Co-op funds UK Fast expansion

Internet hosting company UK Fast has secured a £1.2m loan from the Co-operative Bank to acquire new buildings for future data centres at Cobra Court in Trafford Park.

UK Fast is based in Bruntwood's City Tower in Manchester city centre, has acquired three new buildings as future data centres at Cobra Court, Trafford Park and expects to see the creation of up to 100 highly skilled jobs in the next 12 months, to be based across the company's city office and new data centre sites.

Founded in 1999 by Lawrence Jones and his wife and business partner Gail, UK Fast provides hosting services for 4,000 clients in the UK and overseas.

The new data centres will increase UK Fast's storage capacity from 8,500sq ft to 14,500 sq ft and more than double the company's hosting capacity from 9,000 to 24,000 servers. Work on the centres has begun and they are expected to be fully operational by summer 2012.

UK Fast has banked with the Co-operative Bank since August 2009 and this is the second time the bank has provided funding for the company; it previously received a £665,000 loan in 2009 for the acquisition of UK Fast's first data centre, also based at Cobra Court in Trafford Park.

Lawrence Jones said: "The hosting industry consumes around the same amount of electricity on operations each year as a country the size of Argentina. This represents a substantial impact to our environment. At UK Fast we believe in responsible business and are dedicated to developing new ways of working to reduce the environmental impact of our products and services.

"Our commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our business is also reflected in the design of the three new data centres, which mark the start of an exciting expansion for our company, helping us to meet the ever increasing demand for our products and services and helping to create jobs in the process."

UK Fast is currently in the development stages of implementing hydro-electric projects to generate clean energy to efficiently power the company's data centres.

Dave Loughman, corporate manager at the Co-op, said: "We pride ourselves on our unique ethical positioning and lending commitment to the renewable energy, recycling and carbon reduction sectors.

"UK Fast is a thriving business, which is leading the way forward in the reduction of energy consumption in its industry and we are delighted to play a role in allowing them to realise their ambitions for the future."

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