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UK battery pioneer receives millions in government funding


Britishvolt, a firm planning the mass production of electric car batteries in the UK, has secured government funding understood to be worth in the region of £100 million to build its first full-scale electric vehicle gigaplant in Northumberland, on the site of the former Blyth Power Station.

The company received the in principle offer of government funding through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

GOVERNMENT BACKING UNLOCKS PRIVATE INVESTMENT

The government’s support for the Gigafactory has helped unlock significant private funding for the factory, with Britishvolt saying it has enabled a long-term partnership with Trixtax and abrdn that will deliver £1.7bn in private funding.

Once complete, the factory will produce enough batteries for over 300,000 electric vehicles each year, giving the UK automotive sector’s transition to net zero a welcome boost. It is also helping the government deliver its levelling up agenda by creating 3,000 high-skilled jobs in the North East region and a further 5,000 indirect roles in the wider supply chain.

REINDUSTRIALISATION OF NORTH EAST

A region long associated with the economic scarring that came from the painful process of deindustrialisation in the 1970s and 1980s, the North East is now being described in terms of reindustrialisation by cabinet ministers.

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.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng was similarly upbeat, saying the news was “a resounding vote of confidence in the North East economy.”

He also argued that locating this factory in the UK would help increase the competitiveness of the nation’s automotive sector: “In this global race between countries to secure vital battery production, this government is proud to make the investment necessary to ensure the UK retains its place as one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing.”

GIGAFACTORY SHOULD BOOST UK’S SHARE OF EV MARKET

Michelle Gardner, Logistics UK’s Head of Public Policy and decarbonisation lead, said: “This massive investment from the government shows how committed it is to developing the supply chain for cleaner vehicles in the UK. With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans scheduled to end in 2030, manufacturers will require huge battery production on a scale not seen before. Locating this EV battery gigafactory in the UK should help our automotive sector secure an important share of the nascent electric car and van manufacturing market.”

*www.logistics.org.uk/environment

Published On: 27/01/2022 16:00:48

 



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