Tata confirms Somerset will be home to £4bn battery factory

The Indian conglomerate Tata has confirmed Bridgwater in Somerset as the site of its new £4bn battery factory, which will bring about 4,000 jobs to the region.

Tata’s battery business, Agratas, said it had bought land at the Gravity Smart campus off the M5, just outside the town. The company confirmed in July that it would build its next so-called gigafactory in the UK. The company secured about £500m in UK government subsidies to do so.

It did not confirm where it planned to construct the facility but Bridgwater had been widely tipped as the most likely. The site used to be home to a factory that produced high explosives for military use, which closed in 2008.

The Agratas chief executive, Tom Flack, said: “Our multibillion-pound investment will bring state of the art technology to Somerset, helping to supercharge Britain’s transition to electric mobility while creating thousands of jobs in the process.” The company said it would contact local residents this week to tell them about the project.

Preliminary activity has started on the site and work to establish its foundations will begin in spring. Battery production is scheduled to commence in 2026. As the UK and global car industry retools to produce electric cars, rather than polluting petrol or diesel alternatives, the batteries needed to propel these vehicles have become increasingly important.

MPs on the business and trade committee in November warned that 160,000 jobs in the UK would be at risk if the country could not supply the batteries car manufacturers would need.

The plans announced at that point – including Tata’s 40 gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant – were enough to cover only about half the 100 GWh of production the UK would need by 2030.

Agratas said Tata Motors and Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover would be its first customers. It also plans to create batteries for commercial energy storage, two-wheelers and commercial vehicles.