3,000 jobs

Abrdn helps power BritishVolt’s battery gigafactory

BritishVolt’s factory will be built in Northumberland

Battery developer Britishvolt has confirmed plans to create 3,000 jobs at a £3.8bn gigafactory that will be underpinned by Edinburgh-based asset management company Abrdn and the fund manager Tritax.

The plant, to be built near Blyth in Northumberland, will be capable of powering 300,000 electric vehicles each year, or 25% of current UK production.

It is a key component in the UK Government’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution.

Abrdn and Tritax will become long-term partners and are investing between £1.7 billion and £2bn to complement an estimated £100m from the Automotive Transformation Fund, a government programme to oversee the move to a zero emission automotive supply chain in the UK.

The plant will be the UK’s first full-scale electric-vehicle Gigaplant and over the next few weeks BV will make a series of follow up announcements including customer MoUs and R&D collaborations, relationships with blue chip UK automotive sports car brands and technology releases.

It had considered a site in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales but Blyth is judged to have better connections to renewable power sources such as wind farms in the North Sea and an interconnector to Norway’s hydroelectric power.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt executive chairman said: “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.

“The news is the first step in creating a commercialised battery ecosystem, that perfectly aligns with the existing R&D ecosystem.

“Britishvolt will be the anchor for attracting further sections of the supply chain, be it refining or recycling, to co-locate on the Britishvolt site. This not only shortens supply chains but also allows for partners to access the abundance of renewable energy on site to truly power low carbon, sustainable battery production.

“It will also allow us to catapult our unique tailor made business proposition on a global scale, with sites already selected for development in other countries.

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.”

Aside from creating thousands of direct high-skilled jobs the plant will provide work for more than 5,000 workers in the wider UK supply chain.

The transformation and development of the 93-hectare site is under way by Britishvolt’s construction partner ISG. Advanced works are progressing to support the design process and the significant onsite infrastructure required to deliver a project of this scale and complexity.

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