Posted on September 30, 2013 by staff

ANS Group Abandons Sharp Project Data Centre Plans

Manchester-based IT reseller ANS Group has abandoned its plan to run its own data centre which would have created 100 jobs.
The firm, which recently suffered a drop in turnover, had set sights on completing the planned £8m, 20,000 sq ft data centre within The Sharp Project – the digital media hub based in Newton Heath, Manchester – by March.But it has admitted that completing the plans would have been too capital intensive. The reseller now plans to expand its cloud computing services by renting space with data centre companies’ facilities.

ANS had been working with Manchester City Council, who owns the Sharp Project, and had planned to agree a 15-year lease at The Sharp Project and double the size of the site to 40,000 sq ft over three years.

In a statement, ANS’s managing director Paul Sweeney said: “The growth of our cloud services led us to reappraise our data centre strategy and we took the decision to partner with trusted third party providers instead of committing to our own infrastructure, which would be capital intensive and may not provide the flexibility we need to best serve our clients.

“This decision has meant that we are able to achieve the best possible efficiencies for our clients and maintain low-cost, high quality service provision. We continue to support the Sharp Project and other initiatives in the region that champion Manchester as an important European technology hub.”

ANS employs nearly 200 staff and recorded a pre-tax profit of £3.1m on sales of £44m in the year to March. The business was founded by chairman Scott Fletcher whose father worked at the Sharp building when it was a Sharp Electronics warehouse.

Manchester City Council, which owns the Sharp Project, had been negotiating with ANS on the potential letting. It had not responded to TheBusinessDesk at the time of the story breaking.