Deal agreed for multi-billion pound data campus

An artistic rendering of a typical data centre design for conceptual purposes (Image: QTS/Northumberland County Council)

Northumberland County Council’s Cabinet has agreed a transaction, subject to contract, with funds managed by Blackstone, a leading global asset management firm and one of UK’s largest investors, regarding the NEP3 land site in Cambois, to enable the potential development of a ‘Hyperscale Datacentre Campus’. 

Welcoming the agreement, Council Leader, Cllr Glen Sanderson said:

“This is a positive decision for all of Northumberland. 

“Driving growth and jobs is a key priority for this Council and the agreement to amend the buy-back option on the site, together with the site’s readiness, has the potential to give a huge boost to the regeneration and renaissance of the local area and put our County at the forefront of developments in the digital economy.

“The project would represent a significant inward investment of up to £10 billion, one of the largest in the UK. It will also deliver hundreds of long-term jobs to operate the centres, plus 1,200 long-term construction jobs over up to seven years of construction.

“Importantly, such partnership would enable the Council to establish a £110m fund which will drive long-term investment, including in growth and jobs schemes in the economic corridor along our fantastic, new Northumberland Line. 

“Through the Council’s investment company, Advance, we have worked tirelessly to make this site such an attractive place for global companies to do business and we are thrilled to have attracted the interest of one of the world’s largest investment firms with strong operational expertise and consistent track record of success in delivering large scale infrastructure projects.

“This deal is a massive vote of confidence in our ‘Land of Great Opportunities’ and we are all looking forward to working with our new partners.

Delivering data centre infrastructure will be critical to the UK’s success as a digital economy, due to exceptional demand driven by content creation, cloud adoption and the application of AI.”

As one of the world’s leading investors, Blackstone is already at the forefront of data centre development. In 2021, it acquired QTS, which is the fastest growing data centre platform in the world, with 34 operational facilities in Europe and the United States.

A spokesperson for Blackstone said:

“Blackstone and QTS have the capital, expertise and track record required to deliver on growing demand for data centre infrastructure. We applaud the Council’s focus on revitalising and bringing forward the NEP3 site, and we look forward to engaging with them and the wider stakeholder community as we progress this meaningful potential investment.”

Source: Northumberland County Council

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