Construction of the UK’s first gigafactory, to be run by lithium-ion battery start-up Britishvolt, has commenced in Cambois, Northumberland.
Britishvolt is the second gigafactory site in Europe to start construction, and the first to start construction of a full-scale plant in the UK.
Planning permission was granted in July by unanimous decision, a move described by Northumberland County Council as a “game-changer”.
The news sees lead construction partner ISG start work on the plant which will bring with it around 3,000 direct jobs and 5,000 associated jobs in the supply chain.
The news represents a major milestone for Britishvolt’s quest to assist vehicle OEMs on their roadmap to electrification.
Richard McDonell, Britishvolt project director: “Today is a historic day as it marks the start of construction on the UK’s premier gigaplant, Britishvoltâ€¯–â€¯a landmark event for UK manufacturing and the automotive industry on the road to zero.
“This is yet another milestone on our journey to building the UK’s first full-scale Gigaplant. It’s a boost for UK plc and the real kick-start of the energy transition, of which Britishvolt batteries will be at the very heart.
“Main construction will see over 2,500 people involved in the project, a huge positive for the UK.
“This is an exciting announcement and marks the tangible start and progress of the main factory building where we will be producing some of the world’s lowest carbon, sustainable battery cells to help accelerate the transition to a low carbon future.”
Britishvolt hopes to manufacture the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard.
The project will be built in phases towards total capacity by end-2027 onwards, allowing the company to keep on top of any technological advancements.
Once at full capacity, the gigafactory aims to have a production capability for enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year, intended primarily for the automotive industry.