Hope that new investor can be found to build Cambois gigafactory following collapse of Britishvolt

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There has been huge disappointment across Northumberland following news that the company behind a flagship levelling up project to bring thousands of jobs to the region has gone into administration.

Britishvolt, the battery start-up that had planned to build a gigafactory at Cambois, announced it had appointed administrators on Tuesday afternoon.

It followed months of uncertainty, but 11th-hour talks in the hopes of finding a buyer were unsuccessful and the majority of the firm’s 300 staff have been made redundant.

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Coun Alex Wallace, who represents the Cambois ward on Northumberland County Council, said he was disappointed with the news – but was hopeful another company would come in to complete the project.

A CGI of the proposed gigafactory in Cambois.A CGI of the proposed gigafactory in Cambois.
A CGI of the proposed gigafactory in Cambois.

He said: “I’m absolutely disappointed. We keep getting these false dawns, we’ve had them for a generation.

“We now have a prime site and there must be people looking at it. Britishvolt has put us on the map and made Cambois internationally known.

“There’s always someone making a fortune from other people’s misfortune. It’s more than fingers crossed at the moment.”

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Coun Wallace also reiterated the importance of the site to Cambois and the county, and hit out at the government for failing to secure Britishvolt’s future.

He continued: “It’s not just Cambois, it’s not just Northumberland – it’s the whole North East. It’s vital, it is transformational.

“Can you imagine? It’s so important, 8,000 jobs in total, the wealth and growth it would bring into the area is huge.”

Coun Wallace also criticised the government for failing to provide funding for the site.

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He added: “It’s the Tory doctrine, leave it to the market forces. If this government had committed like the rest of Europe had, we wouldn’t be having these conversations.

“It’s cost a fortune to get this started, that’s why you need government money.”

Conservative MP Ian Levy, who represents the neighbouring Blyth Valley ward, said he would work with government to attract new investors to the site.

He said: “I have been a big supporter of this project to build a gigafactory on the Blyth Estuary and despite the disappointing news about Britishvolt, I will continue to champion this opportunity. Our area needs this investment and the jobs that will bring and I will be asking the government to stand by the offer of financial support from the Automotive Transformation Fund for any consortium able to put together a full package.

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“I will work tirelessly with the government and the council to attract potential investors to the site to make sure a major project goes ahead. The UK automotive industry’s need for a battery gigafactory remains and the site on the Blyth Estuary is still the best in the country with a large area, excellent power connectivity, a deep-water port, strong workforce supply and easy access to the national road network. ”

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson said the news was a huge blow, but he hoped a new investor could be found.

He added: “This is extremely disappointing news – for all those connected with the company and also those who have lost their dream of working here.”

When the county council sold the land, it put a number of safeguards in place, including a buy-back option for the original selling price if a battery plant is not built there.