Because you are using a .uk domain, you are already geo-targeting your users through that and as such Google should recognise this. If you had a non-specific TLD (e.g. .com, .net, .org) then you'd need to use a UK based IP address or use Google Webmaster Tools targeting to explicitly specify who you want to aim your site at.
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Although the above is true... from experience i have found also having a UK IP does help... we do SEO for some of our clients and this is one thing we have noticed.
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I think the TLD is more important, but if your site is physically located in the UK on a UK ip that will lead to better load times, which is also good for SEO.
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