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Britishvolt: St Athan confirmed as site for planned battery factory


Plans to build a plant producing electric car batteries in the Vale of Glamorgan are a step closer, after the firm said it had signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Welsh Government.

In June, Britishvolt the company behind the proposed factory confirmed it would either build its factory in St Athan or Coventry, with the site expected to create 3,500 jobs and lead to a £1.2bn investment.

During an interview with Bro Radio in June its Chief Operating Officer Orral Nadjari confirmed that St Athan was his preferred choice, as a former student at Cardiff University stating it was a "very good location".

The Welsh Government said talks with the company were in the "early stages".

While the agreement is not legally binding, the company has told BBC Wales that it was now only considering the St Athan site for the project.

Speaking to BBC Wales, Britishvolt's chief operating officer, Orral Nadjari, said it was a "very exciting milestone". 

"The agreement that we have come to with the Welsh Government is that we're going to exclusively build our batteries for electric vehicles in Wales."

Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, said: “I welcome the news that an agreement to locate the new Britishvolt factory in St Athan has moved a step closer.

“If it can be finalised, this would represent an important development for the Vale of Glamorgan as a whole and the Bro Tathan Enterprise Zone in particular, bringing significant economic benefits to the area.

“Already a leading UK aerospace, manufacturing and engineering location, the enterprise zone has bought large-scale employment to South Wales, not least through the Aston Martin technology plant that is sited there. Hopefully this project can be the next chapter in that success story.”

Cllr Lis Burnett, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “The Council is committed to attracting high-profile economy-boosting business to the Vale and we will continue to work with Welsh Government towards that goal.

“This is a further sign that the Vale of Glamorgan is an attractive place to do business and I will watch with interest as this situation develops.

“The Council’s economic development team provide a range of support to businesses that choose to establish themselves here, making this a first-class base from which to operate.”

During an interview with Bro Radio's Vale this Week in June, Mr Nadjari said he expected shovels to be in the ground by Spring/Summer 2021, with the plant operational by the end of 2023.

Bro Tathan, the former Minister of Defence site in St Athan, which is now owned by the Welsh Government, is already home to Aston Martin electric car plant, which produced its first vehicle last week.

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