My internet research suggested that there are a cluster of data centres in Acton (click on the map to open in Google maps), so I ventured to west London to see if I could hunt them down.
My first stop was the aptly named Powergate estate, where several data centres are located on Volt Avenue.
This business park is built on the former site of the North Acton Lane Power Station, hence the name, and it is now home to two huge data centres. TelecityGroup’s Powergate 1, opened in 2008, was the second data centre to open on the estate, following a Colt data centre.
The building at the entrance to the estate, is a light industrial unit that I believe was reclad when its sister data centre, TelecityGroup Powergate 2, was built in 2012.
The building now has the grey aluminium cladding style that seems to dominate the custom-built data centres of the East India dock estate.
This data centre has the usual high levels of security, with numerous layers of fencing and numerous cameras. It is also on a private estate that restricts traffic (and Google street view) from entering.
The building is connected to phase two of the development by a bridge, and the combined facility is entered by a single secure entrance.
Plan of the two buildings. The original building is on the right, the larger phase two on the left.
The Powergate estate form the air. This data centre (before recladding) is in the top left.