UK ‘close to deal’ for Jaguar Land Rover gigafactory
By Mike Hayes24 May 2023
The BBC is reporting that the UK looks to have come out ahead of Spain in the battle to host a multi-billion-euro battery manufacturing plant, to be developed by Jaguar Land Rover.
If the deal is successfully concluded, it could generate 9,000 jobs at the proposed site, within the 250-hectare Gravity Business Park in Somerset in the south-west of England.
It would also be a huge coup for the UK government, and for the country’s car manufacturing industry, which currently directly and indirectly employs some 800,000 people.
In 2020, industry researchers also suggested that the UK will need two gigafactories by 2025 and as many as eight by 2040, if the country is to meet the demand for electric vehicle batteries.
While no public statements have been made on the latest development, it is reported that Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of Jaguar Land Rover’s owner Tata, is set to meet with Britain’s Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, next week.
BBC sources said talks have moved forward and are now based on the “drafting and choreography” of an agreement for the construction of the plant.
The UK government has also acknowledged that the potential deal involves hundreds of millions of euros in subsidies, which could take the form of research funding, training and other direct grants.
The government has also promised in excess of €300 million in subsidies to Tata’s steel operations in South Wales, to help the company achieve its decarbonisation goals.