Government funding for Britishvolt is welcomed by local groups

Organisations have welcomed the news that the Government has allocated funding for Britishvolt’s new gigaplant in Cambois.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 21st January 2022, 1:00 pm
Government financial support towards Britishvolt's gigafactory plans have been welcomed.

Today, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng announed that the company would be boosted by support from the Government through its Automotive Transformation Fund, understood to be in the region of £100million.

He said: “I’m hugely impressed by the site, which will be the fourth largest in Europe.

"I was satisfied, as were my colleagues across government, that this will be a really good use of taxpayers money.

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A graph showing the scale of the Britishvolt plant and the significant contribution it will make towards meeting the UK demand for electric vehicles.

"Today’s news is a major boost for Britain and a resounding vote of confidence in the North East economy.

Once complete, the gigaplant will be the fourth largest building in Europe and employ 3,000 people, with more than 5,000 jobs created in the supply chain.

And the news has been welcomed by organisations and union leaders, with the prospect of new jobs and showing the confidence in the North East as a manufacturing location.

Matt Boyle, Chair of the North East Automotove Alliance said: “Yet more evidence that the North East is the electrification capital of the UK.

"Leading investors and the British government have shown confidence to invest in battery technology for the world.

"The investments from Envision, Nissan, Britishvolt and Turntide are turning the North East into a globally recognised manufacturing location for the future electrification of transport.”

Ryan Maughan, chair of EV North, said: “It is absolutely brilliant that Britishvolt has been successful in securing this Advanced Propulsion Centre UK managed Automotive Transformation Fund, which is no small feat!

"This will unlock a huge investment into the North East, utilising the legacy energy infrastructure, huge available brownfield site and new renewable energy assets to create what will be one of the cleanest battery manufacturing plants in the world.

"This is more than just levelling up, this is accelerating the future, further confirming the North East’s leadership in the clean energy transition.”

Unite, the UK’s leading automotive union, has welcomed news that Britishvolt’s gigafactory will go ahead, creating up to 3,000 much needed jobs.

But the union has warned that if the UK’s automotive sector is to transition successfully to electric vehicles, many more battery plants are needed.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite has already signed an enabling agreement with Britishvolt for the factory, which is the best way to proceed with the project.

"However, six more battery plants, like Britishvolt, are needed if the UK is to retain a world class automotive sector that will spur the creation of thousands of decent jobs and help meet our climate obligations.”

Unite believes that these can only be created as part of an interventionist industrial strategy from the government, which so far seems to have been left entirely to the priorities of the market.

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Steve Turner said: “The Britishvolt factory is the kind of stimulus local economies and the UK’s manufacturing communities need to achieve Britain’s net zero carbon targets.

"Unite looks forward to working with Britishvolt to help ensure the success of the factory and further the best interests of its workers.”