To be constructed by the EV battery start-up in Blyth, Northumberland, the 30GWh battery gigafactory will manufacture enough lithium-ion batteries to power over 300,000 electric vehicles each year


Rendering of the £3.8bn battery gigafactory of Britishvolt. (Credit: Britishvolt)

Britishvolt has been given a funding boost by the UK government for its £3.8bn planned battery gigafactory in England, which will build lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).

The government will provide the funding through the Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF).

To be built in Blyth, Northumberland, the battery gigafactory will manufacture enough batteries to power over 300,000 EVs each year. The project is estimated to create 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and an additional 5,000 indirect roles in the wider supply chain.

Production from phase 1 of the battery gigafactory is being targeted for Q4 2023 or early 2024. The Britishvolt facility will have a total capacity of more than 30GWh by the end of 2030.

The British government said that its backing for the facility will help to unlock a considerable amount of additional support from private investors.

UK 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.”

In addition to the government support, Britishvolt has announced that Tritax, a logistics real estate fund manager, and investment firm abrdn will be partnering with the company to fund the construction of the battery project, shell and core. The partners will also help in financing the development of the associated supplier park.

Britishvolt expects the long-term partnership with Trixtax and abrdn to provide a private funding of £1.7bn.

Britishvolt executive chairman Peter Rolton 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.”