A ground breaking ceremony has been held in celebration of a new £30 million supercomputer centre that is under construction at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Daresbury Laboratory.

The new centre is part of the Hartree Centre’s £210m National Centre for Digital Innovation (HNCDI), a £172m collaboration with IBM, which provides UK industry access to state-of-the-art digital technologies and expertise.

Once completed, the facility will host the latest in new supercomputing artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum technologies, with the potential for further expansion built in.  This will allow the Hartree Centre to grow its capability in the future without the need for additional major construction.

Supporting UK industry

Home to some of the UK’s most advanced technologies in AI and quantum computing technology, the Hartree Centre is one of the UK’s only supercomputing centres dedicated to supporting industry.

Located within the Sci-Tech Daresbury campus in the Liverpool City Region, it is providing businesses of all sizes access to advanced supercomputing technologies that are normally only available to academia and large-scale industry.

This enables them to make important breakthroughs in discovery and innovation, reducing the time and cost of developing new technologies and products that will benefit our economy and society now and in the future.

100 trillion calculations per second

Procurement is currently underway for the new, more powerful, high performance computing systems needed to support the Hartree Centre’s rapidly expanding supercomputing and AI activities.


This will enable the Hartree Centre to expand its capacity and deliver an even better quality, more flexible and secure service to businesses.


The Hartree Centre anticipates that the first system to be installed in the new building will have a performance capability of between 80-100 petaflops (up to 100 trillion calculations per second). This will make the new system 20 to 25 times faster than the current platform.

STFC’s Professor Kate Royse, Director of the Hartree Centre, said:
“This is an incredibly exciting day for the Hartree Centre, and we are fully committed to providing an environment where UK science and businesses can be at the very forefront of global research and development in the very latest digital technologies.

“Providing access to technologies, such as AI and quantum computing, enables businesses to increase productivity and achieve success, to the benefit of our economy, both here in the North West and nationally.”

Paul Vernon, Head of STFC’s Daresbury Laboratory, said:
“Our new Supercomputing Centre is a significant development in our mission to provide UK businesses with access to the vital infrastructure and expertise that will help them to grow and succeed on a global scale.

“It will help UK businesses drive productivity, accelerating growth and job creation through the use of advanced digital technologies.

“As we strengthen our commitment to breaking down barriers to technologies such as AI and quantum computing, we are enabling industry to carry out invaluable cutting-edge research, with long-term, tangible benefits to our economy and society.”

Manchester-based Russell WBHO is contracted to deliver the new supercomputing centre at Daresbury Laboratory where work is currently underway at the 6.2-acre site. It is working with data centre specialist M&E consultants Sudlows to deliver the project, as well as with project management consultant Arcadis, architect AEW, structural engineers Healy Consulting, and environmental consultancy E3P.


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