One of Europe’s largest construction projects has reached a key milestone this week, as the first train load of aggregate arrived at the Port of Blyth in Northumberland to kick start the main ground works phase of Britishvolt’s pioneering £3.8bn Gigafactory development.

The project on a 93-hectare site at the former Blyth Power Station in Cambois is a major boost for Northumberland, and as well as 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs, another 5,000 will be created in the associated supply chains.

Read more: Government funding for Britishvolt battery gigaplant 

Once at full capacity, the Gigaplant - the fourth largest building in the UK - 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 first 1,500 tonne load of aggregate, from a quarry at Shap in Cumbria, is part of a total consignment of 316,000 tonnes of stone critical for the formation of a stable surface to install over 15,000 foundational piles around the perimeter and within the footprint of the 25-hectare building – equivalent to 50 football pitches in size.

Two train deliveries will be made each day to the port for the next 24-weeks to fulfil one of the largest single orders that Breedon Group will be making this year for main contractor ISG.The Northern Echo: How the Britishvolt site will lookHow the Britishvolt site will look

The Port of Blyth will become a key materials hub for the project, and once a stockpile of aggregate has accumulated, a major haulage operation will commence to transport the aggregate from the port to the site – a 1.3-mile journey. A total of 334 journeys will be made every day, with one lorry load entering site every three minutes over the 24-week period.

This operation will remove many thousands of vehicle journeys off the main roads surrounding Cambois and Blyth, support 10 roles at the Port of Blyth, as well as local haulage contractors for the duration of this phase of works.