Britishvolt builds momentum on plans to create 3,000 jobs in Northumberland
The company has submitted a detailed planning application.
Plans for a 'gigafactory' that is hoped will being 3,000 jobs to the North East have taken a step forward after detailed plans for the scheme were lodged.
Electric vehicle battery firm Britishvolt has submitted a planning application with Northumberland County Council for the scheme on the site of the former Blyth Power Station. It is hoped that the scheme could ultimately create 8,000 new jobs at the plant and its supply chain.
The company says it is detailed talks with some of the world's largest car manufacturers and is well on track to raise the funding needed to make the plant a reality.
Now it has appealed for people in the area to get behind its plans so that it can meet the tight timescales it has set to get the factory up and running by 2023.
Britishvolt chairman Peter Rolton said: “Planning has been submitted and that’s a huge milestone because we’re talking about the detailed planning application for a £2.6bn gigafactory. The level of detail and the number of things that had to be considered - suffice to say that you could chose to read it or weight it when you get the document.
“A lot of people during the consultation asked about noise, traffic and light pollution - things like that. What I would say is that it’s all in the documentation because we have done very comprehensive work to address and answer those questions.
“What happens now is that the planning submission is looked at by the council’s planning officers and experts. We’ll see what happens but we’re hopeful that we can get through planning at the end of June or early July August and that’s important to us because we want to place equipment orders.
“There’s a number of gigafactories being considered in Europe and only so many manufacturers of equipment so we want the order in and confirmed because that’s how we can guarantee production for the back end of 2023.”
Mr Rolton appealed to people in the local area to support the plans to make sure the promised jobs become a reality.
A number of the world's leading car makers have made pledges in recent weeks to switch entirely to electric vehicles, causing huge demand for the batteries Britishvolt hopes to make.
On funding, Mr Rolton said “the level of momentum has been phemonenal in the funding community” and that the company was close to agreements with two of the leading investment banks to oversee its main fundraising round.
Britishvolt is also hoping to work with Northumberland County Council over the next few weeks on the acquisition of the site at Cambois.
He said the company was in talks with 11 automotive manufacturers and had signed a number of memoranda of understanding and collaboration agreements.