasons why we felt that Manchester was the best location for us.
- As Manchester rapidly becomes a major player in the digital & technology industry it is quickly becoming the alternative business hub to London and we believe accessible data centre space will be crucial to the growth of that sector; it therefore made a lot of sense to make our investment here. Manchester is also particularly data centre-friendly, with good connectivity options and access to stable grid power - both of which are critical to providing a good service to customers.
- A technology company is highly dependent on being able to attract and recruit people with relevant IT qualifications and skills and the fact that Greater Manchester has four universities makes this task easier than in most other cities outside of the South East.
- As the data centre sector in the London and the South East becomes increasingly crowded we have found that many of our customers prefer a more personal experience from a smaller business and they actually prefer a location like Manchester, with good transport connections to the rest of the country.
As part of our business model, we are not looking to become just another data centre service provider - we want to be a key contributor to the growth of the digital sector in the North West and become a key driver to the success of businesses looking to set up here. Lastly, as a Mancunian myself, I am bound to be a little bit biased in favour of all things Manchester, irrespective of all its other advantages!