Lawrence Jones (businessman)

Lawrence Nigel Jones MBE (born 1 August 1968) He is the co-founder and was the CEO of the Manchester-based colocation, dedicated and cloud hosting provider, UKFast.[1]

Lawrence Jones
Lawrence Nigel Jones

(1968-08-01) 1 August 1968 (age 53)
Denbigh, Wales
OccupationFormer Director of UKFast
Years active1999–present
Spouse(s)Gail Jones
Children4 daughters

Early lifeEdit

Lawrence Jones was born in Denbigh, North Wales. At 7 years old he won a scholarship to sing and study music at Durham Chorister School[2][3] before attending Ruthin School School when he was 13 years old. At 16 years he left home and moved to Manchester.[4][5]


Jones formed UKFast with his partner Gail in 1999.[6]

The cloud hosting and colocation business operates a data centre complex in Trafford Park, Manchester, and has over 350 employees.[7][8] In 2018, the firm's turnover was £53.9million.[9]

In December 2018 Jones sold a 30% stake of UKFast for £205m to private equity firm Inflexion[10] and in May 2020 it was reported in The Financial Times that Jones and his wife "have both now left the business and will no longer have any role in it".

In May 2010 Jones joined the board of the Manchester Camerata.[11][12]

He owns Castell Cidwm estate near the village of Betws Garmon; it was originally owned by the Marquis of Anglesey, who used the Castell Cidwm country house as his hunting lodge. He has built a wall that has prevented local people from accessing the lake, causing considerable local objections.[13]

Jones acquired Le Farinet Hotel in Swiss ski resort Verbier in September 2014.[14]

In June 2017 Jones launched a podcast offering business advice and sharing inspirational stories from people including Sir Richard Branson, Gary Neville and Stacey Copeland.[15]

Honours and awardsEdit

In 2012, Jones was named Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year and, in 2013, he received 'Director of the Year for a Small to Medium Company' at the Institute of Directors' awards ceremony.[16][17]

He was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2015 New Years Honours List for services to the digital economy.[18][19]

In July 2016 Jones received an honorary doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) from Manchester Metropolitan University[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Lawrence and Gail Jones have four daughters.[1] They live in Cheshire, England.[21]

In 2001, Jones was caught in an avalanche whilst skiing off-piste in Alpe D'huez, France. Buried for 8 minutes Jones was resuscitated before being airlifted to Grenoble hospital.[22]

In October 2019, an investigation by the Financial Times reported that Lawrence faced multiple allegations by former employees of bullying, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Many of the allegations include claims of unwanted physical contact and verbal abuse in the work place and molestation whilst on company trips abroad.[23] This resulted in his resignation and the prospect his wife Gail would become CEO.[24] An internal investigation into the allegations started in late October 2019, which UKFast is quoted as "taking very seriously".[25]

As of 1 November 2019, Greater Manchester Police have confirmed that they have interviewed Jones in relation to two allegations of sexual assault and that enquiries are ongoing.[26]

In January 2021 he was charged with one count of rape and four counts of sexual assault.[27] In April 2021 he was charged with a further count of rape. Trial for the first charges is scheduled for February 2022. [28]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b "'My Way' – UKFast's Director Lawrence Jones". Manchester Evening News. 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
  2. ^ Hughes, Owen (2013). "Entrepreneur targeting North Wales for cutting edge data centre". The Daily Post. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  3. ^ "National Business Awards Entrepreneur finalist focus: Lawrence Jones, UKFast". Business Matters Magazine. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  4. ^ News, Manchester Evening (12 July 2012). "'My Way' – UKFast's CEO Lawrence Jones". {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 June 2014. Retrieved 25 January 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "How Lawrence Jones Built UKFast into A Multi Million Pound Empire". Your Hidden Potential. 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  7. ^ Finnegan, Matthew (2012). "UKFast launches new data centre complex in Manchester". Retrieved 24 June 2014.
  8. ^ Chapman, Stephen (2013). "UKFast invests £2m into family friendly working environment". Prolific North. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  9. ^ "UKFast Revenues Pass £50m". Insider Media. 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Private equity firm acquires 30% stake in UKFast". Prolific North. 21 December 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  11. ^ "Lawrence Jones Joins Manchester Camerata Board". UKPRWIRE.
  12. ^ "UKFast partners with Manchester Camerata". Manchester Camerata. Archived from the original on 22 May 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Entrepreneur Targeting North Wales for cutting edge data centre". Daily Post. 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Lawrence Jones acquires first hotel in world-famous Swiss ski resort". Manchester Evening News. 2014. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
  15. ^ "Lawrence Jones Mind Your Own Business Podcast".
  16. ^ "Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 Award Recipients" (PDF). Ernst & Young. 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2014.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "North West Director of the Year Awards". Institute of Directors. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  18. ^ "No. 61092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2014. p. N21.
  19. ^ 2015 New Year Honours List Archived 2 January 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Lawrence Jones MBE, CEO of UKFast, talks about receiving his honorary degree". MMU. 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2016.
  21. ^ "The Cheshire Life Glitz List 2013". Cheshire Life. 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2014.
  22. ^ "AVALANCHE TAUGHT LIFE LESSONS". 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  23. ^ "The darker side of a British tech baron". 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  24. ^ Yarwood, Sam (30 October 2019). "Lawrence Jones steps down as boss of UKFast following sexual misconduct claims". Manchester Evening News.
  25. ^ "Lawrence Jones quits as UKFast chief after FT investigation". 2019. Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Police confirm interview with UKFast boss Lawrence Jones"./
  27. ^ "Lawrence Jones: Former UKFast boss charged with rape". 5 January 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.
  28. ^ "Lawrence Jones: Former UKFast boss faces second rape charge". 15 April 2021. Retrieved 13 May 2021.