Hosting and data centre specialist UKFast has cut the ribbon on a new £14 million complex, staking a claim to the largest data centre operation in Manchester.

The new opening means the addition of three new Manchester Network Operation Centres (MaNOC) at the Trafford Park complex. The MaNOC 5,6, and 7 facilities will add to the companies existing resources, such as it wholly-owned MaNOC 4 centre, built last year.

UKFast currently provides hosting for 4,000 clients in the UK, including Virgin and Microsoft, and is looking to continue to grow its data centre presence by attracting more Tier 1 and Tier 2 carriers and service providers.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said that the additional data centre capacity will "dwarf" other operators in the Manchester area, and will help drive competition that will benefit the city's bid to become a centre of innovation.

"The DCPlex brings huge benefits for the local business community," Jones said. "It's our job to give everyone access to leading-edge services from major international carriers ensuring we make our clients more competitive in international markets."

Jones said there has been a lack of options for high standard data centre operations in the north-west of England in the past, with many data centres changing ownership on a regular basis. This has meant that it has been necessary to invest in its own infrastructure.

He added that this investment will help boost Manchester's appeal for attracting tech firms to set up shop in the area by supplying vital infrastructure.

"Manchester has great potential to be the new digital hub of the UK but we need more data centre space and better connectivity," Jones said.

"It's too easy to blame broadband for poor download speeds. The real answer is to speed up every aspect of your hosting service to guarantee great results."

Earlier this month UKFast announced that it would be taking on 150 new staff for data centre projects in the area, seeking to grow its headcount to 350 by 2014.