Britishvolt will start construction on UK’s first Gigafactory next year

Start-up electro-engineering firm Britishvolt has confirmed Northumberland will be home to the UK's first Gigafactory

Britishvolt, the start-up battery manufacturer, has selected the site of the UK’s first battery Gigafactory. It will be built on the same land as the Blyth Power Station in Northumberland – and the company is aiming to have the plant up and running by the end of 2023.

The firm will invest a total of £2.6 billion in the project, which makes it the largest industrial investment in the North East since Nissan’s arrival in 1984. The new Gigafactory will also provide 3,000 jobs for the region, as well as 5,000 more across the plant’s supply chain.

Once the plant’s construction is complete in 2027 and the factory is operating at full capacity, Britishvolt says it’ll be producing 300,000 lithium-ion battery packs each year, which will be used to supply the UK automotive industry.

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, said: “This is an incredibly exciting announcement that will have a massive impact in the constituency and the surrounding area for decades to come. I can’t think of anything comparable in the North East since Nissan invested in Sunderland more than 35 years ago.

“There is still much to do – but the prospect of the UK’s first Gigafactory on the old Blyth Power Station site directly creating up to 8,000 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.”

Britishvolt’s decision to build a UK-based Gigafactory has filled the void left by Tesla’s absence. A few years ago, the American EV manufacturer had plans to build a battery assembly plant in Britain – but the brand’s CEO, Elon Musk, recently moved the project to Germany, citing Brexit uncertainties as the main motivator for change.

Are you keen to see the UK’s first Gigafactory completed? Let us know in the comments section below…

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