Ministers were celebrating this morning the decision of a consortium led by Indian conglomerate Tata to invest over £4 billion into a factory making EV batteries in Somerset.

Undisclosed tax breaks and inducements offered by the government, rumoured to be as high as £500 million, are reported to have sealed the deal.  Ministers touring broadcast studios this morning, including chancellor Jeremy Hunt questioned on Sky News, were silent about the extent of UK taxpayer subsidy, quoting commercial confidentiality.

Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, questioned on BBC Radio 4, welcomed the plant, but claimed it was one of 35 announced for construction by manufacturers across Europe.

The government’s announcement comes the day before a key by election in Somerton & Frome, where the Conservatives are defending a majority of 19,000 from 2019.

Ministers including trade secretary Kemi Badenoch said the new gigafactory’s output of 40GWh per year would rank it as one of Europe’s largest.

“It will create up to 4,000 highly skilled jobs, as well as thousands of further jobs in the wider supply chain for battery materials and critical raw minerals, helping grow the economy and take forward the UK’s commitment to Net Zero”, a government statement went on.

Premier Sunak welcomed Tata Group’s multi-billion-pound investment as “testament to the strength of our car manufacturing industry and its skilled workers”.

“We can be incredibly proud that Britain has been chosen as home to Tata Group’s first gigafactory outside India, securing our place as one of the most attractive places to build electric vehicles”, the PM added.

The Financial Times reported that Tata had been seeking investment inducements of as much as £500 million from the UK government.

Production at the new plant is expected to start in 2026. It will supply JLR’s future battery electric models including the Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar brands. Other car makers’ needs may also be met.

Brexit supporters hailed the deal, saying it disproved Remainers’ claims that Spain, still free of post-Brexit curbs on trade with the EU, had been the stronger candidate for Tata’s investment.

For the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, chief executive Mike Hawes, said, “This is a shot in the arm for the UK automotive industry, our economy and British manufacturing jobs, demonstrating the country is open for business and electric vehicle production.

“It comes at a critical moment, with the global industry transitioning at pace to electrification.

“We must now build on this announcement by promoting the UK’s strengths overseas, ensuring we stay competitive amid fierce global pressures and do more to scale up our EV supply chain, added Hawes”


  1. Yet another Conservative promise that will most never come to fruition Just another con trick to try and get more votes in next years general election. Are we as taxpayers expected to forget the subsidies that have been given out to Ta Ta Group and other failed so called saviors of British Industry over the last thirteen years.

    Julie Mallalieu.


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