UK Data Center Space Acquired By AQL

Integrated communications company AQL announced in early January that it had completed the acquisition of an additional building in order to expand its U.K. data center in Leeds.

The new facility, which was formerly a council building, was bought for approximately $758,000 and will add an extra 57,000 square feet to the Leeds data center complex, bringing it to a total of 110,000 square feet.  The new building will be their third facility in the city and will allow the company to dramatically increase its server capacity and form an enhanced U.K. data center campus.

AQL hosts nearly 95 million numbers on 42 separate telecom networks, as well as 40 million U.K. numbers for voice services. The demand in Leeds is growing, prompting the company to increase its presence in the area.

"What we're seeing is this accelerated need for data center space by all of the smart, innovative digital companies that cropping up in Leeds and the region," said AQL managing director Adam Beaumont. "We've got to keep this pipeline available for these customers. Building in Leeds has been a major focus for us."

Ideal Data Center Space Abounds In Leeds 
The new site was chosen because of its lack of commercial amenities and the fact that most would find it an undesirable real estate investment. The building has hardly any windows and is close to an airport, two features that are bad for residential sites but perfect for a data center. The inside of the complex was also already gutted, allowing AQL to fit the site to their specifications.

After renovations have been completed, the new Leeds data center will be able to serve 2,000 flats by 2017. The facility will employ data center sustainability methods, like a system that exports waste heat out of the data center for use in other buildings.

AQL has a history of turning abandoned and run-down buildings into data centers. Its first facility was built within the historic Salem Church, which had been empty for a decade before AQL moved in. The company is also currently constructing another Leeds facility in a former local government building at Apex Way, which is expected to be completed in March. A former chemical works site in Leeds has also been acquired by AQL, but the company is hesitant to start work on the facility until more demand arises.

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