(Bloomberg) — Fears the U.K.’s data center operators would shift their infrastructure abroad because of Brexit are looking unfounded, with several firms and industry experts saying they’ve seen domestic growth since 2016.
London’s data center market had a total supply of 711 megawatts during the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to end the year with 67 additional megawatts of capacity than the year before, according to data compiled by CBRE Group Inc.
The industry saw record expansion in 2019 when 145 megawatts of capacity was added. Limited construction and site access for upgrades during the pandemic this year has been blamed in part for the recent slowdown.
Concerns that companies may relocate from the U.K. to Europe heightened last year after one of Britain’s biggest gambling companies, GVC Holdings Plc, moved the servers hosting its online betting platforms to Ireland.
At the time, a spokesperson for industry lobby group U.K. Finance also sounded the alarm that banks were considering relocation to avoid problematic cross-border transfers of personal data. Movement of data generates 174 billion pounds ($216 billion) of value in the U.K., according to the Confederation of British Industry.
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Emma Fryer, associate director of data centers at industry body TechUK, said the reality has been less dramatic.
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“The market has been very buoyant, with record levels of construction, record uptake of space and record size contracts,” she said. TechUK estimates that a typical modern data center can cost more than 100 million pounds to build and fit out.