The chairman of Britishvolt says the granting of planning permission for its first full-scale lithium-ion gigaplant is "a huge win for the people of Northumberland".

The development will bring around 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs and another 5,000 in the associated supply chains, described by County Council leader Glen Sanderson as "a real game changer".

The plans were approved by Northumberland County Council last night and mean Britishvolt is on target to manufacture some of the world’s most sustainable, low carbon battery cells on the site of the former Blyth Power Station coal stocking yard located in Cambois.

The project will be built in three phases each of 10GWh to a total capacity of 30GWh by end-2027 onwards.

Once at full capacity, the plant will have a production capability equating to approximately enough cells for around 300,000 electric vehicle battery packs per year, intended primarily for the automotive industry.

The news comes just days after Nissan said it would be investing £420 million in Sunderland, creating 1,600 jobs in the city and 4,500 more in the supply chain with plans for a new electric car and a huge new plant to make batteries.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt Chairman, said: "Our gigaplant will bring with it much need employment, totally regenerating the area. Britishvolt has a strong social values agenda, as well as a world-class Environmental, Social and Governance framework. At our very heart is doing the right thing. This project is the right thing for UK plc, and its people, on the roadmap to a low carbon, sustainable future.”

Council leader Glen Sanderson added: “It’s fantastic news – not just for the local area, but the wider county and the whole region. It’s the biggest investment in living memory.

“We’ve a long and proud history of industry in this part of Northumberland and a factory and investment of this size will put this area firmly on the map once again for generations to come.

“Here in Northumberland we’re at the forefront of the offshore renewable energy industry and this is a massive boost. The decision by Britishvolt to choose Northumberland demonstrates just what this county has to offer in terms of its location, its facilities, an ambitious Council, and more importantly, its workforce.

Graham Hoare, Britishvolt President of Operations. added: “This is a truly monumental moment for the UK, as we move towards a low carbon society. We are clearly at a tipping point on the roadmap to electrification, and the UK government has signaled that it wants UK plc at the vanguard of the next industrial revolution. This is the starting gun for hugely ambitious plans to put the UK at the very heart of the energy transition.”