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UK: Microsoft plans £2.5bn investment in AI data centers

November 28, 2023 - Microsoft plans to invest £2.5 billion ($3.16bn) to build artificial intelligence infrastructure in the UK, the company said at a government-hosted summit.


Specifics were not shared, with the government simply saying that it will bring "more next-generation AI data centers and thousands of graphic processing units to the UK."


However, it is important to note that the announcement may not include any new investment plans.


The same Global Investment Summit takes credit for a "£1 billion investment from Dutch company Yondr... with a new 30MW data center in Slough that will create over 3,500 jobs."


That facility was officially announced in November 2021, and initially reported by DCD in June of that year. Planning began in January, a full two UK Prime Ministers ago - but PM Rishi Sunak took credit for the investment at the summit.


The construction was predicted to deliver 1,000 temporary jobs and 50 full-time ones. It is not clear what metric the UK government used to get another 2,450 indirect jobs.


Microsoft has promised to provide more details on its investment later this week, which may help distinguish how much of the £2.5bn will go to previously announced projects.


Back in March 2022, the cloud giant have bought a one million square foot (92,900 sqm) factory building in Newport, Wales, and this October said that it was applying for planning permission to build a data center.


The facility would be located next to Vantage's Newport campus, which DCD understands Microsoft is a major user of.


Microsoft is also upgrading its existing three UK sites with the latest GPUs, networking equipment, and its own AI chips amid the AI boom and after it had to limit access to its UK-based services in 2022 due to supply shortages.

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