Thousands of jobs created in Somerset as car battery factory deal confirmed

The UK’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturing factory is to be built in Somerset.

Talks have been taking place for months and now Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata has confirmed it will build the £4bn plant on the site of a former armaments factory near Bridgwater.

The new plant is expected to create 4,000 jobs and thousands more in the local supply chain.

Battery production is set to begin at the site on the Gravity business park in around two years’ time.

Agratas – Tata Group’s global battery business – has confirmed it will build the factory at the Gravity Smart Campus in Puriton.

The site was a Royal Ordnance Factory from World War Two until it was decommissioned in 2008.

Agratas will be the first occupier on the site, taking around 50% of the land.

The factory will produce 40GWh of battery cells each year, enough to supply approximately 500,000 cars.

Emma Rawlings, chief executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said:  “We are really pleased that this will bring opportunities for our businesses across Somerset and the region.

“It’s really pertinent that we are leading in terms of the supply chain.

“Our supply chain are already geared up for what we’ve done with Hinkley and we can upscale that.”

The gigafactory will be one of the largest in Europe and will initially make batteries for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles.

Eventually it will supply other car manufacturers as well as producing commercial energy storage.

Tom Flack, chief executive of Agratas, said: “We care deeply about the communities we operate in, so it’s imperative to us that we work with, and listen to, our new neighbours as we build our factory in Somerset.”

Martin Bellamy, Chairman of Gravity said: “It’s impossible to overstate how important this is for the UK. It is the catalyst to kick-start the electric vehicle revolution in the UK.”

Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset Council, said: “This is momentous for the county, its economy and for future generations.

“It’s about seizing an incredible opportunity to be at the heart of the UK’s green energy industry that will create thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid, green jobs.”