Santander, the Spanish-owned banking giant, has signed a contract worth over £100 million to build a new data centre near the village of Narborough, Leicestershire.
The company has commissioned Interior Services Group, a construction firm whose previous projects include London’s Olympic Velodrome, to build two identical facilities, each with over 160,000 square feet of floor space, in an area that is being developed as a business park.
A planning application submitted in June last year reveals that Santander expects the data centre to employ 65 full time staff and 10 part time employees. "The number of staff per building will be in the order of 15 people on one shift, up to a maximum of 75-100 people at any one time to cater for the overlap in staff while employees change shifts," it says.
Each building will have four levels, the application revealed. Levels one and two, which will be below ground level, will contain the computing equipment while three and four will house the electrical and mechanical infrastructure.
An assessment of the "Project Fox" data centres’ energy consumption revealed that "the efficiency of server components will be procured to allow them to operate at high temperatures. This has the knock on [effect] such that it is able to operate in free cooling mode …for around 95% of the year."
Sustainable energy generation techniques including solar panels, biomass generation, ground source heat pumps and wind turbines were all rejected as impractical on the site.
Eight local residents objected to the facility but the planning application was approved in July last year.
Santander acquired UK building society Abbey in 2004 and bought Alliance & Leicster and Bradford & Bingley in 2008. In 2009, it told investors that it would save £180 million by consolidating the various companies’ IT systems.