Major battery tech investor to open new West Midlands HQ

A major investor in advanced battery technologies is set to open a new global headquarters in the West Midlands.

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has welcomed the news from Britishvolt
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has welcomed the news from Britishvolt

Britishvolt said its new 5,000sq m facility will spearhead the development of battery technologies for electric vehicles.

It is set to open in 2022 at the MIRA Technology Park Campus in Nuneaton, and expansion plans to bring more specialist jobs to the region are already being discussed by bosses.

The move has been welcomed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street, who said it was "further evidence" of the region's status as the UK's automotive heartland.

It came as the region received a major boost in its bid for a gigafactory in the Chancellor's Spending Review, after £500 million was pledged for battery production over the next four years.

Boris Johnson has announced plans for a green industrial revolution, with all petrol and diesel vehicle production set to be banned by 2030.

Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari, said: "A new global headquarters in the West Midlands marks a crucial step for Britishvolt, especially coming so soon after last week’s announcement regarding the new 2030 deadline.

"The battery industry is constantly evolving and it’s important that we stay ahead to position the UK at the forefront of the global battery industry.

"With further development being planned it is in the right place to take advantage of world-class talent.

"We intend to produce world-class batteries, which are strategically important both for the future of the UK automotive industry and the future strength of the entire UK economy.

"We are hoping to start working closely with local government to help make our additional plans for future development a certainty."

Mr Street said: "The West Midlands is the UK’s automotive heartland, and is at the cutting edge of the electrification of the industry.

"This announcement by Britishvolt is yet further evidence of our strengths, and also a sign of confidence in our economy - which was growing faster than anywhere outside of London before the pandemic."

The Mayor is lobbying Ministers to bring a gigafactory to the West Midlands, which would produce batteries for electric vehicles on a mass scale.

He said he was hoping for £250m from the new fund announced by the Chancellor, which he said would be "a significant step forward" in the region’s quest for a gigafactory.

"We always knew we would need a public subsidy to make a gigafactory happen, and the Government has now put this cash on the table," he added.

"Our team will work like lightning to ensure we secure the share of the cash we need, allowing us to press ahead with our ambitious plans.

"The gigafactory is critical as electrification is the future of our automotive industry here in the West Midlands, helping to create and protect tens of thousands of jobs."

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