Google boosts AI capabilities with new $1bn UK data centre

Google has unveiled plans to invest $1 billion (£790 million) to build a new data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, supporting AI innovation.

The 33-acre site will bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK and help to ensure reliable digital services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK and abroad.

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Google President and Chief Investment Officer, Ruth Porat, said: “This new data centre will help meet growing demand for our AI and cloud services and bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK while creating construction and technical jobs for the local community.”

Google has also claimed to have some of the most efficient data centres in the world, with the technology giant planning to run all of its data centres and campuses on renewable energy.

It also confirmed the new Hertfordshire site will feature off-site heat recovery and an air-based cooling system, which will reduce its reliance on water as a natural resource.

Commenting on the announcement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: “Google’s $1 billion investment is a testament to the fact that the UK is a centre of excellence in technology and has huge potential for growth.”

The news comes as Google recently announced it was laying off hundreds of employees in its advertising sales, hardware, voice-assistance and engineering teams.