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Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Finance and Resources at Manchester City Council and Labour Member for Rusholme Ward Visits the Site of New Data Centre Development

Datum Datacentres welcomed Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Finance and Resources at Manchester City Council and Labour Member for Rusholme Ward, to the site of the firm’s new facility in Wythenshawe. The £30 Million project will see Datum build a new data centre which will harness the waste heat that is created by the facility for conditioning, reuse and delivery to local projects in the Wythenshawe area. 

The new data centre will be situated in the heart of the Wythenshawe Civic Centre which is earmarked for regeneration. Joined by techUK earlier this month, the firm hosted a round table event which saw industry representatives from across Manchester come together with council members to discuss the important role that data centres play in the tech ecosystem, the opportunities provided by data centres for Manchester and how the sector can support new industries in the North West’s digital economy. 

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Finance and Resources at Manchester City Council and Labour Member for Rusholme Ward commented; “Data centres are an important piece of Manchester’s Digital Economy, attracting investment and opportunities for businesses to thrive. It’s particularly positive to see the commitment of data centre operators such as Datum to align with our regeneration plans in Wythenshawe and our city’s net zero targets by building more sustainable data centres.” 

Luisa Cardani, Head of Data Centres at techUK added: "As our recent report outlined, the data centre industry is committed to sustainable practices and addressing the challenges ahead is imperative for the successful integration of data centre heat into district heating networks. It is encouraging to see key stakeholders from different parts of industry and public officials come together to collaborate and discuss how heat re-use could support the local communities of Manchester and to ensure long-term viability and alignment with sustainability goals." 

The new data centre (MCR2) is being developed next door to Datum’s existing Manchester facility and the most up to date sustainability best practices and standards are being embedded across all parts of the build process, from design to implementation.  

The system is being designed so that heat exchangers can be used to transfer the thermal load of the data centre cooling loop to a local community heating network via a heat pump system, which will also reduce the amount of energy needed to deliver the required data centre cooling operation.  

The facility will be powered using clean energy from renewable sources with green certificates and solar PV roof panels. The PV system will generate over 83,000 kWh/yr with a CO2 emissions reduction of over 7.4 tonnes annually. 

Matt Edgley, Chief Operating Officer for Datum Datacentres commented: “Businesses in the Manchester data centre sector individually face the same challenges; both in day-to-day operations and in areas key to supporting strategic growth and development. If we are to meet ambitious sustainability targets, address skills shortages and continue to succeed as the platform for regional tech sector development, forums such as the techUK roundtable event involving industry bodies, local authorities and data centre operators have to take place. Developing connections and understanding views on all sides is absolutely key to the progress we need to make, collectively.” 

Datum is backed by UBS Asset Management after being acquired by UBS Asset Management (UBS-AM) Real Estate & Private Markets (REPM) in 2021. Providing sustainable, enterprise grade colocation to businesses across the UK through its network of purpose-built, highly secure, highly connected carrier neutral data centres, Datum works to support the responsible long-term growth of its clients. 

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