Skip to content

Business & Economy

Plans approved for Envision AESC’s Wearside electric vehicle battery plant

Planners have approved a blueprint for a “game-changing” electric vehicle battery factory bosses say has the potential to create and support thousands of North East jobs.

Envision AESC’s proposals to deliver a production base at the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP) were last night (Tuesday, October 5) rubberstamped by Sunderland City Council’s planning committee.

Officials say the plant, referred to as a gigafactory, will make more than 100,000 batteries every year.

It will also form part of a previously-announced £1 billion partnership with Wearside-based Nissan that will help deliver the latter’s EV36Zero project, which it says will drive forward greener motoring and see a new all-electric ‘crossover’ model made in the region.

Bosses say the decision secures Envision AESC’s £450 million investment in the project, which will create 750 jobs and secure 300 further posts at its existing Sunderland base.

Building work on IAMP – which spans land in South Tyneside and Sunderland – is due to begin next year, with battery production earmarked to start in 2024.

Regeneration bosses say its arrival will pave the way for potential future investment of £1.8 billion on the site that will create 4500 green jobs by 2030.

Chris Caygill, Envision AESC’s UK managing director, said: “We are immensely proud of the work we have done with our strategic partners Nissan and Sunderland City Council so far, which has laid the foundations for affordable electric vehicles and sustainable growth in the region for the next generations.

“As a growing global business, we will continue to push the boundaries of battery technology.”

Chris added the plant will be Envision AESC’s greenest to date, revealing it will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and supported by a £80 million microgrid being developed by Sunderland City Council.

He said it will also deploy integrated smart technology to monitor and optimise energy consumption, predict demand and maintenance requirements.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “IAMP is a hugely significant development, and its ability to attract and then support businesses in advanced manufacturing is second-to-none, in terms of the assets of the site itself and the talent pool we have to drive it.

“We look forward to seeing Envision AESC move forward with this game-changing gigafactory on a site that we are proud to be bringing forward in partnership with South Tyneside Council.”

Councillor Tracey Dixon, leader at South Tyneside Council, said: “This is a huge boost for the local economy, and indeed for UK plc, part of a wider £1 billion investment that will secure and create hundreds – thousands – of jobs.

“This is what we hoped IAMP would deliver when we embarked on this partnership with Sunderland City Council.

“Seeing Envision AESC’s plans advance is vindication of our commitment to this important job-creating site.”

Alan Johnson, Nissan’s Sunderland plant vice president, manufacturing, added: “This is a fundamental part of our EV36Zero project, bringing together electric vehicle production, battery manufacturing and renewables, and we’re all excited to see the progress being made.”

IAMP has been led by Sunderland City Council and South Tyneside Council, working in partnership with HBD, and has been backed with £42 million from the Government through the Local Growth Fund via the North East Local Enterprise Partnership.