A former Barclays data center from the 1970s is set to be developed and brought back into service in Manchester.

Manchester City Council is looking for public feedback on regeneration proposals for Wythenshawe town center, and is planning to redevelop the facility to bring it back into use.

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– Google Maps

“We have recently completed the acquisition of the town center from St. Modwen’s and early plans for how the center could be redeveloped have been drawn up ready for consultation,” the council said.

As well as new residential developments, the council is planning co-working spaces, food halls, cultural spaces, and a new civic square. It is also looking to redevelop an existing data center to potentially lure in a new operator.

The area is home to a former Barclay’s data center and the council is proposing to increase the capacity as well as modernize and repurpose the building as a ‘state-of-the-art data center’.

“Originally the Barclays building was designed as a data center with small windows and limited natural light so repurposing it for a modern data/IT market should be an ideal fit,” the council said.

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Wythenshawe town center; the data center is building 11 on the top right – Manchester City Council

TeleData has an operational data center nearby at Delta House, and is in the process of developing Simon House for its second facility in the area.

“Wythenshawe has excellent fiber provision with Fibre-wise, Zayo, and EUNetworks all having capacity running very close to Rowlandsway,” the council documents note. “The former Barclays data center provides another opportunity [to Wythenshawe].”

The former Barclays data center opened in 1971 and was reportedly the largest computer center in Britain at the time.

The 110,000 sq ft (10,200 sqm) building cost £2.75 million at the time – equivalent to more than £30 million ($34.4m) today – and remained one of company’s two nationwide computer operations until its closure in the 1990s. It has seemingly been long abandoned.

In 2018 Barclays announced it was going ‘all-in’ on AWS, before last year announcing it had selected HPE GreenLake to deliver its global private cloud platform.

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