Manufacturer Britishvolt has received a huge boost by obtaining planning permission to regenerate the 92.2hectare disused coal stocking yard (used as part of the former Blyth Power Station) in Northumberland into the UK’s first battery Gigaplant with a gross internal floor area of 386,357m² that will have the capacity to produce 300,000 batteries per annum for the Electric Vehicle market.
A total investment of £2.6bn will make this one of the UK’s largest ever industrial investments creating 3,000 highly skilled jobs and up to 5,000 more in the wider supply chain. Electrification of mobility, including domestic battery cell production, is strategically important to the UK automotive industry and a key component in Boris Johnson’s ten-point plan for the UK’s green recovery and a key step towards the Net Zero Carbon economy by 2050.
Multidiscipline Property and Construction Consultants Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge) successfully led the planning application process with a unique, fully coordinated approach, including Planning Consultancy, PMO Programme & Project Management, Architecture, Sustainability, Digital Engineering, Land & Building Surveying, Health & Safety and Principal Designer services. Ridge is working alongside partners Rolton Group (Engineering), G&T (Cost Consultant), Potential Realisation (Process Design), Dentons (Solicitors) and ISG (Construction Partner) to deliver the overall project.
Ridge employs 650+ people and brings specialist expertise in Advanced Manufacturing understanding and delivering complex, highly serviced technical facilities with multiple stakeholders. This multifaceted approach has crystalised all the requirements for Britishvolt in terms of people, specialist equipment, process, safety, logistics, security, environment, design, layout, quality/specification, budget, sustainability and social value exploring all opportunities for collaboration. Ridge has successfully delivered over 1million m² of technical manufacturing facilities, including the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre at Coventry, from project inception through to completion.
Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari, said: “We are delighted to be awarded Planning Approval for this fantastic project. The Ridge team has been professional and diligent throughout, acting as lead consultant through the planning process and helping us to develop our bespoke sustainability and ESG model for the UK’s first full-scale lithium-ion Gigaplant facility. We have worked with the Ridge experts to align the corporate and stakeholder framework to deliver our highly ambitious ESG and sustainability credentials. The Ridge multidiscipline team has gone above and beyond our expectations.
Jolyon Price, Equity Partner at Ridge, said: “Obtaining Planning Approval is a major landmark towards the successful completion of the UK’s first battery Gigaplant, and we are proud to have helped Britishvolt achieve this. Our multidiscipline approach enables us to understand all the implications in the space between the building, equipment and advanced technical engineering processes. We are privileged to be working together with Britishvolt on such an incredible project bringing world-class leading technology and jobs for the Northumberland region and the UK”.