The construction of a £2.6bn gigafactory on the site of the former Blyth power station in Northumberland has been given the green light.
Manufacturer Britishvolt has been cleared to build the UK’s first battery gigaplant, which, when complete, will deliver a total capacity of 30GWh.
The project will be built in three phases and cover a gross internal floor area of 386,357m².
Gigafactories, such as those established by Tesla, produce batteries for electric vehicles on a gigantic scale.
When up and running, the Britishvolt factory is set to be able to produce 300,000 lithium-ion batteries a year for the electric vehicle market.
Its construction will regenerate the 92.2-hectare disused coal stocking yard of the former Blyth power station.
Property and construction consultant Ridge & Partners led the planning application process.
Also involved were consulting engineer Rolton Group, quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald, and construction contractor ISG.
‘A huge win’
Rolton project director Allan Rose said: “What a fantastic result for Britishvolt, to see their planning proposal approved unanimously.
“This is a true milestone for such an ambitious project with “doing the right thing” at the heart of all motivations and on the road to developing the UK’s green economy.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for Northumberland, the north east [England], and the UK’s evolving automotive industry.”
Britishvolt chair Peter Rolton said: “This is a huge win, not only for Britishvolt, but also the people of Northumberland.
“The gigaplant will bring with it much need 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 very heart is doing the right thing.”
He added: “This project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low-carbon, sustainable future.”
The plant is due for completion by the end of 2027 at the earliest.
Image: The Britishvolt gigafactory plant design. Credit: Pininfarina