North East LEP makes £90k investment in response to Northumberland gigaplant and Sunderland gigafactory

The North East Local Enterprise Partnership has awarded more than £90k through its Project Development Accelerator Fund to expand the work of a new partnership aimed at growing the North East’s battery sector.

The North East Battery Alliance (NEBA), which is led by Newcastle University, aims to build on the North East’s existing strengths in electrification, automotive, and advanced manufacturing to raise awareness of the North East as a leading hub for the battery industry and attract further inward investment.

NEBA aims to create an ecosystem in the region that includes research and innovation centres, education and skills organisations, the public sector, battery cell manufacturers, and the associated supply chain, to stimulate further growth in the sector.

The collective was created in response to the ongoing expansion of the North East’s battery sector, which will include Britishvolt’s lithium-ion gigaplant facility in Northumberland, and Envision-AESC’s gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland / South Tyneside.

The North East’s five universities (Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside) are collaborating to form work groups reviewing all aspects of battery production – from raw materials to recycling, to strengthen the region’s research offering in this space.

Professor Colin Herron CBE from NEBA, Newcastle University and the Faraday Institution North East (FINE), said: “The creation of a North East Battery Alliance is another important step in making North East England an internationally recognised centre for batteries, from mining to recycling, business support, research and skills.

“This announcement builds upon the recent decision of the Faraday Institution to locate its first regional office in Newcastle University. All the region’s universities together with CPI and the battery industry have a once in a generation opportunity to deliver a truly transformational activity for the region, supported by the North East LEP.”

Andrew Moffat CBE, chair of the investment board at the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “The UK has a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Expanding green and sustainable sources of energy is a key part of the government’s net zero strategy.

“The North East is one of the leading destinations in the world for advancements in clean energy, and because of this our region has a significant role to play in delivering the UK’s net zero target.”