Government announces major £100m investment in Britishvolt's gigafactory site

The Government has announced tens of millions of pounds worth of financial support to a major electric vehicle battery pioneer.

By David Sedgwick
Friday, 21st January 2022, 12:01 am
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 11:56 am

Britishvolt is pushing ahead with its historic plans for a full-scale electric-vehicle gigaplant in Northumberland.

And they have been boosted by support from the Government through its Automotive Transformation Fund, understood to be in the region of £100million.

Associated work on the site started last September, and will be completed in three phrases. Once the final phase is completed, the gigaplant will employ 3,000 people with more than 5,000 in the supply chain.

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Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, being shown around the Britishvolt site by chairman Peter Rolton.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng visited the site in Cambois to see the ambition first hand, and was delighted with what he saw.

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.

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

Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, at the Britishvolt site in Cambois.

“Britishvolt’s planned Gigafactory will not only enable the UK to fully capture the benefits of a booming electric vehicle market, but will bring thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs to the North East.”

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt executive chairman, said: “This announcement is a major step in putting the UK at the forefront of the global energy transition, unlocking huge private sector investment that will develop the technology and skills required for Britain to play its part in the next industrial revolution.

“The news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem, that perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem.

"Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the Britishvolt site.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Business Secretary, announces tens of millions of pounds of Government support to Britishvolt.

“I’m especially proud that this is such a major boost for Northumberland – the county of my birth – bringing around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000+ indirect wider supply chain roles into the region.

“This is a truly historic day and marks the start of a truly exciting move towards a low carbon future. One with Britishvolt batteries at the very centre of that strategy.”

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said: “Britishvolt’s plan to build a new Gigafactory in Northumberland is a strong testament to the skilled workers of the North East and the UK’s place at the helm of the global green industrial revolution.

“Backed by government and private sector investment, this new battery factory will boost the production of electric vehicles in the UK, whilst levelling up opportunity and bringing thousands of new highly-skilled jobs to communities in our industrial heartlands.”

Britishvolt has secured Government funding for its gigaplant in Cambois, helping attract additional private funding.

Cllr Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, was delighted to see the major investment taking place in Northumberland.

He said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for people to find a new career and be part of this fantastic development.

"It will create new confidence of others interested in locating in Northumberland.”

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said: “It’s exciting news, it’s a long time coming and is a great opportunity for the area.

"It’s a win-win situation and I’m looking forward to seeing it progressing.”

Blyth Valley MP Ian Levy said: “It is fantastic and amazing news.

"This is the start of the green industrial revolution.”

Britishvolt has also announced that Tritax and abrdn are becoming its partner to fund the build of the project, shell and core, as well as to develop the associated supplier park.

James Dunlop, CEO, Tritax Group, said: “Tritax and abrdn are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Britishvolt to fund and deliver this.

"The £3.8bn scheme will create a sustainable and green powered ecosystem for UK battery and EV manufacturing.”

The transformation and development of the 93-hectare site is underway by Britishvolt’s construction partner ISG.

Advanced works are progressing to support the design process and the significant onsite infrastructure required to deliver a project of this scale and complexity.