New £250m data centre construction underway

KAO One buildingWork has now started on KAO Data Campus, the new science and technology park located within the Harlow Enterprise Zone at KAO Park, in the first phase of a £250m campus. This will include the first data centre, KAO Data London One and a technology suite.

When completed in 2017, KAO Park will become the first world-class data centre campus in the UK. It is expected to attract a range domestic and international businesses and organisations. Businesses will be able to take advantage of KAO Data’s hyper-connectivity, secure data resilience and scalable flexibility to support them and their innovative research.

KAO Data Campus will comprise of four data centres each split into four halls designed over three floors. It will be the only campus within 30 miles of London to combine:

  • 150,000 sq ft technical space
  • 200,000 sq ft of grade A office space

"The announcement marks a significant milestone in the ongoing commitment to KAO Data Campus. The provision of high specification data centre facilities is essential in order to maintain the UK’s position at the epicentre for technological excellence and a global hub for business connectivity. KAO Data Campus’ technical infrastructure, providing the highest standard of data resilience and operational sustainability, will make it ideally placed to support local and international businesses combined."
Paul Finch, chief technical officer, KAO Data

Growing investment in technology, design and innovation

Raytheon KAO Park has already received strong interest from businesses including defence innovation specialist Raytheon UK, who is moving its entire UK research and development operation to the site. This is part of a £25million long term investment to create a Technical Centre of Excellence in the UK. The transfer of Raytheon UK headquarters to Harlow's Enterprise Zone is part of the company's growing investment in technology, design and innovation.

Raytheon specialises in defence, national security and other government and commercial markets around the world. It is a major supplier to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD).

"This official opening marks a major investment and new era for Raytheon in Harlow, where the company has significantly benefitted the economy for more than 50 years. The new facility gives us tremendous potential to further develop skills and will become our main technology centre for the design and development, of some of the UK’s most advanced defence capabilities."
Richard Daniel, CEO, Raytheon UK

Arrow Electronics, the global electronics company with 688 electronic manufacturing partners, has also announced it will move its operations within the Harlow Enterprise Zone. Arrow Electronics will be doubling its footprint at its UK site and be joining Raytheon UK taking space at KAO One at KAO Park.

"Arrow Electronics has a successful history of operations in Harlow which stretches back more than 40 years. Today Arrow Electronics employs 250 people in Harlow providing innovative services and solutions to electronics customers and suppliers in the UK and across Europe. The move to the new office will provide an excellent working environment for our business and talent to develop and grow."
Paul Nelson, Vice President Global Real Estate, Arrow Electronics

Harlow Enterprise Zone at the forefront of new technology

Harlow Enterprise ZoneHarlow's growing reputation as a science-led town, a reputation started in the 60’s with the development of Fibre Optic Technology by Nobel Prize winner Charles Kao at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories (STL), continues today with the development of the Harlow Enterprise Zone a new development for advanced manufacturing and life sciences/medical technology businesses.

The Harlow Enterprise Zone comprises of three developments…

  • KAO Park - which will include a Data Centre Campus and new business park
  • London Road North - which will see the development of a new 25 acre Science Park
  • Templefields – the long term re-development of an existing industrial estate into a modern business park

KAO One at KAO Park is now 60% occupied and 80,000ft² is now available to let in KAO Two.

How INVEST Essex is working with Harlow Enterprise Zone

INVEST Essex works closely with the Harlow Enterprise Zone supporting companies looking to relocate to a more modern and better suited environment. They have worked with Raytheon for the last three and a half years assisting them to expand their UK operations.

See here for more information on INVEST Essex.

Sources [Insider Media] [KAO Data] [Raytheon] [Harlow Star]

Simon Papworth
Simon Papworth

Inward Investment Manager (High-Technology Cluster)

+44 (0) 7515 199255


Simon has worked in inward investment for the last four years, building a wide network of trusted business connections, working on a variety of successful projects in the advanced manufacturing sector. Prior to this, Simon spent 7 years advising business owners and entrepreneurs, with a focus on bringing innovative products to market.

Dave Russell-Graham
Dave Russell-Graham

Inward Investment Manager (Life Sciences)

+44 (0) 7881 310776


With over 30 years’ experience in the life sciences and healthcare sector Dave has an extensive range of contacts in the industry as well as experience in pharmaceutical development through to facility refurbishment and fit out. Dave’s work has predominantly been with major pharmaceutical companies, and in 2011 he was a key player in the deal between Pfizer and Mylan for Pfizer’s respiratory technology platform. More recently he has worked as the Scientific Development Advisor for Harlow Science Park.