Region gets second green levelling up boost in a week

The accelerating green revolution gave the North East economy a second levelling-up boost within a week yesterday when Northumberland councillors approved plans for a battery gigafactory on the site of the former Blyth Power Station.

The plant to be built by Britishvolt will be operational in 2023 and reach full capacity in 2028, when it will employ 2,910 workers including 300 office staff, according to a report presented to the county council’s strategic planning committee. There will additionally be a significant number of supply chain jobs.

The plant will occupy 92 hectares on the site of the former coal stocking yard of the power station, which closed in 2001, and will produce battery packs for 300,000 vehicles a year.

This is the latest of a series of announcements of green energy developments in the North East, fuelling hopes that battery production and other environmentally friendly industries will drive the levelling up of the region.

 Most recently, Nissan and its partner company Envision AESC last week announced a £1bn investment in electric vehicles and batteries at Sunderland.

Rob Murfin Northumberland’s director of planning, told the county council’s strategic planning committee that the Britishvolt scheme should be seen as the first part of a new generation of economic development, according to a report in The Journal.

Britishvolt chairman Peter Rolton told the BBC: ‘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…This project is on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.’