Huge UK Government Subsidies Win JLR Battery Factory Deal

The UK government is thought to have promised up to £500M in subsidies to Jaguar Land-Rover’s owner, Tata, to build an automotive battery plant in the country.

It’s only the second such plant that the UK has in the pipeline joining a previously agreed one near the Nissan factory in Sunderland. The government is expected today to formally announce the new plant will be built in Bridgwater, Somerset, in the southwest of England, promising 9,000 new jobs, the BBC reports.

The huge promise of subsidies won Tata’s deal from the UK government’s rival bid from Spain. Some industry insiders hope that the Tata battery investment will open the door to further battery investments in the UK which has been lagging behind Europe where there are some 35 battery plants open or in the process of being created.

The new factory in Somerset will initially supply batteries for a new range of BEVs from Jaguar and Land Rover whose factories are positioned not far away in the West Midlands. Government subsidies are probably going to be in the form of cash grants, discounts on the cost of energy and training and research funding. Tata also has extensive steel interests in the UK including the Port Talbot plant in South Wales and the government is also expected to offer around £300M to subsidize, upgrade and decarbonize those operations.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_  and Threads

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