AWS commits to two year, £1.8B data centre investment in the UK

The cloud giant will build new data centre capacity and create 1,500 apprenticeship roles over the next two years in a renewed UK investment pledge.

AWS logo
Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has committed to invest £1.8 billion (US$2.4 billion) in the UK over the next two years as it looks to expand its presence in the region.

The investment hinges on a commitment to spend “more than £1.8 billion in the next two years building and operating data centres in the UK in order to meet the growing needs of our customers and to help strengthen the UK’s digital infrastructure,” the cloud vendor announced.

AWS has had a presence in the UK since it launched a London region in December 2016, which now extends to three availability zones and various edge locations.

“We are proud of the contributions we are making to the UK economy. Looking ahead, we know that the UK remains full of opportunity, and we continue to be excited by the potential to continue supporting our customers, partners, and citizens across the UK over the years to come,” Darren Hardman general manager of AWS UK and Ireland said in a blog post announcing the investment.

AWS commits to invest in building UK skills

 As well as investments in infrastructure, AWS is committing to various upskilling and employment opportunities in the UK.

The UK will benefit from a broad commitment from AWS to provide millions of pounds’ worth of free cloud computing training to 29 million people by 2025. This investment will be divided between over 200 countries, including the UK, and will be available to people from various backgrounds and levels of technical knowledge.

In the UK specifically, AWS has launched various skills initiatives since 2016, including AWS EducateAWS Academy, and AWS re/Start, the latter of which now operates in a range of cities across the UK, including Birmingham, Blackpool, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Manchester, and Newcastle.

AWS re/Start prepares learners from underemployed populations with little technical knowledge for careers in the cloud, at no cost to the learner. As a result of the programme, participants have secured jobs at organisations such as Cancer Research, BT, and the Financial Times.

Amazon has also announced the creation of 1,500 new apprenticeships across the UK in 2022, including more than 40 different schemes for software development, data analysis, and IT engineering.

Amazon’s UK energy investments

The investment announcement also included a commitment to meet some ambitious sustainability goals by AWS parent company Amazon.

In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge, aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040 and power its operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030, a target Amazon says it is now set to reach by 2025.

Amazon committed to purchase 100% of the power output from a wind farm on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland in October last year, the first of five of Amazon’s large-scale renewable energy projects in the UK. Amazon will also anchor an additional wind farm off the coast of Scotland, contracting 350 MW of renewable energy and creating more than 1,000 jobs during construction.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.