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Birmingham Post
Birmingham Post
Coreena Ford

Britishvolt partners with Prologis to build £200m West Midlands scale up facility

The firm heading plans for a gamechanging North East electric vehicle battery plant is set to create a UK ‘battery corridor’ by building a £200m scale-up facility in the West Midlands.

Britishvolt is currently on site at the coalyards of the old Blyth Power Station in Northumberland, constructing the electric vehicles battery plant which will eventually lead to 3,000 jobs and thousands more through its supply chain.

Now, following a series of deals with motor manufacturers, key material suppliers and kit manufacturers, the firm has announced a multimillion investment into a 260,000 sq ft factory at Hams Hall park near Birmingham, creating and sustaining in excess of 150 skilled tech jobs.

READ MORE: Find more automotive news from BusinessLive here

The firm is partnering with logistics real estate operator Prologis to build the West Midlands battery cell scale-up facility in moves it says will help power the country ahead in the next industrial revolution. It said leasing the facility would help the business to rapidly ramp up cells that are production ready to be manufactured in larger volumes at its Northumberland gigaplant.

Britishvolt has already developed pre-A battery samples at WMG in Warwick and is scaling up its A-Sample cell formulations at UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in Coventry. The new investment enables Britishvolt to develop new formats and formulations, helping to make both higher performance and more affordable cells for the world’s future electric cars and commercial vehicles.

Britishvolt believes its Hams Hall facility can become a entre of excellence for all things EV/electrification, thanks to its proximity to major automakers.

The company – which received “tens of millions” of Government funding to help construct the Blyth plant – has so far confirmed Memorandums of Understanding with Lotus Cars and Aston Martin Lagonda, and says other commitments will be announced shortly.

It so far has demand in excess of 7GWh in 2024 and 2025, and the release of an official A-sample battery cell to customers, which is scheduled this year, will help to further accelerate commitments.

Paul Franklin, property director for Britishvolt, said: “This is another important milestone for Britishvolt, UK plc and its world class automotive industry. The UK’s battery ecosystem is a global leader in integrated technology development and industrialisation with the Warwick Manufacturing Group, Faraday Institution, UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

Artist impression issued by Britishvolt of its first full scale UK battery gigaplant in Northumberland. (PA)

“I am delighted to see Britishvolt lead the UK’s journey into re-industrialisation with the first full-scale battery gigaplant. The new scale-up facilities announced today will help the UK build on its home-grown battery intellectual property and level up the country ready for the energy transition.”

Practical completion of the Midlands development is anticipated in July, with fit out and equipment installation to be undertaken through to the end of the third quarter next year. It will also have a customer and visitor centre to showcase activities.

Tom Price, capital leasing and deployment director, Prologis UK, said: “Partnering with innovative technology brand Britishvolt has been a pleasure. The reputation of Hams Hall and the location’s connections to the UK automotive sector has allowed us to embark on a wider conversation with Britishvolt. With battery technology seen as the way forward, it’s exciting to be working in this growing sector.

“Prologis is committed to embedding sustainability into every aspect of our business. When looking at “last-mile” logistics, that is the final delivery of goods to people’s homes, it’s clear that the work Britishvolt are embarking on will contribute to reducing emissions in supply chains.”

It is hoped the new investment and commitment to the region will further unlock the huge economic potential of the UK’s world-class battery cell ecosystem.

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “Britishvolt’s investment in the West Midlands is another seismic vote of confidence both in the future of our region and our automotive prowess. We are already the heartland of the UK’s automotive industry with the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain. So, it is incredibly exciting that as we accelerate our gigafactory plans for Coventry Airport, Britishvolt are adding their expertise to our cluster.

“I am determined the West Midlands becomes a global leader in the research and production of state-of-the-art battery technology, and today’s announcement is another step towards achieving that.”

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