Key Milestones In UKFast History

Our stepping stones throughout the years

Our milestones represent key moments in UKFast's history, providing a snapshot of some of the achievements that we're really proud of.

March 2019

Lawrence Jones MBE agrees a deal with Manchester City Council to acquire the 120,000 sq. ft. plot of land opposite UKFast’s Campus HQ in Birley Fields, Hulme. The acquisition of the site is key to the continued growth and acceleration of UKFast and its associated companies.

Proposed developments for the site are phased, with Phase 1 including an office building of at least 30,000 sq. ft. with surface car parking and Phase 2 bringing additional office accommodation and a multi-storey car park. An underground data centre may be included within the basement of one or both phases.

December 2018

UKFast closed 2018 by announcing a landmark investment from Inflexion Private Equity. The deal saw the company valued at £405 million, based on £25 million EBITDA. Inflexion took a 33% stake and Partner Irena Hemmers joined the UKFast board as a non-executive director.

October 2018

Manchester City Council announces a major upgrade of its ICT facilities, awarding a long-term contract to hosting firm UKFast. The upgrade sees UKFast hosting the Council’s servers across two separate sites, including two new data centre facilities created especially by the firm. As part of the package, UKFast commits to contributing 2.5% of the contract’s value back into the Council’s Social Value Fund, which is made up of contributions from the Council’s partners and supply chain.

September 2018

UKFast unveils the latest addition to its expanding data centre portfolio with the launch of a new state-of-the-art hosting facility, designed primarily to meet the needs of its growing number of government and public sector customers.

The new Tier 3 data centre, named MaNOC 8, represents a multi-million pound investment and is equipped with multi-factor access security, CCTV systems, razor-wire fencing and high-security, single-entry door systems.

July 2018

UKFast announces its commitment to provide 18,000 meals to school children living in poverty in Greater Manchester over the summer holiday period.

Statistics show that 32% of children in Greater Manchester are living in poverty, many of whom go without proper nutrition outside of the school calendar.

June 2018

Long-term investment in R&D and consistently outstanding customer support continue to drive explosive growth at UKFast, as the firm declared an 18% organic increase in revenue (£47m) in 2017.

May 2018

British technology firm UKFast teams up with Girlguiding to create a digital challenge badge, engaging and educating girls in different areas of digital technology.

With the Girlguiding programme undergoing an evolution this year to reflect a changing society, the badge is designed with an emphasis on STEM learning and hands-on activities relevant for a digital world.

April 2018

Manchester technology company UKFast continues to develop its focus on contributing to the local community with the appointment of a director of CSR and fundraising.

Former Manchester United Foundation head of fundraising Russell Feingold joins UKFast to head up the firm’s community initiatives, following six years with Key 103’s Cash for Kids project.

March 18

Cloud hosting firm UKFast is further cementing its commitment to bridging Manchester’s technical skills gap by opening up its award-winning apprenticeship training programme to other businesses. The fast-growing hosting provider is set to open up its industry-accredited training facilities to the wider business community, after being approved by the government to join the register of apprenticeship training providers.

Feb 18

UKFast is set to offer NHS services through the new Health and Social Care Network (HSCN) after receiving accreditation as a supplier from NHS Digital. The move makes UKFast the only provider to offer HSCN connectivity directly from a government-approved data centre.

Feb 18

Cloud hosting firm UKFast is still officially Manchester’s best place to work, after being named ninth best workplace in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For.

Jan 18

UKFast was proud to receive HRH The Earl of Wessex as a guest at its Manchester campus today, during a royal visit to Manchester. The Earl met a number of UKFast’s staff and learned more about their contribution to Manchester’s thriving technology sector.

Dec 17

Technology brand UKFast is taking its mission to inspire young digital talent to the next level, creating five new Raspberry Pi cafés for schools across Greater Manchester. The ‘cafés’ use Raspberry Pi computers which provide a simple and flexible tool for students to learn programming skills, giving them the opportunity to get hands-on with technology.

Sept 17

A small team of ethical hacking specialists from British firm Secarma has come out on top of the pile at the world’s largest hacking convention in Las Vegas; exposing more IoT (Internet of Things) vulnerabilities than any other team in the last four years.

Aug 17

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE today announces the firm's commitment to reduce spiralling graduate debt by creating a £1 million “GradCash” fund to directly contribute to paying off student loans for new recruits joining their graduate scheme.

July 17

UKFast and Manchester High School for Girls, one of the city’s top performing schools, have joined forces in a bid to tackle the widening gender gap across the tech industries.

June 17

Leading British cloud and hosting firm UKFast today announces the appointment of Kristina McGuirk as marketing director, as it looks to triple the size of its marketing function and build on impressive recent results.

May 17

Cyber security consultancy and ethical hacking specialist Secarma today announces the appointment of Paul Harris to the role of managing director, as it prepares to challenge the biggest players in a rapidly expanding security market. Secarma, owned by UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE, boasts a team of more than 50 ethical hackers and security experts, following the acquisition of CHECK and CREST accredited security business Pentest Ltd in July 2016.

