Airedale by Modine, the Leeds-headquartered critical cooling specialist, announced on 7 May 2024 that it purchased a 14.6 acre manufacturing site in Bradford, UK. This was in response to industry demand for sustainable, high-quality data center cooling systems across Europe and beyond.

Airedale by Modine Bradford Site_Aerial
Airedale by Modine Bradford site – Airedale by Modine

Investment and growth

As a result of continued growth within Airedale by Modine’s data center business, it has secured the new site, located on the outskirts of Bradford, to deliver increased production, test, office and storage capabilities. The purchase includes 29,000 sqm (310,000 sq ft) of existing manufacturing space, with additional land offering opportunity for future expansion.

The addition of the site to Airedale by Modine’s UK manufacturing footprint will see the Bradford site specializing in the production and testing of precision air conditioning equipment, like computer room air handlers and fan walls.

Airedale by Modine’s existing Leeds facility will focus on chiller production, with the move set to increase the company’s data center cooling production capability in the UK by 150 percent.

Operational transition

The Bradford site is currently in use as a distribution center. Under the terms of a six month license arrangement, the previous owner will continue to operate from there until the end of September 2024. Production of the first Airedale by Modine units in Bradford is estimated to commence in December 2024 once the site has been re-configured.

Investment into the site will include various structural changes to the existing buildings, installation of new manufacturing assembly and test equipment, and the development of a state-of-the-art 2MW test center. This investment in R&D will add to Airedale by Modine’s already world-leading testing capabilities, and increase overall capacity for R&D testing and client witness tests.

Job creation and community impact

The increase in production and testing will lead to new jobs in the area. Early forecasts project that over 200 highly skilled production and support roles will be created over a 3-5 year period, with approximately 10 percent of these being apprenticeship roles.

The management team at Airedale by Modine has acknowledged the support it has received from Bradford City Council in driving this development forward.

Airedale by Modine, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and is owned by US-based Modine, has enjoyed continual growth in its global data center business, in line with unabating demand for digital technology.

This trend shows no signs of slowing down, with predictions for further growth in the industry to meet the demand for AI applications, which will see a move towards hybrid air/liquid cooling systems.

As part of a global expansion strategy, Airedale by Modine has invested in its production facilities and now operates out of Leeds (UK), Consett (UK), Guadalajara (Spain), Rockbridge, VA (US), Grenada, MS (US), Allen, TX (US) and Calgary (Canada).

Adrian Trevelyan Managing Director Airedale by Modine
Adrian Trevelyan, managing director – Airedale by Modine

Adrian Trevelyan, managing director, said: “I am extremely proud to lead this business as we continue Airedale by Modine’s strong tradition of boldness and innovation. This is another exciting chapter in Airedale by Modine’s history as we open this huge production facility close to our state-of-the-art headquarters in Leeds."

“Having available plant capacity is crucial as data center operators are looking to secure production slots in advance as their development plans grow. Although we are in a comfortable position now across Europe and the US, we are receiving strong signals that more capacity will be needed as the demand for digital applications grows.”

Adrian continued: “The new site increases our production and testing capacity, bringing recruitment and training opportunities to Bradford, replicating what we have done already in Leeds. The support we have received from Bradford City Council from initial enquiry to completing the purchase has been invaluable.”