The Britishvolt gigafactory in Blyth has collapsed into administration with the immediate loss of more than 200 jobs.

The £3.8 billion Northumberland project, championed by the government as a key pillar in its ‘levelling up’ project in mid-2022, had staved off administration in early November after it secured short-term funding from commodity trading giant Glencore – one of its existing investors – and its 300 staff agreed to take a big cut in pay.

Ministers had refused to advance £30 million of promised funding to save Britishvolt, which was planned to create up to 8,000 jobs and build 300,000 batteries for electric vehicles a year, as it had not hit agreed construction milestones.

The company’s board is reported to have decided on Monday that there were no viable bids to keep it afloat. The majority of its 300 staff have lost their jobs.

Dan Hurd, joint administrator and partner at EY, said the firm had offered “a significant opportunity to create jobs and employment, as well as support the development of technology and infrastructure needed to help with the UK’s energy transition”.

Administrators will now look to sell the business and its assets. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the government would work with the local authority and potential investors to “ensure the best outcome for the site”.

Britishvolt has struck deals with several companies to supply components for batteries, as well as battery design contracts with Aston Martin and Lotus.

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The government originally announced backing for the project in January 2022. After providing Britishvolt with a final grant offer through its Automotive Transformation Fund in July 2022, it said the support would help to unlock a significant amount of backing from private investors. 

The government had committed a total of £100m for the project. However when the private funding did not materialise, Britishvolt asked for an advance of a third of the total earlier than planned.

In August, Britishvolt founder and CEO Orral Nadjari stepped down from the gigafactory project following reports that it was already stalling.

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