High hopes for Somerset factory deal

Hopes are high that a deal that would bring 9,000 new jobs to Somerset is close to being completed.

As reported by TheBusinessDesk.com rumours have been circulating that Jaguar Land Rover is considering building a huge factory in the county.

The factory would build the batteries needed for electric cars.

It is likely that the factory would be built at Gravity business park, in Somerset.

The cash would be to improve transport links to and from Somerset’s 616-acre Gravity smart campus off junction 23 of the M5.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has hinted that a deal is close and there are £500m worth of subsidies on offer to the company.

The car maker has the option of building the factory in Spain.

West of England mayor Dan Norris said swift action is needed to seal the deal.

The Metro Mayor who has been in touch with all three of the Prime Ministers over the last two years about securing a giga factory in Somerset, urged the Government to “put the failures of Britishvolt behind them” and “land these British green jobs”.

The Labour Metro Mayor who had face-to-face meetings with Jaguar Land Rover last year says he has told bosses at the company  how keen he is to welcome them to the West of England, stressing that the Gravity site is “super convenient with Bristol Port on the doorstep” and a host of skilled and enthusiastic local workers living in the region.

So called “giga-factories” are springing up around the world in the race to meet the expected huge increase in demand as countries start to ban petrol and diesel engines.

There are fears the UK could fall behind in this global race, with the influential Environmental Audit Committee warning back in 2021 that gigafactories for electric vehicle batteries needed more government support.

Mr Norris added: “We need an effective UK industrial strategy to ensure we benefit from the huge opportunities of net zero. We have a site that’s shovel ready so let’s now seal that deal.”