© Pininfarina

Ridge Working with Britishvolt to Create UK’s First World-Class Battery ‘Gigaplant’ in Northumberland

14 December 2020

Manufacturer Britishvolt has confirmed that Ridge and the Rolton Group will collaborate with Italian design house Pininfarina, to design, engineer and build the UK’s first battery gigaplant in Blyth, Northumberland.

The gigaplant will require a total investment of £2.6bn, making it one of the UK’s largest ever industrial investments, creating 3000 highly skilled jobs and up to 5000 more in the wider supply chain. The gigaplant will be built on a 95-hectare site, formerly the location of Blyth Power Station. It is strategically important to the UK automotive industry and a key component in Boris Johnson’s ten-point plan for the UK’s green recovery and an important step to a Net Zero economy by 2050. The use of renewable energy will include the potential from hydro-electric power generated in Norway and transmitted 447 miles under the North Sea via the world’s longest inter-connector from the North Sea Link project.

Multidiscipline Property and Construction Consultants Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge) is providing Programme and Project Management, Executive Architecture, Planning Consultancy, Digital Engineering and Principal Designer services working alongside Pininfarina as Signature Architect with partners Rolton Group (Engineering), G&T (Cost Consultant) and Potential Realisation (Process Design).

Ridge employs over 600 people and has a successful track record of managing, designing and delivering world-class facilities in the advanced manufacturing, research & development and motorsport sectors. In recent years, Ridge has delivered over 1million m2 of technical manufacturing facilities, and notably supported the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre at Coventry from project inception through to completion.  Ridge has an unrivalled expertise in automotive advanced manufacturing including working for 20 Formula One teams over the last 30 years.

Britishvolt CEO, Orral Nadjari said “We are delighted to have secured this site in Blyth. This is a tremendous moment both for Britishvolt and UK industry. Now we can really start the hard work and begin producing lithium-ion batteries for future electrified vehicles in just three years. It is crucial for the UK automotive industry and for the entire economy that we are able to power the future. The sooner we start, the better. Blyth meets all of our exacting requirements and could be tailor made. It is on the doorstep of major transport links, easily accessible renewable energy and the opportunity for a co-located supply chain, meets our target to make our gigaplant the world’s cleanest and greenest battery facility.  We have had an extremely warm welcome from Ian Levy MP and Northumberland County Council and are looking forward to working with them closely on this project.”

 

Jolyon Price, Equity Partner at Ridge said “We are delighted to continue working with Britishvolt on the UK’s first gigaplant. As governments and consumers are demanding a move to zero carbon, automotive manufacturers are having to adapt quickly. We are at the forefront of battery research and production facilities starting over a decade ago with Formula One teams and most recently with the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre.”

 

Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy said “This is an incredibly exciting announcement that will have a massive impact in the constituency and the surrounding area for decades to come. I can’t think of anything comparable in the North East since Nissan invested in Sunderland more than 35 years ago. Since Britishvolt first made contact it has been my absolute priority to work in partnership with its leadership team to do everything possible to bring this scheme to Northumberland. Advance Northumberland has also a played a critical role in reaching this point so quickly. There is still much to do but the prospect of the UK’s first gigaplant on the old Blyth Power Station site directly creating up to 8000 jobs is amazing. These jobs will not only return the area to the status of an industrial powerhouse but will help us retain our graduates and provide a huge boost to struggling high streets. I look forward to working with all involved and will provide the backing necessary to deliver a scheme that is a once in a generation opportunity.”