A NORTH East battery factory which was threatened with closure has been bought – ending months of uncertainty for 150 workers. 

Politicians have welcomed the news that the Johnson Matthey battery factory in Billingham has been bought by EV Metals.

In January, Johnson Matthey put its battery minerals division up for sale, threatening 150 jobs in Billingham.

Alex Cunningham, MP for Stockton North, is writing to EV Metals to seek assurances that jobs would be protected.

Read more: Tech giant's deal for Johnson Matthey battery plant at Billingham

He said: “I’m delighted a buyer has been found for the Johnson Matthey battery factory in Billingham – and indeed its entire battery minerals division. I hope this means the 150 Teesside jobs which were under threat of redundancy are now safe, and I will be writing to EV Metals seeking assurances that these jobs will be protected.”

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This acquisition is fantastic news which ends months of uncertainty. It will put to rest the minds of 150 workers and their families, especially at a time when many households are facing rising bills.

“When news broke back in January, I pledged to do all I could to ensure these jobs were protected so I’m delighted to see such a positive outcome.

“It’s also massively encouraging to hear EV Metals isn’t just looking to secure these existing jobs, but also wants to expand the facility creating more good-quality, well-paid roles in the process. This is yet another international firm with ambitions plans that has given a welcome vote of confidence in our area, its people and their expertise.”

EV Metals, which has its headquarters in Australia, bought Johnson Matthey’s battery materials business in the UK for £30m in cash, it announced yesterday.

Describing it as a “landmark deal”, the company said it would secure specialist local jobs and intellectual property. 

Read more: Live: Rishi Sunak to announce cost of living plan

Among the assets acquired by the company include the battery technology centre and pilot plant and laboratories in Billingham.

Michael Naylor, managing director and chief executive of EV Metals Group, said: “The acquisition of the battery materials business is a strong strategic fit for EVM and accelerates our mission to become the western world’s pre-eminent CAM producer.

"We are pleased to welcome the management and technical team of the battery materials business to EVM and look forward to working with them as a strategic business unit within EVM Group.”

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated Teesside Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054