Britishvolt Supplier Outreach on March 24

In December 2020 Britishvolt announced plans to locate its £2.6bn battery manufacturing facility in Northumberland. As one of the largest industrial investments in the UK’s history, and the biggest regional investment since Nissan in 1984, this is expected to bring 8,000 jobs, both direct and indirect, to the North East, creating many supplier opportunities.

Following huge demand, a special Britishvolt supplier outreach event is to be hosted by the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), North East England Chamber of Commerce, North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) and Supply Chain North East on March 24, as the company looks to establish a Gigaplant in Northumberland.

The event, which has already attracted a large number of registrations, will be the first in a series of supplier focussed engagement sessions which will provide businesses with an opportunity to ask direct questions to the Britishvolt Procurement team.

It follows a wider meet the buyer event in February, coordinated by the NEAA that attracted over 100 delegates and at which Isobel Sheldon OBE, chief strategy officer for Britishvolt, was guest speaker.

At the February event, the NEAA welcomed its sixth automotive meet the buyer, which is usually held as part of the North East Automotive Expo and the first as a stand-alone online alternative. Nissan, Komatsu, Cummins, Marelli, Nifco, Unipres, Minth Automotive and Magna Exteriors were all buyers and sponsors included MAKE it Sunderland, North East LEP and Invest South Tyneside.

As a direct result of the engagement from the event and especially the comments from Isobel Sheldon that Britishvolt was very keen to engage with North East-based suppliers, the company agreed to be the sole focus of a supplier outreach event.

It will enable NEAA supply chain members to gain a further insight into Britishvolt’s procurement requirements.

The plans to build the Gigaplant on the site of the former power station, have taken a further step forward after the company announced that it has submitted a planning application with Northumberland County Council.

Paul Butler, CEO, North East Automotive Alliance, said: “Our most recent virtual meet the buyer attracted over 100 people, who benefitted from a fascinating insight to Britishvolt’s plans and their commitment that the company was very keen to engage with the regions supplier base.

“Due to huge member demand, we are looking forward to welcoming back Britishvolt where potential suppliers can learn about core procurement ideologies and become aware of how Britishvolt plan to engage businesses, including an understanding of the approach to active supplier engagement.

“Given the significance of Britishvolt’s future investment, the NEAA recognises this offers a huge opportunity for North East based businesses and as such we have come together with several partners and other networks to extend the reach of this event to ensure their members can also benefit.

“Our February event showcased the great skills and talent we have here in the North East, whilst also opening the door to companies looking to collaborate.”

Leon Denis, Head of Procurement at Britishvolt, said: “It is great to partner with NEAA and NEPIC to enable us to reach out and engage local businesses, and connect with possible future suppliers. A big driver for our mission is to have as short and efficient supply chains as possible. We intend to be a good neighbour, up-skilling the work force and creating long lasting relationships.”