Britishvolt Gigafactory Sold to Private US Firm, Blackstone for £110 Million

A US private equity firm, Blackstone Group, is set to purchase the 95-hectare (235-acre) site in north-east England previously owned by the failed battery startup Britishvolt for £110m.

The firm plans to transform the site near Cambois in Northumberland into one of Europe’s largest data centers, capitalizing on its connection to renewable energy, as confirmed by the receivers for one of the Britishvolt companies.

The receivers, Bob Maxwell and Julian Pitts of Begbies Traynor Group did not disclose the exact amount paid for the site.

Blackstone (Credits: Jeenah Moon)

However, documents from Northumberland county council reveal that the local authority will establish a £110m “growth and investment endowment fund” following the transaction.

Britishvolt emerged in 2019 with the ambition to manufacture batteries for powering electric vehicles in the UK.

The company received backing from then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and a commitment of £100m in government subsidies before collapsing in early 2023.

Factory Site – Britishvolt

The site, formerly home to Blyth power station’s coal-fired units, will now be repurposed into “one of the largest data center facilities in western Europe,” according to the receivers.

Analysts anticipate a surge in demand for data centers, driven by the increasing consumption and transmission of digital content and information by households and businesses, alongside the growing need for cloud internet services and artificial intelligence.

This deal not only secures the future of a substantial brownfield site in a relatively disadvantaged area of the UK but also leverages local green power generation, including offshore wind.

Britishvolt (Credits: Britishvolt)

However, it is likely to extinguish hopes of creating thousands of jobs at the site, as envisioned by the council.

The council had retained an option to repurchase the site for its original price of £4m if the owners failed to construct a gigafactory.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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