JLR owner Tata will build a massive battery factory in the UK
Ring the good-news gong: a new electric car battery factory is going to be built in Somerset. Tata, the parent company of JLR, has completed a monumental deal with the UK government after months of negotiation.
Located on the Gravity business park in Bridgwater, the gigafactory will create up to 4,000 much-needed jobs, 'thousands' more in the supply chain, and bring £4 billion investment to the area and the wider UK economy.
The new plant, the third confirmed UK gigafactory, will produce an initial 40 gigawatt hours to supply models made at JLR factories based in the Midlands.
Of course, Tata isn’t doing all of this out of the goodness of its heart. The wait has come from months of haggling for subsidies.
The UK government is ponying up a package for the new gigafactory, the details of which prime minister Rishi Sunak is keeping close to his chest.
The FT said Tata has requested £500 million through a mixture of cash grants, energy subsidies, road improvements and research funding - this remains unconfirmed though.
Nonetheless, let’s bask in the joy of a good news story. Mike Hawes, SMMT boss, said: “This is a shot in the arm for the UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.
“It comes at a critical moment, with the global industry transitioning at pace to electrification, producing batteries in the UK is essential if we are to anchor wider vehicle production here for the long term.”
Not since Nissan arrived in Sunderland in the 1980s has there been such a substantial investment in the UK’s automotive sector, according to BBC News.
Production at the new Bridgwater battery factory is expected to start in 2026.
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