UK Government backs Gigafactory plans

Battery technology company Britishvolt has confirmed that it will receive funding from the UK Government which will support its plans to build a £3.8bn gigaplant in Blyth.

The company has secured the funding from the Automotive Transformation Fund run by the Advanced Propulsion Centre UK.

The gigaplant is expected to create more than 3,000 direct jobs once operational, alongside a further 5,000 in the wider supply chain.

At full production, enough battery cells will be produced for more than 300,000 lithium-ion batteries a year, helping to accelerate towards an electric future.

Isobel Sheldon, chief strategy officer at Britishvolt, said: “This is great news for our ambitious plans to construct the UK’s premier battery cell Gigaplant in Northumberland.

“While the overwhelming majority of investment for the project will come from private sources, the ATF’s grant funding is very important in proving that the UK Government is confident that we will deliver on our plans, and this will help to generate further private investment. It’s a clear indicator of the Government’s policy towards electrification of society in the race to zero.”

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng added: “I’m delighted to confirm we have now provided Britishvolt with a final grant offer through the Automotive Transformation Fund. The Blyth gigafactory will turbocharge our plans to embed a globally competitive electric vehicle supply chain in the UK and it is fantastic to see how the project is progressing.

“The vast site will ensure Britain can fully capture the benefits of the booming global electric vehicle market. The well-paid jobs and growth it will generate for the North East of England will be transformational and are exactly the reason we are investing to make the UK the best place in the world for automotive manufacturing.”

Total investment for the gigaplant is about £3.8bn, making it the largest industrial investment in the North East since Nissan’s move in 1984.