Bridgwater & Taunton College Spearheading Skills Development at Gravity Site - Bridgwater & Taunton College

Plans to build Britain’s biggest electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility in Somerset have been announced.  Agratas – Tata Group’s global battery business – have confirmed that the Gravity Smart Campus located near Bridgwater has been chosen as the location of its new UK gigafactory.

Bridgwater & Taunton College (BTC) has been designated as the lead institution for education and skills delivery at the Gravity Smart Campus, as per the Skills Charter. The charter prioritises workforce development, talent acquisition, and establishes commitments to social inclusion, economic growth, and local employment enhancement.

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO of Bridgwater & Taunton College, welcomed the news. He said:

It’s an exciting time for Somerset and our community.  We will be drawing on our extensive experience of responding to workforce needs at a global level.  As the skills lead we will be working with employers, industry specialists and other educational institutions such as the University of Bristol to deliver a cohesive and comprehensive approach to workforce development, it will be a fantastic boost for the region.

Martin Bellamy, Chairman and CEO of Gravity, said:

It’s impossible to overstate how important this is for the UK. It is the catalyst to kick-start the electric vehicle revolution in the UK. As the biggest battery gigafactory in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, its transformational impact will be enormous. We look forward to working closely with Agratas, Somerset Council, Bridgwater & Taunton College and wider stakeholders to deliver this gigafactory as part of the Gravity Smart Campus.

Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset Council, said:

This is momentous for the county, its economy and for future generations. It’s about seizing an incredible opportunity to be at the heart of the UK’s green energy industry that will create thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid, green jobs.

Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said:

The South West has a fantastic innovation ecosystem geared towards achieving Net Zero, and it’s a great vote of confidence to see Agratas become part of that at Gravity. I look forward to exploring collaborative opportunities with them and other future occupiers of Gravity to advance the skills and R&D needed to tackle the climate emergency and boost our region’s growing reputation in energy futures.

Claire Pearce, Director of Planning and Economic Development confirmed:

The Gravity Skills Charter is an important obligation which forms an integral part of the planning consent and is key to our ambitions for the campus to create social value and tangible local benefit.  The Charter ensures direct connectivity between international investment and host communities to ensure local people can directly benefit from new training and job opportunities. BTC are a fantastic partner to lead the workforce development response with our occupiers.

Matt Tudor, BTC’s Vice Principal – Strategy & Partnerships said:

I’m delighted by this announcement and what it means for our community and the wider region. We’ve got a great deal of experience in workforce development through big infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point C.

He continued:

We can draw on that experience, Agratas can be confident in our abilities to unlock the potential within our community to deliver a highly skilled workforce.

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