Blackstone £10bn plan for Britishvolt site at Blyth

Global asset management giant Blackstone has been selected to purchase the former Britishvolt site near Blyth in Northumberland — where it proposes to build what could become Europe’s largest data centre in a plan that would involve investment of up to £10 billion.

A proposal for funds managed by the private equity firm to purchase the site on behalf of its data centre landlord QTS and for Northumberland County Council to amend its right to buy it back will face a vote by councilors on April 23.

The council said its cabinet is set to consider a transaction with funds managed by Blackstone “concerning the Northumberland Energy Park (NEP3) land site in Cambois, to enable the potential development of a ‘Hyperscale Datacentre Campus’.”

Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “Driving growth and jobs is a key priority for this council.

“Next week, cabinet will consider this really unique opportunity for Northumberland which offers a huge boost to the regeneration and renaissance of the local area.

“The project would represent a significant inward investment of up to £10 billion, putting our county at the forefront of developments in the digital economy, and delivering over 1,600 direct jobs, including 1,200 long-term construction jobs, and over 2,700 indirect jobs over the course of the development.

“If agreed, the council would receive up to £110m in exchange for amending the buy-back option on the NEP3 land site, and use the proceeds to establish a fund which will drive investment, including in the economic corridor along our fantastic, new Northumberland Line.

“Through the council’s investment company, Advance, we have worked tirelessly to make this site such an attractive place for global companies to do business.

“We look forward to considering this opportunity at cabinet next week.”

The bid for the site from Blackstone illustrates the huge interest among property investors and tech companies to invest in data centres.

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is expected to increase the need for these facilities.

London newspaper The Financial Times speculated that Blackstone would probably look to lure a corporation like Microsoft, Google, Amazon or Meta as a tenant for the site.