Northumberland based Britishvolt bought by Australian firm, Recharge Industries

Bosses have said the project is expected to create up to 8,000 jobs on the Cambois site and in the supply chain. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees News/ Recharge Industries
  • Watch Tom Barton's report from 27 February 2023.

Northumberland based start-up, Britishvolt, has been bought by Australian firm Recharge Industries.

Britishvolt was founded in 2019 but collapsed three years later, laying off most of its 200 staff, and went in to administration in January 2023.

The company had ambitions of building a nearly £4 billion battery plant in Cambois, but was unable to secure sufficient funding for the project.

It emerged earlier this month that Recharge had been selected by auditors as the preferred bidder to take over the majority of the business.

Recharge's chief executive David Collard said the deal had now been finalised.

He said: "What we are bringing is validated technology.

"The US defence industry has validated it and it is already supplied to the UK navy through a subcontractor."

Founded in 2022, Recharge is an Australian company which is owned and run by New York-based investment fund Scale Facilitation.

Mr Collard said the project is expected to create up to 8,000 jobs on the Cambois site and in the supply chain.

He added the Britishvolt brand name would remain, but the business would initially focus on batteries for energy storage.

It then intends to produce batteries for high-performance sports cars, he said.

Mr Collard also confirmed the business still aims to complete construction of the Blyth factory.

"I spent a lot of time with Northumberland County Council. They genuinely want a gigafactory and the best thing for their people," he said.

"The government is ready to stand behind the right company with the right investment because we do believe that a gigafactory here in Blyth would be an appropriate way of building on the skills that local people

have, and indeed the edge that this town has already displayed when it comes to renewables and the future of energy."

The Government had offered Britishvolt £100 million of funding if it hit a set of milestones, which it failed to reach. The money was never released.

Mr Collard said he would accept government funding, but desired broad political support for the project.

He said: "Anyone will take free money but at the end of

the day what we want is bi-partisan support and we have that in Australia and the US."

Mr Collard added that work on the site estimated to begin in six-to-12 months.

Chief Executive of the North East Chamber of Commerce, John McCabe, believes the plans from Recharge have huge potential for the region.

He said: "This is just such an important project for the North East. It's going to create thousands of jobs, requiring a various level of different skills.

"It's an opportunity to build a supply chain for other businesses in the North East to play their part in putting this region at the very forefront of the global battery sector."

Mr McCabe added: "This is a fantastic opportunity and we (The North East Chamber of Commerce) warmly welcome the news from Recharge today."

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