‘Europe’s Largest Data Centre’ to be built in UK


A major new data centre is to be built in East London valued at £5.3 billion. 

Data centre internal
by Rory ButlerNovember 14, 2022

Reef Group has won permission to construct ‘Europe’s largest’ data facility in East Havering, on a site spanning 175 ha.  

The property-investment firm’s traditional focus is retail, leisure, hotel, workplace and residential. However, in April the company (also Digital Reef) also appeared to file plans for a technology park and data centre near Didcot, in Oxfordshire. 

Inside the deal: Close to Warley Substation, the East Havering data centre will house ten 50MW and five 20MW units (600MW collectively), across a 330,000-sqm floorspace. Part of the site is designated Green Belt.  

  • Estimated 2,370 jobs  
  • Digital skills programmes 
  • £694 million GDP (during construction) 
  • £456 million GDP (pa) when operational 

As part of the scheme’s carbon neutral strategy, a publicly accessible 300-acre ecology park, and community forest are also proposed.  

Also on the job: 

  • University of Leicester (UoL) 
  • Space Park Leicester 
  • Earth-Space Sustainability 

UoL will conduct vertical farming research ‘to compensate for any loss of some farmland at the site’, according to The Havering Daily. 

A five-year construction phase could commence in 2023.  

This landmark project strengthens the UK’s digital, energy and food resilience whilst bringing significant inward investment and taking Havering on a pathway to net zero through the Zero Carbon Initiative,” said Reef Group co-founder, Piers Slater, to The Havering Daily. 

Mr Slater said the project will also play a “critical role” in the growing data and digital economy, while helping the UK Government deliver its Digital Strategy 2022.  

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