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New North East Site Confirmed for UK’s First Ever Gigaplant

We are delighted that Rolton Groups' valued client Britishvolt has selected a new site in the North-East for the UK’s first-ever battery manufacturing gigaplant.

Britishvolt has acquired exclusive rights to this new site in Northumberland, formerly the site of the Blyth Power Station, which has been strategically selected by Britishvolt for its access to clean, renewable energy and excellent transport links. Rolton Group, Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge) and Italian design house Pininfarina are working on the design of this exciting facility for the gigaplant.

The gigaplant is planned to cover 95-hectares and will produce world-leading lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV’s). It will be fundamental in the drive to achieving a Net-Zero economy by 2050 and is also imperative for the UK’s automotive industry to maintain a competitive advantage as we transition to a zero-carbon future. The site will be using renewable energy and has the potential to use hydro-electric power generated in Norway, which will be transmitted 447 miles under the North Sea through the world’s longest inter-connector from the North Sea Link Project.

The new plant is the result of a £2.6bn investment, making it one of the largest industrial investments in British history and the single largest in the North-East of England since Nissan’s arrival in 1984. The project estimates to generate over 8,000 jobs, 5,000 of those will be in the wider supply chain whilst 3,000 will be highly skilled personnel who will produce 300,000 lithium-ion batteries for the UK automotive industry.

Britishvolt CEO, Orral NadjariWe 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, 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. We have had an extremely warm welcome from Ian Levy MP and Northumberland County Council and are looking forward to working with them closely on this project.”

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy “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 8000 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.”

Wansbeck MP, Ian Lavery “It has long been a goal of mine to reignite Wansbeck’s industrial tradition while hailing the developments within the renewable energy industry, and this new plant is finally a sign that things are moving in the right direction.

I am overjoyed that the Energy Central site in Wansbeck has been chosen as the site of the new gigaplant. This has the potential to change the lives of thousands of my constituents in Wansbeck by providing quality secure employment which has been in short supply in recent decades in this region.”

“I look forward to the summer when construction on the site will begin and will continue to lobby for more jobs and investment to come into the region.”

Now that Britishvolt has acquired the rights to the site, construction aims to initialise as early as Summer 2021 with the intention to be fully operational by the end of 2023. The final phase of the project, which will be to employ the 3,000 highly skilled personnel, is predicted to be 2027.