Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News

Plan pitched for new era of UK computing


PLANS have been filed to build a supercompu­ting centre on the outskirts of Runcorn. The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is seeking permission from Halton Borough Council to construct the single-storey research base on vacant grassland south of SciTech Daresbury and on the eastern banks of the Cheshire Ring section of Bridgewate­r Canal.

A planning statement lodged by agents Stride Treglown said the developmen­t would feature 3,070 sqm of floor space and enable the STFC to stay at the cutting-edge of supercompu­ting in the UK and to provide computing infrastruc­ture to support the UK “into the middle of the century”.

The report revealed that if granted permission, the supercompu­ting centre would house a new high-performanc­e computer to be procured and installed under a separate contract.

It added that the site is identified in Halton’s Local Plan as a “regional investment purpose” and “key area of change”.

Despite the loss of greenery, Stride Treglown said the project would be “developed with sensitivit­y to the wider context, including the largely rural landscape to the south”.

The building is intended to replace an ageing data centre inside Daresbury Laboratory.

The report said: “The new facility is intended to replace an existing supercompu­ting centre at Daresbury Laboratory, within the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus.

“The site is well-establishe­d and has continued to develop and expand as part of the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus, meaning that the existing STFC Data

Centre (within the existing laboratory site) no longer meets current or future business needs.

Public consultati­on is open until August 26 with Halton Council aiming to decide the issue by about October 29.

 ??  ?? ● Images of the planned supercompu­ting centre alongside the Bridgewate­r Canal
● Images of the planned supercompu­ting centre alongside the Bridgewate­r Canal
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