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Build & Sustainability

Britishvolt founder steps down – but firm says it will drive on with Cambois battery plant

The founder of a vehicle battery maker building a 3000-job Northumberland plant is stepping down.

Orral Nadjari is leaving his role as Britishvolt chief executive.

Dr Graham Hoare, the company’s deputy chief executive and president of global operations, has switched to acting chief executive.

Having founded the business in 2019, Mr Nadjari says “now is the right time to pass the reins”, with Dr Hoare, who is also chair of the UK Automotive Council, saying he is “honoured to take the company forward in the next chapter of its growth”.

The firm is building a battery production plant at Cambois, near Blyth, Northumberland, which it says has the potential to create 3000 direct jobs and up to 5000 supply chain posts, by making up to 300,000 power packs every year when it opens in 2024.

Groundworks on site began in earnest earlier this summer, when the first train loads of aggregate were delivered to form the plant’s foundations, though the business was recently forced to provide assurances on construction amid reports work will be limited for a number of months.

Explaining his decision to stand down, Mr Nadjari, said: “I am extremely proud of what Britishvolt has achieved since 2019, exceeding all expectations and bringing my vision to life.

“Although it was a difficult decision for me to step away from the operational management of the company, now is the right time for me to pass the reins, after laying the foundations, to our hugely talented, world-leading team, who will drive the business forwards as it enters the execution phase.”

Dr Hoare added: “Orral provided powerful insights, and a tenacious approach, that ensured the early ideas for the company were brought to fruition.

“I’m honoured to take the company forward, in the next chapter of our growth and industrialisation.”

Britishvolt has already secured blue–chip deals with Lotus and Aston Martin to develop technology for next generation sports cars, and recently announced a partnership with Northumberland College and the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre.

It has also been backed by the Government’s Automotive Transformation Fund.