Britishvolt gigaplant, via PABritishvolt gigaplant, via PA


Britishvolt gigafactory hopes set to end with Blyth site due to be sold to private equity firm

  • Blackstone nears deal to buy former Britishvolt gigafactory site
  • Britishvolt had proposed to build a £3.8 billion gigafactory on the site in Blyth before collapse
  • Land now set to be used for one of Europe’s largest data centres

Time 8:24 am, April 16, 2024

The chances of a new gigafactory being built at the site of the collapsed Britishvolt firm appear to be dead in the water after it was revealed that a private equity firm is close to agreeing a deal for the land.

Britishvolt imploded in spectacular style last year after the company’s would be saviour – Recharge Industries – was raided by tax authorities in Australia.

With staff going unpaid for months on end, it now appears that the Northumberland site will have to be put to an alternative use.

Private equity giant Blackstone is close to agreeing a deal for the land, with plans in place to build one of Europe’s largest data centres.

The proposed deal by receivers will finally drive a steak through the heart of any feint hopes of building an electric car battery factory being built on the site.

On Monday, official receivers for Britishvolt Properties revealed they have entered into a contract to sell the site to a subsidiary of Blackstone, the US investment giant.

Blackstone said the 235-acre site is now set to be transformed ‘into one of the largest data centre facilities in Western Europe’.

Northumberland County Council will assess the plans next week.

Council leader Glen Sanderson said the council’s cabinet will ‘consider this really unique opportunity for Northumberland which offers a huge boost to the regeneration and renaissance of the local area’.

He said the data centre plans are expected to create over 1,600 direct jobs, including 1,200 long-term construction jobs.

Bob Maxwell, joint receiver at Begbies Traynor Group, said: ‘From a difficult situation, the future sale will ensure a very bright future for the site.

‘The process of securing a dependable buyer who has a clear, deliverable plan for the long-term use of this strategically important land asset was crucial after the failure of the last business at the site, and was a key factor in gaining the approval of Northumberland County Council who held options on the site.’

The development would appear to mark the end of a sorry saga, which saw Britishvolt collapse in no time at all.

Australian outfit Recharge Industries took over the outfit following its collapse at the start of 2023 but the company has found itself embroiled in controversy ever since.

Back in June, Car Dealer reported that the firm’s offices had been raided as part of a tax investigation by Australian police.

Then, in August, we brought you the news that Recharge had still not made its final payment of £2.5m due as part of the takeover deal.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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