Major International Data Centre at Foyle Port gets planning green light

‘Twin’ site in Letterkenny currently being assessed as part of cross border campus

Major International Data Centre at Foyle Port gets planning green light

What the new data will look like.

A major international IT services and data centre has been granted planning permission by Derry City and Strabane District Council at the latest meeting of its planning committee.

The development by international data centre developer, Atlantic Hub, will be located at Foyle Port in its Innovation Park and represents a significant investment in the North West with a ‘twin’ site in Letterkenny as part of the same cross border campus, currently being assessed by the planning authority there.

The Atlantic Hub campus at Foyle Port will offer world class services to hyperscale operators, and benefit from close proximity to the GTT transatlantic fibre-optic submarine cable - the fastest connectivity available between North America and Europe.

The campus at Foyle Port will have the capacity for up to 1 million sq ft of technical floorspace with complementary hi-tech office accommodation – one of the largest ever property developments in the North West.

The North West is regarded by many as being an excellent location for data centre development due to mild climatic conditions and local sources of renewable energy. As Brexit looms, Atlantic Hub will offer ‘One Front Door’ to the UK and Europe for companies seeking to insulate from the potential adverse impact of Brexit with Northern Ireland offering unfettered access to both the EU and UK Markets. 

Brian Doherty, Managing Director at Atlantic Hub, the project developer, said: “We welcome this good news, which is the culmination of a significant amount of time and effort to bring this project forward.

"During the planning application process, we have been engaging extensively in the international marketplace developing relationships with potential clients encouraging them to locate in the North West on successful receipt of planning permission.

“With this project planning approval, we are in prime position to accelerate our conversations with the serious players in the sector.

“The strategic location of the campus at Foyle Port is vital as it provides connectivity to local energy supplies generated from 100% certified renewable sources.

"Furthermore, our efforts in the development and delivery of  a ‘Green Region North West’ initiative as part of this overall project, is our commitment to ensure the region targets zero carbon emissions, pressing ahead with sustainable development that does not impact the environment and will deliver even more inward investment for the region."

He added: “Our thanks goes to Foyle Port and Derry City and Strabane District Council who understood the importance of this strategic project and how it complements the digital strategy for the City and wider region, and the international attention it will bring from some of the largest companies and investors in the world due to its prime location.”

Brian McGrath, Chief Executive at Foyle Port said: “We warmly welcome the decision by Derry City and Strabane District Council and commend the dedication of the Atlantic Hub team.

“Diversification is central to our strategy at Foyle Port and the granting of permission for this data centre development plays a key role as part of our ambitious plan for the wider Port economic zone.

“Projects such as this led ably by Atlantic Hub will futureproof the development of the North West in terms of digital infrastructure and will allow for further innovation and investment attracting companies and interest from all over the world.”  

George Cuthbert, Director of Development at Foyle Port said: “We have been working with Atlantic Hub for some time in bringing forward this exciting project and are thrilled to see it get over the line.

“This permission represents a statement of intent for the Port and how we are planning for the future. We have the space to assist with the growth of the data centre hub and attract other investors and companies that are aligned to the sector and create an important cluster which is unparalleled in the North West.

“The past few months have been difficult for everyone and this positive news is a shot in the arm for the economy in this part of the island of Ireland. It presents a significant opportunity in a growth sector of international importance. We’re thrilled to welcome this new addition to the Port.”

Martin Ford, Senior Vice President, GTT said: “We congratulate the Atlantic Hub team on this latest planning approval that represents another key milestone passed on their journey to developing an industry leading data centre at Foyle Port. The location is perfectly situated to allow easy access to GTT’s global network, which includes GTT Express - the lowest latency transatlantic subsea cable as well as extensive network presence across North America, Ireland, UK and continental Europe.”

Paul Clancy, Chief Executive at the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce added: “This will be a transformative project for the economy of the North West in terms of jobs, economic growth and wealth generation.

"Our congratulations go to the Atlantic Hub team and the leadership at Foyle Port and the Council for making this happen. We are encouraged about the potential this will bring and we will do all we can to help promote such a project that will ultimately attract foreign direct investment the city region.”

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