At least two parties express an interest in Britishvolt site

The gigaplant, if it is built, will be one of the biggest in Europe.The gigaplant, if it is built, will be one of the biggest in Europe.
The gigaplant, if it is built, will be one of the biggest in Europe.
The leader of Northumberland County Council has revealed meetings have already been held with TWO parties interested in taking over the Cambois gigafactory site.

Electric car battery start-up firm Britishvolt had planned to build a £3.8bn facility on the plot, but the company entered administration on Tuesday.

It had been hoped that the gigafactory would create 3,000 onsite jobs and another 5,000 in the supply chain, bringing a huge boost to the economy of south east Northumberland and the wider North East.

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Local politicians have spoken of their disappointment in the wake of the news, but council leader Glen Sanderson has offered a glimmer of hope that a new company might come in to build on the site.

Speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council, which took place just four hours after Britishvolt staff were told they were being made redundant, he confirmed there had already been some interest.

He said: “We’ve had the very sad news about Britishvolt, but I’m firmly of the view that we should be positive about this. It’s a fabulous site and there’s a very present need for battery manufacture in the UK.

“I think we can all be proud of what the county council has done and how we worked to get the site done. The planning permission was done in record time and praised by everyone.

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“We have had two approaches to be an alternative operator of that site. I had a meeting with one and Rick O’Farrell (the council’s interim chief executive) had a meeting with the other.

“We will look to do everything we can do facilitate that place becoming a large employer, so I can assure you that we’re absolutely flat out on this. We can’t wring our hands and say nothing good is going to happen – I do feel sorry for the people who have lost their jobs, but it is not the end of the road.

“I’m going to be positive about this and say here’s a site that is the best in the country, because it has the port and the power. I think that site is second to none.”

Coun Sanderson said he could not name the two interested parties due to reasons of confidentiality.

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The Financial Times has also reported that “more than a dozen” companies have expressed interest in buying the factory site.

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Anyone interested in the site must be planning to build a battery manufacturing plant and have at least £150m of working capital, a requirement that needs to be met to access the government’s pledged £100m grant for the project.