The multi-billion pound vision of a vast battery plant near Northumberland with thousands of jobs could be close to collapse.

Britishvolt has refused to deny reports today that its vast Gigaplant project has run out of time and money and may have to go into administration within the next few days.

Sources told the Financial Times that the company has been unable to bring together the vital bailout it had been asking for and that there is no one left to turn to.

Read more: Britishvolt boss to be replaced days after leaked report

A company statement this morning would only say "We are aware of market speculation. We are actively working on several potential scenarios that offer the required stability. We have no further comment at this time.”

Only a few weeks ago the company pledged to stick to its vision of creating thousands of jobs in Northumberland after we reported it was holding talks with a number of potential investors after market turmoil led to potential supporters getting nervous and reining in their plans.

Company spokesman Ben Kilbey said then: “The Board of Directors supports the company's latest business plan which has been refocused and sharpened given the negative global economic situation and continues to have full confidence in the senior management team.

The Northern Echo: A harsh outlook for workers and investorsA harsh outlook for workers and investors

"It is important that Britishvolt is a success: not only for around 300 employees currently working for the company, but also for the many thousands of jobs that we intend to create at our Gigaplant site in Northumberland and our R&D and scale-up facilities in the West Midlands, and for the future of the UK auto industry and the country’s target to become net carbon zero by 2050."

The £3.8bn project on a 93-hectare site at the former Blyth Power Station in Cambois is a major boost for the whole region, and as well as 3,000 direct highly-skilled jobs, another 5,000 will be created in the associated supply chains.

Government funding believed to be around £100million was followed by a long-term partnership with Trixtax and abrdn that will deliver £1.7bn in private funding to help propel the UK’s energy transition on the road to net zero.

Then a partnership was announced with Aston Martin but now the exit of the co-founder, delayed deadlines and nervous investors is casting a dark shadow over the region.

The collapse of the company will mean uncomfortable questions about the Government investment from then Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who said at the time "In this global race between countries to secure vital battery production, this Government is proud to make the investment necessary to ensure UK’s retains its place as one of the best locations in the world for auto manufacturing.”

The future of the Government's bold Net Zero targets may also be affetced, with such a large-scale source of batteries taken out of the picture.

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