GLOBAL construction company ISG has been appointed to lead construction of the UK’s first battery gigaplant, which is expected to create 8,000 jobs in the region.

BritishVolt has said £2.6bn will be invested in the development and work on the site of a former coal-fired power station in Blyth, Northumberland, is planned to commence next summer.

The plant, designed by leading Italian design experts Pininfarina, will begin producing lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and renewable energy industries at the end of 2023.

Construction of further phases on the 95-hectare site will continue until the end of 2027 and will itself should provide many jobs and training opportunities.

Bosses have said the site will exclusively use renewable energy, including the potential to use hydro-electric power generated in Norway and transmitted 447 miles under the North Sea via the world’s longest inter-connector from the North Sea Link project.

ISG has a 30-year legacy of large-scale global production projects and is currently working two flagship schemes in London - University College’s £280m neuroscience hub and the Oak Cancer Centre at the Royal Marsden Hospital.

Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari, said: “We’re delighted to have engaged ISG as the construction partner for our Blyth gigaplant. Its long expertise of delivering global projects will be crucial to meeting our exacting standards and tight timeframe.

“Especially key is that ISG’s frontline team delivered Jaguar Land Rover’s production facility in Nitra, Slovakia, giving Britishvolt hugely relevant and recent experience in delivering large-scale projects such as ours.

“Our gigaplant project is now on track in every key area: construction, product development, funding and a high-level of customer engagement for our world-class lithium-ion batteries.

“We will be production ready at the end of 2023. It’s essential that we are ready to power the future as quickly as possible.”

ISG CEO, Paul Cossell, said: “This landmark project to build the UK’s first gigaplant is one of the most visible signs that we are confidently stepping up to meet the challenge of new zero emissions by 2050 and closely aligned with the government’s key commitment to cease petrol and diesel car manufacturing by 2030.

“The construction phase alone will directly support thousands of jobs in the North-East and create a wealth of training and upskilling opportunities for local communities.

“The legacy of this major investment will benefit the region for generations to come.”