Government backs Britishvolt plans for Blyth gigafactory to build electric vehicle batteries

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Credit: Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Britishvolt, the UK battery company, has received an in principle offer of government funding though the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) for its planned gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland.

Once complete, the factory will produce enough batteries for over 300,000 electric vehicles each year, significantly supporting the UK automotive industry’s transition to a zero emissions future and increased production of electric vehicles.

The government’s support for the gigafactory will help to unlock a significant amount of further support from private investors. Alongside private sector investment, the project is set to create 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000 indirect jobs in the wider supply chain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said:

Britishvolt’s plan to build a new gigafactory in Northumberland is a strong testament to the skilled workers of the North East and the UK’s place at the helm of the global green industrial revolution.

Backed by government and private sector investment, this new battery factory will boost the production of electric vehicles in the UK, whilst levelling up opportunity and bringing thousands of new highly-skilled jobs to communities in our industrial heartlands.

Kwasi Kwarteng Business Secretary, said:

Today’s news is a major boost for Britain and a resounding vote of confidence in the North East economy.

Britishvolt’s planned gigafactory will not only enable the UK to fully capture the benefits of a booming electric vehicle market, but will bring thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid jobs to the North East.

In this global race between countries to secure vital battery production, this government is proud to make the investment necessary to ensure UK’s retains its place as one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing.

The government is investing millions to develop the supply chain for cleaner vehicles in the UK, while working with our auto industry to ensure it remains competitive for years to come.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt’s executive chairman, said:

“The UK automotive industry needs a local source of batteries. Chinese or other Asian imports are not going to be an option. There will be very, very significant shortfalls of batteries. We are absolutely vital to maintain the UK industry and support those jobs.”

As part of the Net Zero Strategy, the government recently announced £350 million of funding for the Automotive Transformation Fund. This is additional to the £500 million already announced as part of the 10 Point Plan.

Ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030 will put the UK on course to be the fastest G7 country to decarbonise cars and vans.

Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone said:

Our support for Britishvolt’s gigafactory is not only set to bring new jobs to the people of Northumberland, but by unlocking huge amounts of additional investment, we are helping to turbocharge the local economy. All of which will not only transform Blyth, but also help us build the batteries that will power our electric vehicles for a cleaner, greener future.

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