Tata confirms Somerset will host £4bn battery factory

Published on: 29th February 2024

The future site of the UK’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility has been confirmed.


Jaguar Land Rover-owner Tata says it will invest £4bn in a brownfield site near Bridgwater in Somerset.


The government previously announced the flagship battery factory would be built in the UK, but this is the first official confirmation of the site.


The new plant is expected to create 4,000 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain.


Martin Bellamy, chairman of Gravity, told BBC Radio Somerset the factory will be around “six or seven million square feet” and claimed it will be among the “biggest buildings in the country”.


Tata says battery production is set to begin there in 2026.


artists impression of a large grey building with someone cycling past

Artists impression of the new battery factory near Bridgwater


Agratas – Tata Group’s global battery business – has confirmed it will build the factory, its first outside India, at the Gravity Smart Campus in Puriton.


The site was a Royal Ordnance Factory from World War Two until it was decommissioned in 2008.


Agratas will be the first occupier on the site, taking around 50% of the land.


It said by the early 2030s it will contribute almost half of the projected battery manufacturing capacity required for the UK automotive sector.


The factory will produce 40GWh of battery cells annually, enough to supply approximately 500,000 passenger vehicles.


Emma Rawlings, chief executive of the Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said the development would bring opportunities for the area.


“This puts Somerset, its businesses and workforce at the heart of the green revolution to switch to electric vehicles,” she said.


“Somerset businesses are already familiar with the Hinkley Point C supply chain so are well placed to provide expertise for the gigafactory.”


The new gigafactory will be located 15.3 miles (24km) from the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station.


Tata electric vehicle under blue lights in a showroom

The factory will initially produce batteries for Jaguar Land Rover cars


The gigafactory will be one of the largest in Europe and will initially make batteries for Jaguar Land Rover vehicles like Range Rover, the Defender and the Jaguar brands.


But the plan is to also supply other car manufacturers as well as producing commercial energy storage.


Tom Flack, CEO of Agratas, said: “We care deeply about the communities we operate in, so it’s imperative to us that we work with, and listen to, our new neighbours as we build our factory in Somerset.”


The company has set up a Whatsapp channel for local people and thousands of residents are due to receive a leaflet in the post from the company this week.


The official confirmation of the site and the jobs it will bring has been welcomed in Somerset.


Gravity Business park near Bridgwater showing trees and open spaces

The battery factory will take up around 50% of the site


Martin Bellamy, chairman of Gravity said: “It’s impossible to overstate how important this is for the UK. It is the catalyst to kick-start the electric vehicle revolution in the UK.”


Andy Berry, principal of Bridgwater and Taunton College, said he was “delighted” with the news.


He said: “We’ve got a great deal of experience in workforce development – big infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point C.


“We can draw on that experience. We’ve been here and we’ve done this and Agratas can be tremendously confident in our community and in our workforce.”


Councillor Bill Revans, leader of Somerset Council, said: “This is momentous for the county, its economy and for future generations.


“It’s about seizing an incredible opportunity to be at the heart of the UK’s green energy industry that will create thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid, green jobs.”


Matt Tudor, director of strategy and partnerships at Bridgwater and Taunton College, said: “Young people in school today are thinking ‘wow I do not need to leave the region, I can get a great job at a high level with a great salary’.


“So it is very exciting for all our young people and adults in the region.


“Our role is to provide the right curriculum but provide the right solution for Agritas.


“That may be a university, another college or BTC. But what we are doing is making the most out of this so these jobs are filled by our local and regional people.”