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Lawrence Jones is a British businessman and founder of the internet hosting company UKFast.

He worked for Granada in 1998 and spent a year in the US, where he became interested in the internet as a business opportunity.[1] He set up an internet hosting company in September 1999, UKFast.[2][3]

The company's office is in the city tower in Manchester.[4] Its servers are located in 5 independent data centers in both Manchester and London, MANOC1, 2, 4 & 4 and Telehouse North (London). MANOC (Manchester Network Operation Centre) was originally set up at Manchester Universities Computer Building, the home of the worlds first computer.

Jones is responsible for hundreds of thousands of ecommerce web sites, hosting clients such as UKTV and BP. His company is expanding by organic growth and sales have risen 67% a year from £1.4m in 2005 to £6.4m in 2008. 2011 turnover reached £16.1m.[5]

In 2010 Jones claims to have turned down an offer of £53m for UKFast and cited plans to diversify into the IT security market with services such as ethical hacking, PCI accreditation, offsite back up and disaster recovery.[6] 2010 also saw Lawarence Jones’ business UKFast enter the fastest growing companies in the North West. Out of the 100 businesses shortlisted, Jones’ UKFast came 10th place.[7]

Training programs

Jones owns 2 training properties. One in Snowdonia known as Castell Cidwm, which combines as a training centre and recreational escape for staff, the estate is located at the foot of Mount Snowdon and includes Llyn Cwellyn, the largest lake in the Snowdonia National Park. Employees experience climbing weekends in Snowdon which promote camaraderie between departments and promotes a healthy lifestyle.[8]

Jones’ second training property is located in Trafford Park in Manchester. He paid £1.2m for the 10,000sq ft building, which is the home of his training academy. The academy is managed by his recruitment company MySort.co.uk.[9][10]

Jones is also behind UKFast.TV which provide training videos which are given to employees on iPods with frequently updated material.[11]

In 2011 Jones announced plans to add 100 staff to his business UKFast taking the headcount to 250 at their Manchester office whilst acquiring 2 further properties in Trafford Park to continue his [12]

UKFast has been listed as one of The Sunday Times Best Places To Work every year since 2009. In 2012 reaching number 45 with 3 star accreditation. An improvement of 30 places following the dip of the previous year.

Head of Marketing at Skiddle and former UKFast employee; Simon Dalley, cites Jones as a significant contributor to his development as a marketer[13].

Sponsorship

Jones signed a record £2.5m sponsorship deal with the Sale Sharks Rugby Club in May 2009. The deal is for 3 years and takes UKFast's involvement with the Sharks to 12 years.[14] Jones chose to exercise a break in the contract after 2 years, citing the need to invest in his data centre expansion.

Jones also signed a sponsor agreement with Airways-Ducati which later became, Airwaves-Yamaha[15] one of the British Superbike teams before the team disbanded in 2010.

Jones also partners with and supports Manchester Camerata, a Manchester based chamber orchestra.[16] In May 2010 Jones joined the board of directors of the Manchester Camerata to help the orchestra reach a wider audience via the Internet.[17]


References

  1. "Jones returns from US to set up UKFast". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2006/02/01/010206_ukfast_internet_feature.shtml. 
  2. "UKFast hosts 250,000 e-commerce web sites". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2008/11/17/171108_online_sales_feature.shtml. 
  3. "Modern Art Fan sets up web hosting company". Crains Manchester Business. http://www.crainsmanchesterbusiness.co.uk/apps/pbcs.dll/dcce?Date=20080612&Module=4&Kategori=FORTY08&ID=1366989&Selected=25. 
  4. "UKFast occupies highest office in Manchester". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/content/articles/2008/11/17/171108_online_sales_feature.shtml. 
  5. "Sunday Times TechTrack 2009". Sunday Times TechTrack. http://www.fasttrack.co.uk/fasttrack2002/migration/dbDetails.asp?siteID=3&compID=2637&yr=2009. 
  6. "Lawrence Jones turns down £53m for UKFast". Craines Manchester Business. http://www.nxtbook.com/nxteu/crainsuk/10may10/index.php?startid=4#/4. 
  7. "UKFast in Growth 100 list". Insider Magazine. http://www.ukfast.co.uk/in-the-media/insider-growth-100.html. 
  8. "Best Companies 2008 Personal Growth". Sunday Times Best Companies Guide. http://www.bestcompaniesguide.co.uk/company_profile.aspx?CompanySurveyID=41672. 
  9. "UKFast invests 500K in new recruiment business". Insider Magazine. http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/24999-ukfast-invests-500k-in-new-recruitment-business.html?news_section=4168. 
  10. "UKFast moves into recruitment in £500K growth drive". UKFast. http://www.ukfast.co.uk/in-the-media/ukfast-moves-into-recruitment-in-pound500k-growth-drive.html. 
  11. "Best Companies Line". Sunday Times Best Companies Guide. http://www.bestcompaniesguide.co.uk/company_profile.aspx?CompanySurveyID=41672. 
  12. "Data Centre Expansion". Manchester Evening News. http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/business/technology/s/1465856_ukfast-to-invest-8m-in-two-new-data-centres. 
  13. "Staying One Step Ahead – Q&A with Skiddle Head of Marketing Simon Dalley". Event Industry News. http://www.eventindustrynews.co.uk/2012/12/staying-one-step-ahead-qa-with-skiddle-head-of-marketing-simon-dalley/. 
  14. "Sale enjoy life in the UKFast lane". Manchester Evening News. http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/sport/rugby_union/s/1115842_sale_enjoy_life_in_ukfast_lane. 
  15. http://www.airwaves-yamaha.co.uk/sponsors.html
  16. "UKFast partners with Manchester Camerata". Manchester Camerata. http://www.manchestercamerata.co.uk/supportus/corporate-partners. 
  17. "Lawrence Jones Joins Manchester Camerata Board". UKPRWIRE. http://www.ukprwire.com/Detailed/Technology/UKFast_owner_Lawrence_Jones_joins_Manchester_Camerata_s_Board_86511.shtml. 

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