Celebrating next phase of work on Northumberland's gigafactory
Work has started on UK’s first gigaplant in Northumberland with developers excited to get going.
A ground-breaking celebration event took place at the site of Britishvolt’s gigafactory in Cambois on Tuesday to mark the progress made.
Officials from the company were joined by council leaders, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery and a host of dignitaries at the Shovel In the Ground Ceremony to celebrate planning approval being granted earlier this month.
Construction of the £2.6billionn factory is set to begin in October, with the first batteries for electric vehicles being produced in 2023.
A total of 3,000 jobs are being created at the plant, with an estimated 5,000 jobs in the construction and supply chain.
Britishvolt Founder and CEO Orral Nadjari was delighted to see the progress made in just a year of drawing up the plans.
"We are blessed at Britishvolt,” he said. “We are blessed to have this ability to impact change and doing the right thing for the future.
"It’s really important to enjoy and celebrate this joyous occasion today.
"Here we are today, the only planned gigafactory in Europe with planning permission in place.
"There are currently six operating gigaplants in Europe compared to 117 in China and many more in Asia.
"If we don’t supply batteries from Europe, the car industry will leave the UK.
"This also highlights that the UK is open for business post Brexit.
Coun Glen Sanderson, leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “This is one of the biggest days in the history of Northumberland.
"It will provide jobs for local people but also act as a powerful confidence boost to other industries to invest in Northumberland.
"In five years’ time, it won’t just be a beautiful place that people enjoy coming to but a power base for new industries to take us into the next 100 years.
"This area of Northumberland has been screaming for attention and investment, and now it has it.
"I would like to thank Britishvolt. I’ve never in my time as a councillor come across people with such drive.”
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said it gave people in south east Northumberland hope for the future and the prospect of secure employment.
"Most people in this area have got strong connections with the coal mining industry which helped lead the industrial revolution in the country,” he said.
"Now we have the opportunity to lead the green industrial revolution.
"The thought of local businesses and contractors being involved from day one in the construction of the industry right up the the production of the batteries for electric vehicles is fantastic.
"We’ve got to make sure we do everything we can to support Britishvolt.
"It’s only nine months since they approached me about their plans, and now here we are today, celebrating what will be the 16th largest building in the world once completed.
"It is amazing. It will be transformational for this area.”
Ian Levy, Blyth Valley MP, said: “It has been brilliant to support Britishvolt since last autumn in their efforts to rapidly get to this point.
“Work will now get underway on this truly transformational project for Northumberland that will create up to 8,000 jobs.”