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Britishvolt Site Acquired by Blackstone for £110m, Set to House Data Centre


The former site of Britishvolt, a failed battery startup in northeast England, has been acquired by US private equity firm Blackstone Group for £110 million.

Blackstone intends to transform the 95-hectare site near Cambois, Northumberland, into one of Europe’s largest data centres, capitalising on its connectivity to renewable energy sources.

Initially heralded in 2019 for its ambition to produce batteries for electric vehicles, Britishvolt garnered substantial government support and promised thousands of jobs. However, the company collapsed in early 2023, leaving its vision unfulfilled.

The acquisition by Blackstone marks a significant shift in the site’s trajectory. Formerly home to Blyth power station, the site will now host a state-of-the-art data centre facility, catering to the escalating demand for digital content and cloud internet services across households and businesses.

While the deal secures the future of a substantial brownfield site and leverages local renewable energy resources, it also signals the end of hopes for significant job creation in the region. The local council’s ambition to establish a gigafactory and generate thousands of jobs is no longer viable.

Britishvolt’s demise stemmed from financial challenges, despite securing substantial investments from prominent entities. The company’s focus on developing proprietary battery technology and its inability to secure necessary orders hindered its progress, leading to its eventual collapse.

Bob Maxwell of Begbies Traynor Group, the receivers overseeing the sale, expressed optimism about the site’s future under Blackstone’s ownership. He highlighted the potential for the site to catalyze a tech industry cluster in the northeast, fostering economic growth and employment opportunities in the region.

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