Tritax and abrdn have formed a partnership to provide Britishvolt’s forthcoming Northumberland gigafatcory with £1.7bn in funding.
A CGI of the forthcoming Britishvolt gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland
The project, which has a gross development value of £3.8bn, has also received support from the government through its automotive transformation fund delivered by the Advanced Propulsion Centre alongside the Tritax and abrdn JV’s multi-billion funding package.
The JV and the government’s support will allow Britishvolt to redevelop a disused coal stocking yard in Northumberland, which was used as part of the former Blyth Power Station, into a 4m sq ft gigafactory.
Britishvolt said the scheme, which received planning permission in July last year, will have the capacity to produce 300,000 batteries a year for the electric vehicle market and will produce 3,000 “high-value” jobs. Advanced works on the site started on 6 September 2021.
James Dunlop, chief executive of Tritax Group, said: “Tritax and abrdn are delighted to have been chosen to partner with Britishvolt to fund and deliver this at Blyth. The £3.8bn scheme will create a sustainable and green-powered ecosystem for UK battery and EV manufacturing.”
Peter Rolton, Britishvolt executive chairman, added: “This announcement is a major step in putting the UK at the forefront of the global energy transition, unlocking huge private sector investment that will develop the technology and skills required for Britain to play its part in the next industrial revolution.“
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, while levelling up opportunity and bringing thousands of new highly skilled jobs to communities in our industrial heartlands.”
Kwasi Kwarteng, business secretary, added: “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 the UK retains its place as one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing.”
The Britishvolt gigfactory is one of several in the works across the UK. In July last year, Nissan revealed plans to develop a £450m gigafactory at HBD’s International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) in Sunderland, next to Nissan’s existing Sunderland factory.
Also in July last year, Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority submitted a planning application to turn the former Coventry Airport into a gigafactory.
Meanwhile in May last year, The Telegraph reported that eccentric billionaire Elon Musk had flown by private jet to Luton Airport to look at potential gigafactory sites in Teeside and the West Midlands.
In May 2020, Property Week revealed that the UK government had a 4m sq ft gigfactory requirement out in the market connected to Tesla and that Somerset’s Gravity scheme was interested in the requirement. The following month, The Times reported that Musk had flown over to the UK to visit the Somerset scheme.