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£2.5 billion for UK AI

Learning News

Microsoft is to invest £2.5 billion in the UK over three years in AI infrastructure and skills; Chancellor welcomes investment in future growth and innovation.

A model of Microsoft's new datacentre, currently under construction in London
A model of Microsoft's new datacentre, currently under construction in London 

Microsoft is expanding its AI datacentre infrastructure and skills base in the UK, investing £2.5 billion over three years.

This is Microsoft's largest investment in the UK which will see the company grow its AI infrastructure in London, Cardiff and potential further expansion into northern England.

The investment will bring 20,000 of the most advanced Graphics Processing Units, crucial for machine learning and the development of AI models, to the UK by 2026 to meet exploding demand for AI computing power. 

On skills, one million people will be trained for the AI economy, including training for people looking to start a career in AI. The skills programme will include AI fluency, developing AI technical skills, supporting AI business transformation, and promoting safe and responsible AI development and use including the first Professional Certificate on Generative AI.

The Chancellor welcomed Microsoft’s investment on a visit to one of its new datacentre facilities under construction in North Acton, London, where he was joined by Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith, and Microsoft UK CEO, Clare Barclay.

Microsoft UK CEO, Clare Barclay, said:

“The pace of change in AI demands action today to build a prosperous future for the UK tomorrow. Today marks the single largest investment in our more than 40-year history in the UK.”

“As business and the public sector embrace the AI opportunity, we are building the infrastructure that will support the growth they need, training the people who can deliver it responsibly and securing our society against emergent threats”.

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said:

“This is a huge vote of confidence in the strength of the UK’s technology sector, showing Microsoft’s support for the UK to reach superpower heights and cementing our global AI safety leadership.

“This investment not only bolsters critical infrastructure but also ensures that the UK remains at the forefront of driving economic growth and innovation.”