Britishvolt administrators and 'interested parties' in talks for fresh takeover of Northumberland site

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Administrators appointed to failed battery startup Britishvolt are speaking to other interested parties as final payments for the firm and its site remain outstanding.

Ernst and Young selected Australian startup Recharge Industries as its buyer for the site near Blyth last year, but the full amount owed to administrators has still not been paid.

Recharge has been in default on the deal for a number of months and no progress has been made on building an electric car battery factory on the site, which is considered one of the most suitable locations for such a facility in Europe.

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EY also revealed that administrator fees have reached a cost of nearly £4.5m, over £1m more than originally estimated.

A CGI of the proposed Britishvolt plant at Cambois. (Photo by Britishvolt)A CGI of the proposed Britishvolt plant at Cambois. (Photo by Britishvolt)
A CGI of the proposed Britishvolt plant at Cambois. (Photo by Britishvolt)

In a letter to Britishvolt creditors on behalf of EY, joint administrator Joanne Robinson said: “The buyer continues to remain in default of the business sale agreement and, as such, the joint administrators have held discussions with a number of additional parties who have intimated that they may be interested in acquiring the proposed gigafactory site in Northumberland and/or the shares the company owns in [Britishvolt].

“Whilst the joint administrators have not terminated the business sale agreement, negotiations are ongoing with other interested parties.

“We are unable to provide more detailed commentary given the commercial sensitivities surrounding these negotiations.

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“A further update concerning this matter will be provided in the next progress report to creditors and at the next meeting with the creditors’ committee.”

It has also been claimed by the leader of Northumberland Labour, Cllr Scott Dickinson, that £15m set aside by Northumberland County Council at a meeting on Wednesday is for a potential acquisition of the site, but this has been dismissed by council leader Glen Sanderson as “pure speculation.”

Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy said: “I am deeply concerned about the lack of progress since Recharge agreed a deal with the administrators, EY.

“I have been in regular contact with the council about this and they share my desire to see something happen on the site as quickly as possible that will bring regeneration and jobs.

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“Any credible buyer with a clear plan for continued redevelopment of the site and creation of large-scale employment opportunities will have my full support and will do what I can to encourage all stakeholders to support them.”