UK battery technology firm Britishvolt had selected the north east of England to build the first battery gigaplant.
The company has acquired the rights to a site in Blyth, Northumberland, with construction beginning in summer 2021 and lithium-ion battery production commencing at the end of 2023.
The overall investment in the gigaplant is £2.6bn – the largest single investment into the north east of England since Nissan began production in 1984, it claimed. When the final phase of the project is completed in 2027, the facility will employ up to 3,000 people producing 300,000 lithium-ion batteries to the UK automotive industry. An additional 5000 jobs in the supply chain are also expected.
The building of a battery gigaplant is one of the key pillars of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ten point plan for a green recovery – and a critical step towards net-zero by 2050.
Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari, said the firm was “delighted” to secure the site for construction.
He said: “Now we can really start the hard work and begin producing lithium-ion batteries for future electrified vehicles in just three years. It is crucial for the UK automotive industry and for the entire economy that we are able to power the future. The sooner we start, the better.
“Blyth meets all of our exacting requirements and could be tailor made. It is on the doorstep of major transport links, easily accessible renewable energy and the opportunity for a co-located supply chain meets our target to make our gigaplant the world’s cleanest and greenest battery facility. “
Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, said: “There is still much to do but the prospect of the UK’s first gigaplant on the old Blyth Power Station site directly creating up to 8000 jobs is amazing.
“These jobs will not only return the area to the status of an industrial powerhouse but will help us retain our graduates and provide a huge boost to struggling high streets. I look forward to working with all involved and will provide the backing necessary to deliver a scheme that is a once in a generation opportunity.”