Meetings held with alternative operators of Britishvolt site, Northumberland County Council reveals

Britishvolt went into administration, meaning that the electric car battery firm laid off the majority of its 300 workers this week. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The leader of Northumberland County Council has revealed that meetings have already been held with two parties interested in taking over the site for a planned for a Britishvolt gigafactory.

The electric car battery firm Britishvolt laid off the majority of its 300 workers this week after months of speculation about the future of the project in Cambois near Blyth.

It was hoped that the gigafactory would create 3,000 on-site jobs in South East Northumberland and another 5,000 in the supply chain.

Speaking at a Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council meeting on Tuesday (17 January), leader Glen Sanderson confirmed there had already been some interest.

He said: “We’ve had the very sad news today about Britishvolt, but I’m firmly of the view that we should be positive about this.

"It’s a fabulous site and there’s a very present need for battery manufacture in the UK."

He added: “I think we can all be proud of what the county council has done and how we worked to get the site done. The planning permission was done in record time and praised by everyone.

“We have had two approaches to be an alternative operator of that site. I had a meeting with one and Rick O’Farrell (the council’s interim chief executive) had a meeting with the other.

“We will look to do everything we can do facilitate that place becoming a large employer, so I can assure you that we’re absolutely flat out on this. We can’t wring our hands and say nothing good is going to happen – I do feel sorry for the people who have lost their jobs but it is not the end of the road.

“I’m going to be positive about this and say here’s a site that is the best in the country, because it has the port and the power. I think that site is second to none.”

Councillor Sanderson did not name the two interested parties due to reasons of confidentiality.

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