Google has started construction work on a $1bn (£790m) data centre in Hertfordshire.
The new development is being built on a 33-acre site in Waltham Cross, which Google acquired in 2020. The company has not named any contractors working on the site or explained what construction works it has now started.
The data centre will help power Google products such as its search engine, Gmail and Google Maps.
Waste heat generated by the data-centre activity will be recovered and used elsewhere. The data centre will employ an air-based cooling solution.
Google chief financial officer Ruth Porat said the data centre would help the company meet the growing demand for its artificial intelligence and cloud services.
She said: “The Waltham Cross data centre represents our latest investment in the UK and the wider digital economy at large.
“This investment builds upon our Saint Giles and King’s Cross office developments, our multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable that connects the UK with the US and Spain.”
Prime minister Rishi Sunak said Google’s investment was “testament to the fact that the UK is a centre of excellence in technology and has huge potential for growth”.
Google opened its first data centre in London in 2017, which was its second in Europe.
Lendlease is currently building a £1bn office building for Google in central London. The 330 metre-long ‘groundscraper’ near King’s Cross station was designed by Heatherwick Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group.
Google also purchased the Central Saint Giles development near London’s Oxford Street in 2022 for £871m. It was refurbished by Morgan Sindall’s fit-out arm Overbury.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said: “From business conducted online to advancements in healthcare, every growing economy relies on data centres.
“Our country is no different and this major $1bn investment from Google is a huge vote of confidence in Britain as the largest tech economy in Europe, bringing with it good jobs and the infrastructure we need to support the industries of the future.”
Google has been contacted for comment.