Downing Crowd is raising £2.8 million for a data center based in Birmingham. Downing Crowd is part of Downing LLP, an FCA authorized and regulated investment manager with over 20 years of experience. The first tranche of the offer has already secured £1.9 million.
The data center project, labeled GTP3 LLP, comprises a site in Birmingham, near the proposed HS2 terminal, with power reservations sufficient to offer up to 11MVA to customers across three substantial data center buildings.
Within the first building there will be two data halls, one of which is already completed. According to Downing Crowd, 25% of total capacity in the completed data hall is already operational, with the space contracted out to an established IT services company. Downing Crowd said the valuation of the data center was estimated at £24.6 million in October 2016.
Downing Crowd will be issuing Bonds, or “Crowd Bonds”, for the crowdfunded offer. The Bonds will be secured against the firms assets. Investors in the £2.8m Crowd Bond raise, or the Data Centre (Birmingham) Bond, may earn up to 5.25% p.a. interest over 24 months. The Bond has a loan-to-value ratio of 17%, based on a third-party valuation of the data centre site.
Julia Groves, Head of Crowdfunding at Downing Crowd, said that investing in Crowd Bonds is a great way to see your money directly impact the local economy;
“The crowdfunding sector more broadly is also going from strength to strength, with over a million people having now invested through a crowdfunding platform in the UK,” said Groves. “But, despite its growing popularity, the different kinds of crowdfunding tend to all get labelled as ‘extremely risky’. In fact, Crowd Bonds are a simple type of securitized investment and, provided investors fully understand the relevant risks compared to savings accounts, they can potentially offer attractive returns in the current climate of low interest rates and rising inflation.”
The Birmingham site is the third data centre that Downing has invested in during recent years. Downing recently completed its biggest ever deal with the £33 million invested in KAO Data Centre, a brand new data center on the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor.
The Birmingham City Council has also supported the new data centre project with a ‘junior loan’ as part of its plans to grow the reputation of the UK’s second largest city as a digital hub through the ‘Digital Birmingham’ initiative.
“Data centers are becoming an increasingly large part of the UK’s future infrastructure. And the demand for data centers clearly isn’t just in the busy South East either, with Birmingham representing one of many areas that are currently underserved when it comes to this type of facility,” said Peter Beckwith, founding member of GTP3 LLP. “We have built a strong relationship with Downing, who have worked on several data centre projects already and we’re excited to have them involved as our latest development continues to gather pace. Our new Birmingham facility is well-connected with both high levels of fibre connectivity and availability of grid power, making it a prime location to meet the growing demand for data centers.”
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