A NEW data centre in Bradford could “transform the area’s digital landscape” by bringing high speed broadband to more properties.

Bradford was recently named as one of several cities that would be part of the Gigabit City programme, a “full fibre deployment” designed to improve internet speeds across the country.

The scheme would be implemented by Cityfibre, an alternate network provider.


Now the company has submitted a planning application to Bradford Council to convert a unit in the Fowler Street industrial estate into a centre for the project.

The application is to alter the empty industrial unit, off Wakefield Road, to create ventilation and air conditioning for the computer systems that will be housed in the data centre.

District’s internet speed lags behind

The planning application says: “Through the design and deployment of future-proof, full fibre infrastructure, this helps bring the benefits of unlimited bandwidth and Gigabit speed connectivity to entire communities.

“CityFibre is planning on expanding their network within the wider Bradford area which will transform the entire area’s digital landscape, bringing full-fibre connectivity within reach of nearly every building in Bradford.

“This will not only deliver extensive fibre but provide a step change in internet speed and quality, and a future-proof platform for economic growth in the digital age.”

Last week figures from Ofcom revealed that the Bradford district has an average download speed of 49 Mbps, way behind the national average of 54.2 Mbps.

The data showed that Bradford lags behind Leeds, which enjoys speeds of 57 Mbps.

The company says the next wave of the Gigabit City programme will provide faster internet speeds for schools, hospitals and council offices, as well as reaching nearly every home and business in that area.

The planning application adds: “A small number of employees would work out of the data centre including maintenance staff and engineers.

“In addition, CityFibre’s presence in the area would create additional employment comprising of one city development manager, an approximately eight-person operations team, plus circa 20 construction workers to build the network during normal office hours.

“The scheme would offer substantial wider benefits by allowing Bradford to increase its capacity of extremely fast high-speed broadband fibre connections for existing and future residents and business.”

A decision is on the planning application is expected in mid October.

Other areas announced as part of the second wave of the Gigabit City programme include Batley, Dewsbury and Doncaster.

The first wave included Leeds and Huddersfield.

When the second wave was announced CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “These Gigabit Cities will not only gain new full fibre networks that will spark their digital transformation, but also unleash the benefits that only competitive infrastructure investment can bring.”