AQL expands data centre campus with ex-council stock

Adam Beaumont
Adam Beaumont
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AQL has completed an acquisition worth more than half a million pounds that will take its Leeds data centre estate to 110,000 sq ft.

The integrated communications company, which was founded in 1998 by managing director Adam Beaumont, purchased a 57,000 sq ft former council building located at South Point in the city.

It will be refurbished to house AQL’s third data centre in the city, which will dramatically increase its server capacity and form a campus of centres to serve the digital economy.

Dr Beaumont said expansion is part of a strategy to ensure AQL can provide sufficient infrastructure to the expanding digital sector.

He said: “What we’re seeing is this accelerated need for data centre space by all of the smart, innovative digital companies that cropping up in Leeds and the region.

“We’ve got to keep this pipeline available for these customers. Building in Leeds has been a major focus for us.”

AQL provides mobile messaging services and wholesale messaging platforms to international and UK networks. The company is responsible for more than 94 million numbers on 42 different telecoms networks.

It created its first data centre in Leeds six years ago, acquiring the former Salem Chapel close to Leeds Bridge. It subsequently acquired a former council building at Apex Way in the city. Its renovation and build is due to be completed in March.

In addition to connecting South Point with its existing sites at Salem Chapel and Apex Way, AQL will work with architects and planners to ensure its building is sustainable.

Dr Beaumont said: “We will be liaising with scheme operators to make sure we can export our waste heat to their buildings, so we become part of the ecosystem.”

AQL also owns land with permission to develop a large new-build data centre at a former Leeds chemical works site but Dr Beaumont said a scheme of that size is not yet on the cards.

“We’re building up organically to match the rate of growth and demand in Leeds,” he said.

The firm is planning further acquisitions.