Battery manufacturer Britishvolt has announced the location for its gigaplant; the factory will be built in Blyth, Northumberland. This 3,000-job battery factory will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The £2.6bn total investment in the gigaplant is one of the UK’s largest-ever industrial investments and means it’ll be operational by the end of 2023. This is a key move in supporting the British automotive industry and helping the UK reach net zero by 2050. The location of the site in Northumberland will support the existing manufacture of electric vehicles in the North of England, which makes it vital in the ongoing success of British-built cars.
Originally, the gigaplant was reported to be planned for St Athans in Wales after a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Welsh government. While Britishvolt hasn’t given a reason for not choosing Wales for its site — which would’ve been close to Aston Martin — it has said why it opted for Blyth.
Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari said: “We are delighted to have secured this site in Blyth. This is a tremendous moment both for Britishvolt and UK industry. 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. We have had an extremely warm welcome from Ian Levy MP and Northumberland County Council and are looking forward to working with them closely on this project.”
Britishvolt will build the gigaplant on the 95-hectare site of the former Blyth power station. It will use renewable energy including hydro-electric power from the North Sea Link project.