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Labour Manifesto recognises the need for planning policy changes and the critical role of the data centres sector

On Thursday 13th June, Labour released its awaited Party Manifesto for the 2024 General Election. 

Teased at London Tech Week by Peter Kyle, Labour's Shadow Science Secretary - who referred during his speech to techUK 2020 market report "The UK Data Centre Sector - The most important industry you’ve never heard of", the manifesto contains good news for the data centres sector and digital infrastructure:

Data Centres Planning Policy: 

Labour aims to boost the UK's AI sector by removing planning barriers for new data centres, and designating major and critical data centre projects as "nationally important" so that ministers, rather than local councils, make planning decisions. This policy would facilitate the construction of data centres on brownfield sites around cities, overcoming previous blocks like the £2.5bn "hyperscale" data centre project halted last year.

While there isn't currently more detail, this is still a welcomed recognition for the sector that if we are to capitalise on the potential for AI, data centre development is going to be critical. With the growth of AI, demand for data centres can only increase exponentially and we all rely on data centre storage and processing power to run our daily lives and businesses.

Clean Power by 2030: 

Furthermore, data centres have long been subject to the challenges of power constraints in the UK. The announcement suggests large investments to double onshore wind, triple solar power, and quadruple offshore wind by 2030, in collaboration with the private sector, as well as investment in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and marine energy, and ensure we have the long-term energy storage

The techUK team have been working with Labour for almost two years to build up the party's connections with the industry, exchange ideas on possible policy announcements and share case studies of the incredible innovations that are happening across the UK's tech ecosystem. We have also been championing the sector and speaking to the press about these challenges and the need for policy change and investment in our National Grid. 

We will continue to engage with Labour regardless of the results of the upcoming General Election, to ensure further policy development takes into account the tech sector's input to ensure that significant potential economic growth that could be driven if the UK was able to secure some of the future demand becomes a reality. 

Read techUK's analysis of General Election 2024 manifesto commitments for infrastructure, energy, water and transport here.

Visit our techUK Election Hub here

Channel website: http://www.techuk.org/

Original article link: https://www.techuk.org/resource/labour-manifesto-recognises-the-need-for-planning-policy-changes-and-the-critical-role-of-the-data-centres-sector.html

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