Google has began building on a brand new $1bn (£789m) knowledge centre within the UK, it has been revealed.
The announcement was made on the World Economic Forum in Davos, the place Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been assembly firm bosses as a part of a bid to “champion British excellence in tech”.
The new facility is to be situated on a 33-acre web site at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, bought by Google in October 2020.
The Alphabet-owned firm stated the centre would increase the expansion of synthetic intelligence (AI) and “help ensure reliable digital services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK”.
It additionally revealed that warmth generated from the power could be saved to learn houses and different companies in the area people.
Google employs 7,000 folks within the UK and stated the info centre would add to that determine, initially because of the building course of.
Ruth Porat, president and chief funding officer, stated: “The Waltham Cross knowledge centre represents our newest funding within the UK and the broader digital financial system at massive.
“This investment builds upon our Saint Giles and Kings Cross office developments, our multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable that connects the UK with the United States and Spain.
“This new knowledge centre will assist meet rising demand for our AI and cloud providers and produce essential compute capability to companies throughout the UK whereas creating building and technical jobs for the area people.
“Together with the UK government, we are working to make AI more helpful and accessible for people and organisations across the country.”
Mr Hunt stated of the funding: “From business conducted online to advancements in healthcare, every growing economy relies on data centres.
“Our nation is not any completely different and this main $1bn funding from Google is a big vote of confidence in Britain as the most important tech financial system in Europe, bringing with it good jobs and the infrastructure we have to help the industries of the long run.”
The announcement was made just a day after Google boss Sundar Pichai told employees in an internal memo to expect more job cuts during 2024.
A year ago, plans for 12,000 global job losses were revealed, amounting to 6% of its workforce.
According to The Verge, which first reported on the communication, the company’s 182,000 staff were told the lay-offs would not be as severe.
The new data centre builds on other recent tech wins for the UK.
Microsoft confirmed plans for a £2.5bn knowledge centre in late November after overcoming UK regulatory hurdles in its £55bn takeover of Activision Blizzard.
Commenting on the most recent deal, Ben Barringer, know-how analyst at Quilter Cheviot, stated there have been indicators the federal government’s message that the UK was open for enterprise, significantly within the AI sphere, was getting by.
But he added: “Relations between the government and big tech have been rocky in recent years with the protracted approval of Microsoft’s merger with Activision and Meta downsizing its UK footprint souring relations.
“Looking on the larger image for Google, this funding is considerably a drop within the ocean and easily represents prudent enterprise.
“The cost of this data centre is around a thirtieth of their annual capital expenditure and with approximately 30 data centres already constructed globally, it isn’t exactly going to move the needle for them by adding another.
“Furthermore, it’s unlikely that post-construction many roles shall be created. Data centres don’t require scores of staff to run them, and given Google is a really lean enterprise, it will likely be seeking to make its operation as environment friendly as doable.”