May 17

It's been another strong year of growth at technology firm UKFast, as acceleration in the cloud market and high client retention rates drive a £5.7m increase in sales, taking turnover to £40m in 2016.

May 17

Technology firm UKFast today announces that it is approved to supply 21 separate cloud offerings – across hosting, software and support – through the latest iteration of the government’s G-Cloud framework.

April 17

A new high school focussed on digital literacy in Manchester has been approved by the government and is set to tackle the growing skills gap in the region. The new school, which caters for 11-16 year olds, will combine traditional education and values with digital literacy and the skills young people need to thrive in an increasingly technology-led workplace. The high school is a first for the region, seeing one of Manchester’s most successful businesses, UKFast, team up with thriving educational provider The Dean Trust, an initiative backed by Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Schools, Lord Nash.

March 17

Cloud and colocation firm UKFast is officially Manchester’s best place to work, after being named the fifth best workplace in the Sunday Times Top 100 Best Companies to Work For. The people-focussed business has become renowned in the city for its extraordinary office space, UKFast Campus, on the edge of Manchester’s Science Park which has an onsite gym, steam room, crèche and dedicated training and education space.

March 17

Hosting firm UKFast is slashing the price of its self-service, open source cloud platform eCloud Flex, as the cloud price battle with Amazon Web Services (AWS) continues to rage.

Feb 17

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE announces the acquisition of another cloud and cybersecurity service provider, Secure Information Assurance (S-IA), following the announcement of a £2.3 million investment to bolster his firm's government data centre space.

Feb 17

Fast-growing Manchester hosting firm UKFast is today announcing the creation of a raft of new places on its popular IT and software development apprenticeship programmes, with applications for the IT scheme opening this week. Since the launch of UKFast’s apprenticeship scheme in 2013, more than 50 apprentices have joined the award-winning tech firm on a two-year programme, developed and delivered by on-site teachers who’ve recently made the transition from public sector schools to UKFast’s classroom.

Jan 17

Manchester-based cloud and managed hosting specialist UKFast has delivered on its 2016 promise to create 100 new jobs, despite Brexit uncertainty, with headcount rising across the firm's associated brands from 250 to 350 in less than one year.

Jan 17

UKFast is continuing its long-term investment in making Manchester the UK's number one tech city with a £2.3 million upgrade at the firm's data centre complex.

Dec 16

Technology firm UKFast is hailing another stellar year for its flagship cloud range, eCloud, as annual recurring revenue from its exclusively UK-based cloud service grows 38% in a year to £13.79m.

Nov 16

By separating areas of the UKFast operation into individual registered businesses, Jones is creating more opportunities for top talent to develop leadership skills, increasing staff retention. The businesses include building and office refurbishment firm UKFast Space, technology magazine BusinessCloud and cyber security and ethical hacking specialists Secarma.

Oct 16

Growth at one of the North's best-known firms looks set to continue as UKFast announces it is doubling the size of its HQ in a landmark property deal. The deal sees the cloud and colocation business, run by tech entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE, secure a further 40,000 sq. ft. adjacent to its current campus in Manchester Science Park.

Sept 16

UKFast cemented its position as a great workplace, throwing a festival to thank its employees for another year of industry-leading service and support. The festival, UKFest, saw a two-day music line up, fairground rides and a 100ft inflatable assault course enjoyed by all of the UKFast team and their friends and family.

Aug 16

Digital entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE was yesterday awarded with an honorary doctorate by The Manchester Metropolitan University, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the North West economy. Jones joins a select group of individuals to receive the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA). The University praised the entrepreneur for his tireless work in support of the UK's digital economy and for displaying 'world-class innovation and leadership'.

July 16

Top-flight Rugby Union club Sale Sharks today announced the largest sponsorship deal in the history of the club, with Manchester-based cloud and colocation firm UKFast. The undisclosed seven-figure deal sees the firm return as shirt sponsor of the club after a five-year break, with Sale Sharks ready to compete for the European Champions Cup this season after finishing sixth in the Aviva Premiership.

July 16

Secarma, the cyber security business owned by UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones MBE, has confirmed the acquisition of Altrincham-based application security specialists Pentest Limited for an undisclosed sum.

June 16

The first edition of the UK's newest business technology magazine has been published. BusinessCloud has been set up by former regional newspaper and magazine editor Chris Maguire and tech entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE, CEO of UKFast. The full colour magazine is 80 pages in size and will focus on "demystifying technology for a business audience".The initial print run is for just under 20,000 copies. Of these, 12,500 will be distributed in Greater Manchester by the Manchester Evening News, with the balance sent out to UK-wide businesses and customers of UKFast.

June 16

Manchester hosting specialist UKFast launches a new cloud-based solution, FASTdesk, encouraging the continued rise of flexible working.

May 16

UKFast has been named the best medium-sized tech company to work for in the UK, placing fifth overall in medium category of the UK's Best Workplaces 2016. The Great Workplaces lists rank the UK's workplaces based upon culture, health and wellbeing and engagement through employee surveys and external recognition.

