UKFast chooses Glasgow over London for new centre

Lawrence Jones: 'right thing to do'. Picture: Submitted
Lawrence Jones: 'right thing to do'. Picture: Submitted
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ONE of Britain’s fastest-­growing technology firms has ­chosen Glasgow over London for its first expansion.

Manchester-based web hosting business UKFast has recruited Stuart Paterson from Aim-listed cloud computing firm Iomart to head the operation in West Regent Street, with an initial five staff.

Chief executive Lawrence Jones, whose firm employs 250 staff, said he would also look to invest in his own data centres north of the Border. “We have hundreds of customers in Scotland and having a physical presence there will help our relationship with them and we also see a lot of opportunities to expand,” said Jones, who founded the firm with his wife 13 years ago.

“We had a choice whether to invest in London or head north and it just seemed the right thing to do to set up in Scotland.

“People have questioned such a move with the referendum less than a year away but, whether Scotland becomes independent or not, it will always be a huge part of global and British business.

“Stuart worked for us in the past and we’ve remained on very good terms and it came at the right time for him.”

Jones said the firm was looking to take on additional staff but had no specific targets.

“We have held assessment days to recruit more people but we are always looking for good staff,” said Jones, who was named Ernst & Young technology entrepreneur of the year in 2012.

UKFast, which has featured in the Deloitte Fast 50 list of technology growth firms, has more than 4,000 clients and in excess of 400,000 domain names on its network.

The expansion comes three months after the launch of Scotland’s dedicated internet exchange point, IX Scotland, which aims to significantly speed up internet access.

Currently most of Scotland’s internet traffic goes through London, Manchester or Leeds, which can result in delays.

IXScotland, which is based at the Pulsant data centre in Edinburgh, was set up by the London Internet Exchange.