Car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover is expected to choose the UK over Spain as the destination of its new electric car battery gigafactory.
Touted as ‘the most significant investment in the UK automotive industry’ since Nissan came to the country in the 1980s, the new multi-billion pound facility would create around 9,000 jobs across the Somerset-based site.
This follows the UK recognising the urgency of electric battery manufacturing in the UK, which would go someway to reinforcing the future of the car industry in the country.
Progress in a landmark agreement
It’s expected that the boss of Jaguar Land Rover – owner Tata – will fly to London over the coming week to finalise the deal, with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt telling the UK media to ‘watch this space’.
While the deal hasn’t been officially signed, it has moved from the negotiation stage to the drafting stage, with all parties exploring how the agreement will be presented.
Despite the UK’s automotive sector currently employing around 800,000 people directly and across the supply chain, the JLR deal represents a huge investment into the sector and would create thousands of jobs in a hugely progressive industry.
It’s understood that Tata was considering another site in Spain but has instead settled on Somerset, choosing the Gravity Business Park near Bridgwater.
If successful, the deal will represent a major achievement for the UK government, which has recently been criticised for lacking a clear industrial strategy in the space.
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Automotive heritage ‘vital’ to the UK winning the bid
It’s believed that the UK’s skilled automotive workforce – combined with JLR’s British heritage – was a major factor in the UK winning the bid.
Industry insiders have speculated that this could be the first of many electric battery investments in the UK, which is currently only home to one near Nissan’s factory in Sunderland.
Compared to the EU – which has 35 plants open, under construction or planned – this represents a significant disparity, especially when we consider the UK’s history of automotive excellence.
Aside from providing British automotive engineering with a huge boost, this factory will also have a significant impact on energy jobs across the country, opening up new opportunities for professionals both in the UK and abroad that want to join an increasingly important and progressive industry.
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If you’re looking for energy jobs, particularly electric vehicles jobs, we have an experienced team that understand the sector and may be able to help you find your dream role.