Bunker demand rockets.

The owners of the Bunker, a former RAF control-centre converted into a secure storage facility for computer systems, have acquired a second former Cold War bunker as demand for space safe from physical attacks escalates.

Much of the spare capacity at computer consultants and software developers AL Digital’s first site in Kent was snapped up just days after the 11 September attacks in the US, Accountancy Age has learnt.

The directors of the operation, Ben and Adam Laurie and Dominic Hawkin, had originally planned to open a second site within the next two or three years, but recent events have forced them to bring forward their plans.

The 50,000 sq ft bunker site is now 40% full and is expected to be full early next year. Bought for an undisclosed sum, the Other Bunker, as it has been christened, is based in the northeast of London and is expected to be up-and-running by spring 2002. It needs refitting before any computer system can be moved in.

Hawkin said: ‘Increased demand has caused us to move our timetable forward. The Other Bunker needed to be open for business sooner than we planned.’

Both bunkers are designed to withstand chemical and biological warfare and are the ultimate protection against attacks including crackers, terrorists, electro-magnetic pulse and electronic eavesdropping.

Computer systems of large accountancy firms as well as Sun Microsystems, Scottish Widows and BTCellnet figure among those companies already installed in the Bunker’s hermetically sealed bespoke rooms 300ft below ground level.

Despite a diverse array of companies, from banking to e-commerce websites, with servers located at The Bunker, Hawkin said most dealt with financial or medical information.

Access to the Bunker’s central core is restricted to its security team. And with 24 hour on-site security combined with realtime electronic monitoring of all network activity it claims to be the UK’s safest place for data storage.

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