Britishvolt: planned UK gigafactory secures short-term funding lifeline

2 Nov 2022

Troubled battery start-up Britishvolt, which is aiming to open a massive gigafactory in Northumberland, says that it has secured “near-term investment” to allow it to continue operating while it works to secure longer-term funding.

The start-up was formed in 2020 with plans to open a  £3.8 billion facility that would eventually be able to produce 48GWh of battery cells per year – enough to supply 300,000 new cars. The project received UK government funding, because it could create jobs and support the British car industry switch to electric vehicles.

But the project has undergone financial troubles lately, and has yet to secure a supply deal with any manufacturers. Reports have suggested that it was spending around £3 million a month on staff pay, despite the facility not being set to open until next year.

The Financial Times reported that Britishvolt was close to entering administration last weekend – but it managed to secure vital short-term funding just before that happened. It has been reported the funding will be enough to keep Britishvolt in operation for around five weeks. 

Britishvolt has now issued a statement, in which is says that it is looking to “evolve our business strategy in response to challenging external factors”. It added that it will “continue to explore both short- and long-term funding streams that will enable us to deliver on our plans to build a thriving localised, sustainable battery ecosystem based on next-generation cell technology.”

The firm added that discussions with a number of potential investors were ongoing, and added that its employees have agreed to a temporary salary reduction for November to help stretch its current funding.
The statement added: “It is important that Britishvolt is a success not only for the close to 300 employees currently working for the company, but also for the many thousands of jobs we intend to create in the UK as we progress our plans. The ‘Britishvolt Effect’ is also of huge strategic importance to UK plc. and the country’s standing on the global battery stage.


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