I had the good fortune to see one of the most exciting tech businesses I have seen for a long time last week.

Stellium Data Centres’ development just outside Newcastle has the potential to be truly transformational for the whole North-East.

Many people mistakenly assume with Cloud computing that you don’t need physical infrastructure, but to transfer vast quantities of data there still has to be a physical connection.

Stellium now has access to one of the largest data pipes in existence running underwater and underground from North America to Denmark with the Stellium as the only UK data centre on this new link.

This new, advanced fibre optic cable offers the North-East the consequent advantages over the previous connections via London; now ageing and lacking capacity.

This scalable digital infrastructure business now has the capability to stream huge amounts of data from and to North-East companies into North America, in particular, in a truly game-changing way.

I believe that with this technology on our doorstep the sky’s the limit for the North-East. Through this unique capability our businesses can be more, and better, connected globally than we are at present nationally.

The potential to attract investment from world-leading tech firms is immediate, huge and incredibly exciting for our region. For example we have Amazon’s interest in establishing a base in County Durham. I have every confidence this ambitious company will leverage the great opportunity that exists to provide even wider connectivity options and faster service for its clients and their customers.

I am delighted this Stellium development confirms our region’s position as the fastest growing tech sector outside London. This growing reputation, together with the National Institute for Smart Data Innovation at Newcastle University and the council’s Helix development, gives us a critical mass that will be second to none.

Our proud history of innovation began with the world’s first railway and continued with a range of technological advances including the invention of the light bulb. Today’s many of our regional businesses have the same entrepreneurial spirit and power to exploit opportunities to grow. This Stellium data centre campus and its fibre optic network provides a ‘best in breed’ capability that enables our region to punch above our weight.

As a Chamber we have a campaign to create a truly connected North East and this new data connection is a substantial boost towards this aim.

n James Ramsbotham is chief executive, North East England Chamber of Commerce