New visuals of planned data centre at South Killingholme that could create 400 jobs

Humber Tech Park visual impression
Humber Tech Park visual impression -Credit:Humber Tech Park / North Lincolnshire Council

New visuals have been revealed for plans to create one of Europe's largest data centres at South Killingholme.

The proposed Humber Tech Park development would involve a minimum of £2.2bn capital investment, and potentially up to £3bn. If approved, it is expected it would create 408 full-time equivalent jobs in total, and it is also set to be an AI data centre.

As previously reported on by Grimsby Live, the almost 76-hectare site on land south of the A160 near to South Killingholme, would include three data centre buildings, an electricity substation, horticultural glass houses, and landscaping around it. The new visuals are part of an outline planning application for the data centre, made by Humber Tech Park Ltd.

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North Lincolnshire Council's leader Cllr Rob Waltham has described the proposal as "a generational level of investment" for the area. However, a number of local residents have objected citing traffic concerns.

It would be a hyperscale data centre, with a 309,000 sq m gross external area. A specific form of data centre differentiated for its size and scale, these are generally used by large technology companies, major cloud and internet providers. The precise configuration of activities means the data centre's expected number of jobs created is an estimate, but 370 full-time equivalent jobs are anticipated from it. A further 38 such jobs are also expected from the growing of crops in the glass houses, 28 on-site.

The glass houses will be powered by excess heat from the data centres. The agricultural output of the glass houses alone is expected to be around £3.5m.

An initial gross value added (GVA) boost of between £850m to £1.1bn is expected to the local economy from the proposed data centre. An application document states the data centre "will contribute the technological and industrial advancement of the economy at a local and national level".

Visual of the proposed hyperscale £2.2bn+ data centre at South Killingholme from above
Visual of the proposed hyperscale data centre at South Killingholme from above -Credit:Humber Tech Park / Future-tech

The proposal was put in March to South Killingholme, North Killingholme and Ulceby parish councils. Several amendments have been made as a result of feedback. These include green roofs to the eastern end of the data centres to lessen visual impact and improve biodiversity, a reduced extent of the secure data centre compound, and extra woodland planting. As well as ponds for drainage, a wetland area is planned and a meadow.

"This is a generational level of investment in the area and, if approved, would be a magnet for attracting other high-tech businesses," said Cllr Waltham. "The jobs would be highly skilled and highly paid – averaging around £50,000 a year for operational employees - with many more employed during the construction phase.

"The proposals would also see investment in community infrastructure and money for local education and training." An application document estimates it would support 2,500 to 3,000 jobs a year on and off site, over the expected three year build period. It is proposed construction traffic is routed north from the Habrough Road site entrance via the A180 and A160.

Impression of the proposed hyperscale £2.2bn+ data centre at South Killingholme and landscaping surrounding it
Impression of the proposed hyperscale data centre at South Killingholme and landscaping surrounding it -Credit:Humber Tech Park / Future-tech

There have already been a handful of resident objections since the application went public on Wednesday, and traffic concern features among reasons given for opposition, as well as pollution, noise and air. "The traffic already is horrendous at peak times- the proposed site is adjacent to very small roads which access the A180, and this will also add to to the local pollution level," commented one objector, who suggested existing industrial estates to site it, instead.

"It's bad enough now with lorries coming back-and-forth from the docks, and what is a quiet road now will be full of cars," commented a second objector. One individual has commented wholeheartedly in favour: "My only regret is the development should have been bigger."

Further details can be found on the council’s planning portal or on the Humber Tech Park website.