Our data centre and flooding in York

tl;dr: Our York data centre is comfortably above the maximum level of flooding from a predicted 1 in 1,000 year event, according to an independent report that we commissioned before purchasing the building.

If you look at Bytemark’s location on a map or view the railcams on the side of our building, you’ll see that our data centre in York is across the four tracks of the East Coast Main Line from the River Ouse.

Over the last few weeks, intense rainfall in the north of England has resulted in unprecedented flooding in our home city. Whilst York is no stranger to rising water levels, being located at the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse, this year was an exception and some customers have got in touch to ask whether we are – or will ever be – at risk.

That’s why I want to reassure everyone that we are at an extremely low risk of flooding – our building is above the level of a predicted 1 in 1,000 year event.

We can be confident about this because we commissioned an independent flood risk assessment before buying the building. The report used the latest UK Environment Agency modelling of flood levels to conclude that the building (and surrounding roadways) are almost 0.5 metres higher than the worst possible case modelled for flooding over 1,000 years – even taking into account the impact of climate change.

This puts our building into the lowest risk category for flooding and the Environment Agency states that land in this category may be developed “for any purpose”. I’m happy to share the full report with anyone who asks via hello@bytemark.co.uk.

Whilst we are safe, hundreds of homes and business in the centre of York have been badly affected. The York Press have a gripping account of what may have been a main factor on one of the worst days.

It will take time for York to recover and I’d like any customers whose businesses have been affected to get in touch with us. In the meantime, check out the hashtag #yorkopen4business and let’s support the recovery of York city centre.