Britishvolt, which is aiming to establish large-scale EV battery production in the UK, has been granted planning permission to construct its first full-scale lithium-ion gigaplant facility in Northumberland.

It is envisaged the development will create around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000-plus in the associated supply chains

Britishvolt chairman Peter Rolton commented: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt, but also the people of Northumberland. The gigaplant will bring with it much needed employment, totally regenerating the area. Britishvolt has a strong social values agenda, as well as a world-class environmental, social and governance framework. At our heart is doing the right thing. This project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.”

Graham Hoare, Britishvolt president of operations, said: “This is a truly monumental moment for the UK, as we move towards a low carbon society. We are clearly at a tipping point on the roadmap to electrification, and the UK government has signaled that it wants UK plc at the vanguard of the next industrial revolution. This is the starting gun for hugely ambitious plans to put the UK at the very heart of the energy transition.”

Approval of the plans for the gigaplant in Northumberland have been described as a “game changer” by the county council.

Council leader Glen Sanderson commented: “We’re absolutely delighted this Gigaplant has been granted planning permission. It’s a real game changer for Northumberland.

“It’s fantastic news – not just for the local area, but the wider county and the whole region. It’s the biggest investment in living memory.

“We’ve a long and proud history of industry in this part of Northumberland and a factory and investment of this size will put this area firmly on the map once again for generations to come.

“Here in Northumberland we’re at the forefront of the offshore renewable energy industry and this is a massive boost. The decision by Britishvolt to choose Northumberland demonstrates just what this county has to offer in terms of its location, its facilities, an ambitious Council, and more importantly, its workforce.”

The project is scheduled to be built in three phases each of 10GWh to a total capacity of 30GWh by end-2027.

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, intended primarily for the automotive industry.