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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 December 2007, 12:34 GMT
Jobs hope at data storage complex
Data storage disk
IVI says it plans to build 20 data centres on the site
A property firm has announced plans for a 600m data storage complex in the south of Scotland, with the promise of more than 500 jobs.

Internet Villages International (IVI) said its green-powered "Data Farm" would be a world first.

Company founder Peter Hewkin said the plans would also include a development of 700 homes.

Local MP David Mundell said that while clearly the plans were at an early stage he would welcome the investment.

A spokewoman for IVI said work on the site, to the north of Lockerbie, was expected to start in 2008 and 26m in funding for the first stage of the project has been secured..

I will be looking forward to seeing more details of what is being proposed
David Mundell,
Conservative MP

Mr Hewkin said most existing data centres were in urban areas but the Data Farm would be in a rural environment, with electricity sourced from the E-On biomass plant nearby and local wind farms.

He also promised that the site would have 20 single-storey data centres covering 3m sq ft of floor space.

Under the proposals, waste heat from the site could be transferred to the homes development, which IVI described as a "700-home eco internet village", uitilising green energy.

Mr Hewkin said: "The availability of local green electricity, access to super-fast internet connectivity and the support of the economic development bodies in Dumfries and Galloway for environmentally sustainable regeneration projects make Lockerbie perfect for this project.

"As a result, we anticipate several Fortune 500 companies and public sector organisations will locate their data centres at the Lockerbie Data Farm.

'Strong sustainability'

"This will create at least 500 jobs and bring over 600m of investment to the area."

Tony Fitzpatrick, regeneration manager for Dumfries and Galloway Council, said: "The strategic opportunities this could open up are considerable.

"I am particularly excited about the strong sustainability dimensions of the project."

Dumfriesshire Conservative MP David Mundell said he welcomed the potential for any such investment but would be keen to see further details of what was involved in the project.

He said: "These proposals highlight Lockerbie's strategic location on the motorway and we need to take advantage of that.

"If that is possible within the context of new technology then that is very exciting.

"I will be looking forward to seeing more details of what is being proposed."

Gordon Thomson, Cisco operations director for Scotland, said the local climate, land prices and the skilled workforce were all elements in favour of the project.

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