£50m data centre brings jobs boost
A DATA centre costing around £50 million could bring new jobs to Baglan Energy Park.
The state-of-the-art development would become only the second purpose-built centre in Wales.
Developer Usk Properties, which has been involved in other projects in the energy park and other locations including Llandarcy Academy of Sport, has now submitted outline plans to Neath Port Talbot Council.
Data centres provide storage and back-up facilities for either a single large client or a list of clients.
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Sean Mayo, of Usk Properties, said: "We would like to get planning permission and then we could start marketing the property for an end user.
"We would need an end user to be on board before we spent the money. We are not talking about your average industrial building. It would be very hi-tech, with very highly specialised construction to deal with high level of technology.
"The construction cost alone would be in the region of £50 million. It would be a building full of very specialist computer and technical equipment and with full security."
Usk Properties said the centre would create jobs ranging from general administrative staff to highly qualified and skilled professionals such as electrical engineers and IT consultants.
However, Mr Mayo said that, at this stage, it was not possible to estimate how many jobs would be created.
The data centre would be a 24/7, year-round operation but would only be occupied by regular working staff during normal office hours and by security staff outside those hours.
Mr Mayo said most of Britain's data centres were around London and the South East. There were two in Wales, in Cardiff and Newport, with only the former a bespoke development.
"Attracting international organisations to Wales is not easy because it's a new area to be going into," he added. "But the Welsh Government's strategy is to promote more data centres, because they understand it is a high-tech sector, highly skilled and highly specialised. It's a big world market and we have got to do what we can to get some more in Wales."