The founders of Britishvolt were trying to create a £4bn facility, from scratch, without the backing of a major manufacturer.
What they did have was a vision which they hoped could surf a wave of political support – and attract the necessary funding.
They looked first for a location in Wales, before settling on Cambois, in the Blyth Valley.
The site, formerly a power station, was good. It had a deep water port, good transport links and access to plentiful power. It also happened to be in a “red wall” constituency captured by the Conservatives in 2019.
But political support wasn’t enough. Delays to construction meant £100m of public funding never materialised. With costs rising and no firm orders, the money ran out.
The question is, what happens next? Speak to pretty much anyone in the motor industry, and they’ll tell you that without gigafactories, the long-term future for UK manufacturing looks bleak.
So the plant itself could still become a reality. But for that to happen significant investment will be needed.
And any potential buyer will know that their chances of success will be much greater if they can get an established manufacturer on board.
ANALYSIS BY JOE WELLS.
Another complete cock up by British industry, why oh why are we so useless when we try to manufacture anything in this country it just doesn’t make sense when we have such a proud tradition of manufacturing, after all it was us who invented the Industrial Revolution.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his compatriots must be turning in their graves.