Giant car battery factory to be built in Somerset

A giant car battery factory in Somerset could be on the cards according to rumours circulating in Whitehall.

The government is said to be in discussions with Tata Jaguar Land Rover over the location of a development of a multi-million pound car battery factory.

One option is Spain but JLR is said to have identified a potential site in the South West that would meet its requirements.

A second report suggests that the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is offering £500m worth of incentives to the firm in a bid to keep the factory in the UK.

According to the report the package of incentives includes grants and help with up-grading the lower power network.

The Chancellor has publicly hinted that a deal is imminent and negotiations are ongoing between the Indian-owned car manufacturer and the Department for Business and Trade.

Hunt suggested earlier this week that an agreement could soon be agreed that would drastically the supply of batteries for electric vehicles in the UK.

Somerset is already home to one of the largest civil engineering projects in the world at Hinkley Point C.

And the infrastructure is in place on the M5 corridor for a large factory.

Speaking at the British Chambers of Commerce conference Jeremy Hunt said there was global pressure on the supply of batteries for electric vehicles.

He added: “All I would say is watch this space because we are very focused on making sure the UK gets that EV manufacturing capacity.”

The Business and Trade Department is thought to have been in talks with JLR for more than a year on building the new factory.

Adrian Mardell, JLR’s chief executive, said last week that Tata was “looking at the final determination” on where to locate its factory.

However he has warned that the UK could miss out if there was a “cost disadvantage” in comparison with other countries.