LEP supports telecommunications company in business continuity push


Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has supported a major telecommunications company to expand its base in Leeds, creating more than 30 jobs.

Already working with 35 of the FTSE 100 companies, aql’s chief executive Adam Beaumont believes Leeds is the perfect location to provide back-up to failure of London systems.

Dr Beaumont said the project would be delivered over the “medium term” and that the construction of new data centres by the company, which has invested millions of pounds into the regional economy, would continue.

The latest of these is set to create more than 30 jobs in the city after a £548,000 grant from the LEP’s
Business Growth Programme, which is supported by the government’s Regional Growth Fund.

Dr Beaumont said: “We are extremely grateful to the LEP for giving us the opportunity to apply to the Business Growth Programme for funding.

“The grant has been extremely beneficial in helping to progress our latest data centre which, in turn, will create a number of jobs across a range of skill sets and enable us to push ahead with our business continuity strategy.

“Organisations such as the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership are doing a great job at a regional and national level in terms of driving investment in the digital sector and working with businesses of all sizes to ensure they see the benefit of that. That in turn is helping to create jobs and drive economic growth.”

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, added: “aql is one of the Leeds City Region’s major success stories and our Business Growth Programme grant is helping the company to create jobs in a range of skill sets, giving people the opportunity to enter the digital and creative sector, one of the key sectors that is helping to grow our economy even further.

“Allied to the third round of our Growing Places Fund, which makes up to £6m available for businesses to access loan funding, the Business Growth Programme is making a real positive difference to companies across the whole City Region.”

Commenting on aql’s plans, Dr Beaumont said: “We already have the digital infrastructure in Leeds to support this and we’ll continue to invest in data centres to ensure the capability is here. Leeds is the only city outside of London with an independent internet exchange –allowing infrastructure in our City to have a gamut of London-independent connectivity choices to Europe, US and Asia.

“UK plc is currently exposed by the lack of financial infrastructure north of the capital. Leeds is already the largest financial services centre outside of London so it makes absolute sense to make Leeds the business continuity centre for the UK’s financial services sector.

“If systems were to go down, Leeds would be capable of providing a seamless back-up to ensure operations remain functional, saving organisations time, money and substantial headaches.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Chair of the LEP’s Investment Panel and Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This investment is a great example of the public and private sector working together to stimulate growth in our City Region.

“This is good news for Leeds as it supports the positioning of the city as a leading digital hub and I look forward to seeing further job creation by aql and the other companies benefitting from the Business Growth Programme in the months and years to come.”

Dr Beaumont added: “Our aim is to foster a significant secondary spend in Leeds by the UK’s financial organisations, many of which are already aql customers, doing our bit to help Leeds and the wider city region attract the biggest financial players.”