Drive to get investors in IT super highway centre15 September 2011
Potential investors in Nottingham will be shown plans for one of the most technically advanced business locations in the UK when they visit the city on Monday.
Would-be investors will be taken on a tour of the city's key development sites when they visit as part of the Invest in Nottingham Club Nottingham Day.
And one of the sites they will look at has the potential to be turned into one of the best-connected business parks in the country.
The Portal is the name given to plans to comprehensively redevelop a former British Rail computer centre off Queen's Drive and bordering Castle Marina Retail Park.
Currently, the site has a range of disused buildings.
But the unique technical features of the site's infrastructure will combine with plans to adopt low energy features to turn it into what is claimed to be one of the UK's best-connected and most sustainable locations.
The Portal's secret lies in optical cable which was installed by British Rail to connect the site to the rest of its network. It means the site has access to a data transmission capability much superior to conventional standards.
The site is being developed by Davidsons, a development company set up by David Wilson, the residential and commercial property giant, and his son James.
It is being marketed by John Proctor, one of the partners at the Nottingham property consultancy FHP.
Mr Proctor said: "You could argue that The Portal is almost unique because its Data Centre's IT infrastructure operates at a level you simply won't find in most buildings.
"This kind of infrastructure has been identified as crucial to the future of business.
"The Portal goes beyond that, though, because its design features also offer the chance to drastically reduce your carbon footprint and your energy bills. In that respect, it goes beyond current standards."
It is thought The Portal could be of particular interest to technology companies for whom data transmission and connectivity are crucial.
The development will comprise up to 150,000 sq ft of grade A office space and what is known as a 'carrier neutral' 60,500 sq ft data centre, which has the optical fibre link.
Besides the potential for high speed data connections, it will also have heating generated by the data centre, cooling provided by water features, and solar panels powering recharging points for electric vehicles.
The developers say this means energy bills will be a fraction of those in existing buildings, while CO2 emissions will be half those required by current regulations.
The Portal will be one of several development sites shown to potential investors during Monday's tour.
Paul Southby, chairman of the Invest in Nottingham Club, said: "The Portal is proof that Nottingham is about more than routine development sites, and that is one of the messages we will be getting across to the people who come to Nottingham on Monday.
"The Portal is a virtually unique opportunity to occupy a building with facilities which they are genuinely unlikely to be able match elsewhere.
"Everything we will be showing people on Monday focuses on the very high standard of facilities, resources and people available here."