Plans for a new data center outside Middlesbrough in North Yorkshire have been granted by the local council.

Wilton Data Centre was this month granted outline consent by Redcar & Cleveland Council for a data center complex at the Wilton International Park.

Teesside DC plans.png
– Heatons | Redcar and Cleveland Council

The company is aiming to develop 150,000 sqm (1.6 million sq ft) of data center space on a 32-acre plot. Timelines for construction of the Wilton Data Centre & Communications Campus weren’t shared beyond saying it will take “several years.”

Stephen Timmons, managing director of Wilton Data Centre, said: “We are delighted to have secured planning consent. This data center development has the potential to bring many benefits to the businesses and residents of Teesside, and indeed the wider Northeast of England. I would like to thank the wide range of stakeholders that contributed to moving forward such a significant project for our region.”

Plans for a 48MW data center campus outside Middlesbrough surfaced in January 2023. At the time the application was put forward by consultancy firm Heatons, and the company behind the project wasn’t known.

The development would include two two-story buildings with 157,400 sqm (1.7 million sq ft) of total floorspace. The smaller of the two buildings (DC Building 1) would have a building footprint of 31,450 sqm (338,500 sq ft), while the larger DC building (DC Building 2) would have a building footprint of 47,250 sqm (508,600 sq ft).

The proposal also includes a communications building, a 2,000 sqm (21,500 sqm) two-story office, storage tanks, backup biofuel generators, and associated ancillary infrastructure.

The site will be equipped with approximately 24x 2MW emergency backup bio-fuel generators, totaling up to 48MW. Two electricity substation buildings (likely to be 66kV) would be required to replace those already on site.

Little information about Wilton DC is available online, and the company currently only has a barebones website. Timmons is listed as a director of CTW Northern Limited; he also a director of Citadel Datacentres Ltd.

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– Google Maps

The company said it is engaging with parties interested in utilizing the facility. Planning documents state the facility may be operated by a single company or multiple companies.

The site was previously part of the Croda site within the Wilton complex and formerly used as a chemical works.

Covering a total area of approximately 780 hectares, Wilton is the second-largest integrated chemicals complex in Europe. Established in 1956 by ICI, the site is now managed by Sembcorp Utilities and is now home to a number of large multinational corporations including Sabic, Lotte, and Huntsman.

Croda International's manufacturing facility at Wilton shut down around 2009 after Dow Chemical Company closed its ethylene oxide and glycol (EOEG) production facility at the site. Croda's operations there had relied on the EOEG site for raw materials.

Middlesbrough doesn’t have a major data center market or cable landing point and none of the major colocation or hyperscale players have a presence there.

Stratus Technologies (now Unity World) operates a facility near Redcar in Marske and is seemingly the only colocation facility in the area. HP and Lumen were previously known to operate locations in Middlesbrough.

UK startup ST2 had hoped to develop a £100 million data center in Redcar in 2016, but the company dissolved in 2018, seemingly without beginning construction.