Tata confirms Somerset will host £4bn battery factory

It is predicted the huge factory will create 4,000 jobs and many more in the supply chain.
Tata confirms Somerset will host £4bn battery factory
Gravity Business park near Bridgwater shown from the airGravity

The future site of the the UK’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility has been confirmed.

Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata says it will invest £4bn in a brownfield site near Bridgwater in Somerset.

The government previously announced the flagship battery factory would be built in the UK, but this is the first official confirmation of the site.

The new plant is expected to create 4,000 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain.

Tata says battery production is set to begin there in 2026.

artists impression of a large grey building with someone cycling past

Agratas

Agratas – Tata Group’s global battery business – has confirmed it will build the factory, its first outside India, at the Gravity Smart Campus in Puriton.

The site was a Royal Ordnance Factory from World War Two until it was decommissioned in 2008.

Agratas will be the first occupier on the site, taking around 50% of the land.

It said by the early 2030s it will contribute almost half of the projected battery manufacturing capacity required for the UK automotive sector.

The factory will produce 40GWh of battery cells annually, enough to supply approximately 500,000 passenger vehicles.

Emma Rawlings chief executive Somerset Chamber of Commerce, smiling at the camera on a sunny day

Emma Rawlings, chief executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said the development will bring opportunities for the area.

“As the county chamber of commerce, we’re really pleased that this will bring opportunities for our businesses across Somerset and the region,” she said.

“It’s really pertinent that we are leading in terms of the supply chain.

“Our supply chain are already geared up for what we’ve done with Hinkley and we can upscale that.”

The new gigafactory will be located 15.3 miles (24km) from the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.

Tata electric vehicle under blue lights in a showroom

Reuters

The gigafactory will be one of the largest in Europe and will initially make batteries for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles like Range Rover, the Defender and the Jaguar brands.

But the plan is to also supply other car manufacturers as well as producing commercial energy storage.

Tom Flack, CEO, Agratas, said: “We care deeply about the communities we operate in, so it’s imperative to us that we work with, and listen to, our new neighbours as we build our factory in Somerset.”

The company has set up a Whatsapp channel for local people and thousands of residents are due to receive a leaflet in the post from the company this week.

The official confirmation of the site and the jobs it will bring has been welcomed in Somerset.

Gravity Business park near Bridgwater showing trees and open spaces

Gravity

Martin Bellamy, Chairman of Gravity said: “It’s impossible to overstate how important this is for the UK. It is the catalyst to kick-start the electric vehicle revolution in the UK.

Andy Berry, Principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College, said he was “delighted” with the news.

He said: “We’ve got a great deal of experience in workforce development – big infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point C.

“We can draw on that experience. We’ve been here and we’ve done this and Agratas can be tremendously confident in our community and in our workforce.”

Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset Council, said: “This is momentous for the county, its economy and for future generations.

“It’s about seizing an incredible opportunity to be at the heart of the UK’s green energy industry that will create thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid, green jobs.”

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Source: bbc.co.uk

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