Northumberland to host UK's first gigaplant

It could bring up to 8,000 jobs to the area

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People in Northumberland have welcomed the news that BritishVolt will build the UK’s first ever gigaplant in Blyth.

This is the largest single industrial investment in the North East of England since Nissan arrived in 1986 – a whopping £2.6 billion.

Planning permission was granted by Northumberland County Council last night for Britishvolt to build on the former power station site, which covers 230 acres.

The gigfactory comes with 3,000 job opportunities. There will also be a further 5,000 jobs created in the supply chain.

The facility will produce lithium-ion batteries with the first phase of the facility expected to be operational by 2023 and at full capacity by 2028.

Once at full capacity, the gigaplant will have a production capability equating to approximately 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs each year.

Last week I reported from the Nissan plant in Sunderland where the car giant announced ITS plans for a gigafactory, but it believed that this Northumberland site will be the first.

What a week for the North East of England. Collectively this is 14,000 jobs for highly skilled workers – workers we have ready to fill these roles.

This region is built on industry.

We are from families of steelworkers, coal miners and ship builders, FINALLY our industrial heritage is being recognised for its capability to help the UK build a sustainable future.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said: “We’re absolutely delighted this gigaplant has been granted planning permission. It’s a real game changer for Northumberland.

“It’s fantastic news - not just for the local area, but the wider county and the whole region. It’s the biggest investment in living memory.

“We’ve a long and proud history of industry in this part of Northumberland and a factory and investment of this size will put this area firmly on the map once again for generations to come.

“Here in Northumberland we’re at the forefront of the offshore renewable energy industry and this is a massive boost. The decision by Britishvolt to choose Northumberland demonstrates just what this county has to offer in terms of its location, its facilities, an ambitious Council, and more importantly, its workforce.

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 project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.”