Britishvolt Selects First Battery Gigaplant Location in UK

By Oliver Freeman
Britishvolt has given the British battery technology sector a boost by selecting a site in the North East of England for its first British gigaplant...

A new British-based investor in battery technologies has announced plans to build a super-sized manufacturing facility to support the UK automotive industry’s transition to greener forms of transport. Britishvolt has selected Blyth in Northumberland as the site of its first battery gigaplant, claiming it is a £2.6bn total investment. This would mean it would become one of the UK’s largest-ever industrial investments and the largest in the North East of England since the arrival of Nissan in 1984.

Manufacturing Gap

The company states the gigaplant could provide 3,000 highly skilled jobs and up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain. Britishvolt claims to be the UK’s foremost investor in battery technologies and intends to begin construction of the gigaplant in summer 2021. The company further states that lithium-ion batteries will be in production by the end of 2023.

  • Britishvolt intends to create 3,000 jobs and up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain
  • The final phase of the project is envisaged to conclude in 2027
  • Questions remain as to whether the project can obtain the required funding

The final phase of the project is expected to conclude in 2027, and current predictions suggest that the Northumberland plant will produce over 300,000 lithium-ion batteries, but funding is yet to be secured for the future phases of the project. Britishvolt’s gigaplant could be strategically important for the UK automotive industry in order for it to maintain competitive advantage as the world accelerates towards an increasingly electrified future. The building of a battery gigaplant is also one of the key pillars of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s, ten-point plan for the UK’s green revolution in the country’s journey to a net-zero economy by 2050.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, has 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.”

Economic Boost

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, said: “This is an incredibly exciting announcement that will have a massive impact in the constituency and the surrounding area for decades to come. I can’t think of anything comparable in the North East since Nissan invested in Sunderland more than 35 years ago.“Since Britishvolt first made contact, it has been my absolute priority to work in partnership with its leadership team to do everything possible to bring this scheme to Northumberland. Advance Northumberland has also played a critical role in reaching this point so quickly.“There is still much to do but the prospect of the UK’s first gigaplant on the old Blyth Power Station site directly creating up to 8,000 jobs is amazing. These jobs will not only return the area to the status of an industrial powerhouse but will help us retain our graduates and provide a huge boost to struggling high streets. I look forward to working with all involved and will provide the backing necessary to deliver a scheme that is a once in a generation opportunity.”The Britishvolt gigaplant will be built on a 95-hectare site, formerly the site of the Blyth Power Station. It will use renewable energy, including the potential to use hydro-electric power generated in Norway and transmitted 447 miles under the North Sea via the world’s longest inter-connector from the Viking Link project in Denmark.


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