May 16

UKFast is to launch a Master of Business Administration (MBA) scholarship with Manchester Metropolitan University, giving one budding entrepreneur the chance to join the highly-valued business programme later this year.

April 16

Leading North West charity, The Christie, has been announced as the official charity partner for this year's UKFast City of Salford 10K race. Runners who take part in the UKFast City of Salford 10K on Sunday 4th September can run for The Christie and raise vital funds for The Christie NHS, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe.

March 16

Manchester-based cloud computing provider UKFast has been revealed as the new sponsor of the Cheshire Cricket League in a 10-year deal worth £50,000 which also sees the firm boosting tech use by member clubs and the league.

Feb 16

Over 150 apprentices affected by the collapse at Bright Future Software attended a careers open day in the hunt for new employment. The event, hosted at UKFast Campus in Manchester, saw the apprentices meet face-to-face with a huge range of businesses looking to recruit new talent.

Jan 16

Cloud computing entrepreneur Lawrence Jones MBE is joining forces with Chris Maguire, editor of the North West Business Insider to produce a new-look national business technology magazine.

Jan 16

Cloud computing firm UKFast launches a new self-service, open source cloud platform, built on OpenStack and hosted entirely in the UK with no vendor lock-ins.

Dec 15

UKFast announced that revenue from its eCloud range has grown by 82.9% in the last year. The eCloud model has surpassed all expectations with cloud services now netting £9.9m a year, and the figure representing 27% of total annual recurring revenue currently worth £37.2 million.

Nov 15

Lawrence Jones MBE has joined the local executive board of children's charity Cash for Kids. The UKFast CEO becomes a trustee of radio station Key 103's charity having helped to raise more than £1.4 million during last year's Cash for Kids Mission Christmas campaign and supporting the cause for several years.

Sept 15

Cloud hosting firm UKFast has joined forces with The Dean Trust to launch a Raspberry Pi Cafe, bringing hands-on tech and computer science education to Broadoak School in Partington, Greater Manchester.

Sept 15

Fast-growing Manchester cloud firm UKFast is driving its rapid expansion into the channel and public sector markets with the acquisition of a London office.

Aug 15

We invested in one of the biggest team events in the history of UKFast with a trip to Chester Zoo to say a big thank you to the team for a fantastic start to the year. With over 700 UKFast friends and family in tow, Zoofari was the perfect way to reward and motivate our team.

July 15

Hosting and colocation firm UKFast has taken home its second award in two years running at the Skills for Business awards, recognising its commitment to changing education in businesses across the city.

June 15

This month CEO of UKFast Lawrence Jones received an MBE for his services to the digital economy. It is a testament to the hard work Lawrence has put into helping UKFast's clients grow, and in doing so, helping the digital economy.

May 15

UKFast teamed up with local radio station, Key 103, to sponsor Superhero Day in aid of Beechwood Cancer Care; a charity to help and support young children, carers and family members who are affected by cancer and other life limiting illnesses.

April 15

Corporate M&A legal specialist Nicola Frost joins the team ahead of UKFast's ambitious growth plans.

March 15

Security heavyweight Andy Hague joins UKFast, heading up its security division, Secarma.

Feb 15

UKFast has enjoyed a year of growth after the popularity of cloud computing skyrocketed. For the year end December 2014, UKFast reported a 24 per cent turnover increase from £23.4m to £28.9m.

Jan 15

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones is awarded an MBE for services to the digital economy in the New Year's Honours List. Jones noted that the honour recognises the extraordinary effort of the whole UKFast team.

Dec 14

As one of the main campaign sponsors, UKFast helps to raise £1.7m of toys for Cash for Kids Mission Christmas, ensuring that more than 36,000 in poverty in Greater Manchester will receive gifts from Father Christmas this year.

Nov 14

UKFast is named Manchester Business of the Year (£10-25m) at the Manchester Evening News Business of the Year awards.

Oct 14

UKFast sponsor Raspberry Pi project to create an internet cafe at a South African community centre, providing a revenue stream and tech skills for the centre.

Aug 14

UKFast launches 'drag and drop' UK-based storage solution, eCloud Vault to add to it's record-breaking eCloud range.

May 14

Lawrence Jones announces plans for our next data centre and states that he is on the hunt for an underground site to transform into the North West's largest data centre space.

April 14

We announce our Random Acts of Kindness Year. UKFast's 2014 is focussed on giving back to the community however we can.

March 14

We launch our auditorium - we're offering the space to businesses, schools and networking groups free of charge. The space, equipped with theatre lighting and sound, a 100sq ft screen and bar area brings a new creative space to Manchester.

Feb 14

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones continues his record of exceptional rewards and incentives by giving his long-serving employees a record bonus of £10,000 for ten years' service.

Jan 14

UKFast helps to rebuild Harvey's Den, an autistic seven-year-old boy's sensory room, after it was raided and torched on Christmas Eve. The whole UKFast team came together to rebuild the boy's room and landscape the family's garden.