Google has started construction on a new $1bn (£789m) data centre in the UK, it has been revealed.
The announcement was made at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has been meeting company bosses as part of a bid to “champion British excellence in tech”.
The new facility is to be located on a 33-acre site at Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, purchased by Google in October 2020.
The Alphabet-owned company said the centre would boost the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and “help ensure reliable digital services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK”.
It also revealed that heat generated from the facility would be saved to benefit homes and other businesses in the local community.
Google employs 7,000 people in the UK and said the data centre would add to that figure, initially due to the construction process.
Ruth Porat, president and chief investment officer, said: “The Waltham Cross data centre represents our latest investment in the UK and the wider digital economy at large.
“This investment builds upon our Saint Giles and Kings Cross office developments, our multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable that connects the UK with the United States and Spain.
“This new data centre will help meet growing demand for our AI and cloud services and bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK while creating construction and technical jobs for the local community.