Cloud computing in the UK is set for a major boost following the 2012 Olympic Games after news emerged that over 31,000 square metres of the Olympic Park is set to become a major technology hub following the summer's sporting festivities.
The London Legacy Development Corporation (LDDC) has selected iCITY – a joint venture between specialist real estate investors Delancey and leading data centre operator Infinity SDC – as the sole preferred bidder for legacy use of the Press and Broadcast Centres at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
iCITY will look to transform the existing media hub into an 'innovation city' with a heavy emphasis on the cloud in line with ambitions to create a long-term legacy for local residents and businesses. To that end, the iCITY project will invest £350 million in reinventing the space, with a view to the creation of more than 6,500 jobs on-site and in the local area.
"iCITY will provide a sustainable legacy for the local community through the creation of thousands of jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities. The incredible track record of start-ups and entrepeneurs in East London is growing at an impressive rare, and this is a chance to provide additional connectivity, capacity, investment and highly advanced infrastructure," said Gavin Poole, iCITY's CEO.
The Press and Broadcast Centres at Olympic Park are two of the most digitally connected sites in the capital, with some 1,300 Internet ports kitted out with fibre optic cabling. The broadcast centre would be re-imagined as cloud computing centre, while the press centre would become a research facility linked to higher education.
iCITY is also looking to feature a conference centre, as well as pedestrian square that doubles as a social space including cafes, restaurants, and bars.
East London's reinvention as a technology hub has been accelerating recently. The Old Street roundabout is now known as 'Silicon Roundabout' due to the number of tech enterprises in the immediate vicinity, with Amazon being the latest firm to think about setting up shop in the area.
Facebook has also recently announced plans to invest more heavily in the UK specifically in regards to recruitment.