Work has started on a major new Tier2/Tier3 data centre inside Manchester digital content hub The Sharp Project.

The first tenants began moving in to the Manchester City Council backed development this week, coinciding with builders putting up walls in preparation for the first data centre installation from what is expected to be an ‘ecology’ of different operators.

The council itself is the first data centre tenant, taking 2,000 sq ft of space for 40 racks of disaster recovery servers that will go live in September.

Several more bays measuring 2,000 sq ft are to be made available and The Sharp Project tenants will also be given the opportunity to access the data centre services.

“We’re expecting small-tomedium- sized companies with innovative services to make use of the data centre spaces,” said Sue Woodward, New East Manchester’s project director for The Sharp Project. “We’ll be able to have bays up and running by the end of the year. In terms of spec, it’ll be as good as any equivalent facility in the country.”

BT is the first fibre provider for the media hub and services such as cooling, 6 megawatts of power and 24/7 security are also in the offing.