Gigafactory developer Britishvolt, has been granted planning permission to construct its first full-scale lithium-ion facility in Northumberland, UK.
The decision puts Britishvolt on target to manufacture cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal-stocking yard located in Cambois.
The project will be built in three, 10GWh phases to a total capacity of 30GWh by end-2027 onwards.
Once at full capacity, the facility will have a production capability equating to enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.
Peter Rolton, Britishvolt chairman, said: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt, but also the people of Northumberland. The Gigaplant will bring with it much need employment, totally regenerating the area.
“Britishvolt has a strong social values agenda, as well as a world-class environmental, social and governance framework. At our very heart is doing the right thing. This.”
The development is a major boon for the area, and indeed the country, and will bring around 3,000 direct highly skilled jobs and another 5,000+ in the associated supply chains.
Graham Hoare, Britishvolt president of operations, said: “We are clearly at a tipping point on the roadmap to electrification, and the UK government has signalled that it wants UK PLC at the vanguard of the next industrial revolution.
"This is the starting gun for hugely ambitious plans to put the UK at the very heart of the energy transition.”
Approval of the plans for the Gigaplant in Northumberland has been described as a ‘game changer’ by the county council.
Gigafactory plan two
The move puts Britishvolt a step ahead of Envision Group, which joined the race to build the UK’s first lithium-ion gigafactory earlier this month.
The company will invest £450 million ($622 million) to build the gigafactory on the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP).
Formal planning for an initial 9GWh plant is about to begin.
Gigafactory plan three
Also in the race is Coventry City Council, which has entered into a joint venture partnership with Coventry Airport Ltd to bring forward proposals for the UK’s first Gigafactory on the site of Coventry Airport.
Coventry has been chosen as the preferred site across the West Midlands and has now submitted a full planning application for a 5.7m sq ft Gigafactory on the site.
Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council said: "The submission of a planning application for a Gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands. We are the ideal location for a Gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology.”
The West Midlands is home to 28% of the UK’s automotive talent, with an advanced automotive skills ecosystem.
Coventry & Warwickshire has emerged as a centre of excellence for battery technology and has successfully facilitated the delivery of UKBIC, working with a local partnership that includes WMG at Warwick University and the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).
Coventry is home to the global headquarters of Jaguar Land Rover – the UK’s largest carmaker – whilst LEVC, BMW, Aston Martin Lagonda, Lotus, TATA Motors and many others are based in the wider West Midlands.