Major milestone achieved as work starts on Britishvolt gigaplant site

Work has officially started on the region’s biggest gigaplant site.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 3:48 pm
Updated Monday, 6th September 2021, 4:05 pm
Official works start on the Britishvolt's new gigafactory in Cambois. Key hand over from left ISG director of operations Martin Smith, Britishvolt UK CEO Peter Wilton and Britishvolt project director Rich McDonell.

Britishvolt has instructed ISG to start enabling works on the site in Cambois.

The plant, which will employ 3,000 people once fully operational, will manufacture low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard.

Richard McDonell, Britishvolt project director, said: “Today is a historic day as it marks the start of construction on the UK’s premier gigaplant – a landmark event for UK manufacturing and the automotive industry on the road to zero.

Official works start on the Britishvolt's new gigafactory in Cambois.

“It is a pleasure to see our tier one construction partner ISG commence preliminary works on site ahead of the main construction programme, which we anticipate will start in late autumn/early winter.

"This initial phase will see the site cleared and preparatory work carried out for the services and infrastructure that will support construction activity.

“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.

“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.”

Official works start on the Britishvolt's new gigafactory in Cambois.

Peter Millett, High Tech Managing Director for ISG’s Engineering Services business, said: “The positive momentum, passion and sense of genuine excitement that underpins this nationally important project is driving the entire team forward at pace.

"This is the starting point for the transformation of a disused site in Cambois with a legacy in the industrial past, that from today will become a beacon for innovation and advanced manufacturing right here in the North East.”

Coun Glen Sanderson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “It's great to see work starting on the ground on a site which the council and partners have been actively engaged on in recent years to make it an attractive proposition for investors.

“Since we granted planning permission work behind the scenes has continued at pace so to see enabling works getting underway is fantastic – not just for the council and Britishvolt, but for everyone in the county.

“With thousands of jobs in the pipeline and billions of pounds of investment this is such a good news story for Northumberland and the wider region and we look forward to following progress over the coming months."

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP, said: “It is great seeing progress continue to be made on the Gigafactory in Cambois.

“Each development is another step closer to the creation of thousands more jobs for the region that could be potentially transformational for the economy of our region.”

Ian Levy, Blyth Valley MP, said: “This is a momentous event for Northumberland with many people doubting that work would start given the immense scale of this project.

“Replacing the old with the new is what regeneration is all about and I can’t think of a better example with the former coal yard of Blyth power station being transformed to produce low carbon battery cells in the UK’s first gigaplant.”

Once at full capacity, the Gigaplant will have a production capability equating to approximately enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year.