Colt DCS has topped out the first building at its new data center campus outside London, UK.

The company today held a topping-out ceremony at the facility in Hayes, attended by local politicians, partners, and DCD.

Colt Hayes topping 8
– Dan Swinhoe

The facility will span nine 1,000 sqm (10,765 sq ft) data halls across five floors. The London 4 campus will feature two buildings totaling 57MW across 49,000 sqm (527,430 sq ft). The company recently acquired more adjacent land on which it hopes to build two more buildings.

First revealed in August 2022, the Fidelity Investments-owned company is redeveloping the former Optimum Data Centre and surrounding area on the Springfield Road Industrial Area.

The company broke ground on the first building in February 2023; the data center is set to go live in Q3 2025.

At the ceremony – which involved watering a lone tree on the upper floors as a symbol of sustainability – Matthew Grant, development director at Colt DCS, noted the project's reliance on local supply chains and the company's partnerships with local education institutions. The company is planning to build a startup hub in partnership with local universities.

Eddy Lavery, Hillingdon London Borough Council Councillor, and David Brough, chairman of the council's Hayes Town Partnership, celebrated the company’s investment in Hayes, saying it was a key part of the rejuvenation of the area in the wake of a number of large companies historically based in the Hillingdon town leaving. Companies including EMI, Heinz, and Nestlé used to be major employers in the area.

Founded in 1992 and originally known as City of London Telecom, Colt operates 18 data centers globally, including two other sites in London: the London West facility offers 13,000 sqm and 9MW. London North offers a gross site area of 44,000 sqm with 42MW of IT. The company has been owned by Fidelity Investments since 2015.

Colt takes over former Sentrum/Optimum site

Colt’s new campus site was previously home to a 10MW, two-story data center with a long history. It was built as a warehouse in the late 1980s, and extended in the 1990s, before being turned into a data center in 2000 known as the Digiplex Megaplex Centre.

Digiplex was a short-lived UK company that went bust in the dot-com crash of 2001 - and unrelated to the Nordic operator DigiPlex rolled into Stack Infrastructure.

The Digiplex data center was leased to Deutsche Bank, but by 2009 the company no longer needed the property. Sentrum, a colo firm founded in 2006, bought the data center and sublet it from the German bank.

Sentrum grew to a portfolio of six facilities before it was taken over by Digital Realty in 2012, for around £715.9 million (then equivalent to $1.1bn). However, Digital did not take over the Megaplex facility, with a new Sentrum entity taking over operations at the site and rebranding as Optimum Data Centres.

Sentrum went into liquidation around 2015, and after a lengthy legal battle with Deutsche Bank failing to claw back rent, the facility was put up for sale in 2018.

A new firm, Trinity DC, took over the data center in 2020. According to Companies House, Optimum Data Centers liquidated in 2020, with Trinity following suit in 2021.

The site seemingly came to Colt in 2021, possibly as one of ten sites the company said it had acquired across Europe.