GATESHEAD Council has joined forces with a telecoms group to give a new business park some of the UK’s best technology.
Alcatel-Lucent Telecoms has joined the council in a new joint venture company to develop a high-capacity open access network to serve the Baltic Business Quarter.
The Gateshead Technology Innovations Ltd (G-ti) venture, announced at the Broadband World Forum Europe in Brussels, is hoped to attract leading companies to the 52-acre site.
The park is about to welcome the Open University, which is moving its regional headquarters across the river from the Regent Centre at Gosforth, and has signed up energy group npower to take a 100,000sq m building for 900 call centre staff.
And it hopes the optical network, which will support services such as video conferencing, video on demand, streaming media, data storage and protection, disaster recovery and image processing will attract equally prominent tenants and high-technology companies.
The system will have huge bandwidth and built-in resilience of a standard available in very few locations in the UK, and as good as the best in the world when it is established next spring.
Gateshead Council leader Coun Mick Henry, said: “The launch of this new partnership is an exciting and groundbreaking step forward in our continuing drive to bring more top quality businesses and jobs to Gateshead.
“We want the Baltic Business Quarter to be a showcase development with the best communications technology available today, as part of a compelling overall package offering the infrastructure that top-class organisations need to do business here.
“Our aim has always been to attract major employers to create high quality jobs and make Baltic Business Quarter an unparalleled location for creative industries. Today’s announcement puts that aim right on track.”