• Students and residents visited Bridgwater & Taunton College on Tuesday to learn more about plans to build the UK’s biggest battery facility near Bridgwater
  • Over 300 local people toured an exhibition and heard from Agratas’ CEO, Tom Flack, as part of a series of community events being hosted by the battery-making business
  • Those who missed out can attend other events taking place on 1st May at Puriton Village Hall from 6pm to 8pm, or on 2nd May at Bitham Walk Hall, Woolavington, from 6pm to 8pm

UK, 1 MAY 2024: Hundreds of neighbouring residents surrounding Somerset’s soon-to-be built battery facility attended a community event at Bridgwater & Taunton College yesterday.

Agratas, the global battery business building the facility, invited residents to the event as part of a series of exhibitions it is hosting as part of its community first approach.

Residents heard about the company’s investment in a state-of-the-art battery facility which will contribute almost half of the projected battery manufacturing capacity required for the UK automotive sector by 2030. The exhibition outlined how the battery facility will take shape, the technology behind the electric car batteries that will be produced, and what sort of jobs will be on offer.

Agratas colleagues, including CEO, Tom Flack, answered questions and heard feedback from residents on issues including construction, local community benefit, landscaping and design, travel plans, sustainability and jobs and skills.

The new facility will create up to 4,000 new jobs at what is set to be the biggest battery factory in the country, in diverse fields, including operations, engineering and management.

Bridgwater & Taunton College students were invited to an exclusive preview of the exhibition. As well as getting a behind-the-scenes tour, students heard from Agratas CEO, Tom Flack, about the multi-billion-pound investment, advice he would give young people wanting to get into advanced manufacturing jobs, and training that will be on offer to help young people start a career at Agratas.

Tom Flack, CEO, Agratas, said:“Since announcing that Somerset would become home to our new battery facility, our top priority has been to get into the community and meet some of our new neighbours. My team and I were delighted to see so many residents at our event at Bridgwater & Taunton College, and I’m incredibly grateful to the college for helping us put on such an excellent event.

“It’s important to us that Agratas provides local jobs for local people, which is why it was especially rewarding to hear from the college’s students and provide them with an overview of the training and career opportunities that will be available for young people.”

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO Bridgwater & Taunton College: “We were delighted to welcome Agratas to BTC this week, it marks a significant milestone for our students and the local community. It is their first opportunity to engage directly with Agratas, and understand the exciting opportunities this project will bring to them, and the region. As we further cement our strategic partnership, I’m looking forward to seeing the impact of the opportunities in delivering economic growth, innovation, and prosperity to our region.”

Cllr Liz Leyshon, Deputy Leader of Somerset Council, said:”It was great to see so many local people come out to find out more about Agratas’ plans for the local area. This exciting development will be a very welcome boost to the local economy. We are looking forward to working with Agratas, local colleges and schools so that together, we can ensure that young people can develop the skills they need to take advantage of this huge opportunity on their doorstep”

Mo Retford, local resident from Woolavington, used to be a lab assistant in the old Royal Ordnance Factory in her first job at age 16. She commented: “I appreciate the fact that the site will be used again. We had a really self-sufficient village there in the past, and it will be great to see a new community there benefitting the whole area.”

The Bridgwater & Taunton College event was the third in a five-part series of events Agratas is hosting, with two events having previously taken place on Saturday 27th April in Bitham Walk Hall, Woolavington, and Puriton Sports Centre.

The events follow confirmation in February by Agratas that it will build a new battery cell manufacturing facility at the Gravity Smart Campus near Bridgwater, Somerset. Phased construction works will begin later this year.

About Agratas

Agratas is a global battery business within the Tata Group. We design, develop and manufacture high-quality, high-performance, sustainable battery solutions for multiple applications to match our customers’ requirements.

Derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Agra’, the world’s oldest language, our name stands for leadership and moving forward. Combined with ‘Gravitas’, it reflects our ambition to be purpose driven, pioneering power for future generations.

We have entered our industrialisation phase, building world-class gigafactories in India and the UK, and unlocking green growth opportunities for global customers in the mobility and energy sectors.

Our sustainability-first approach is accelerating the global transition to net zero. Our facilities are designed to be powered by clean sources of electricity, including purpose-built renewable energy plants, to support our goal of 100% clean power across all our operations. Using a circular design mindset, we adopt resource efficient processes, to reuse, recycle and recover materials back into production, delivering a sophisticated circular economy ecosystem. We are committed to developing the next generation of battery technologies.

Our R&D Innovation Hubs in India and the UK are empowered to accelerate technological breakthroughs across our entire value chain, working in partnership with leading universities and research institutions to deliver cleaner, greener, more sustainable batteries for our customers. Together, we will pioneer the innovative battery solutions of the future.

About Bridgwater and Taunton College

Bridgwater & Taunton College is located in the heart of Somerset, with main centres in Bridgwater, Taunton and Cannington.  The College has an excellent reputation both regionally and nationally as a highly successful provider of education and training.  BTC is the designated education and skills lead for the Gravity Campus and is working in partnership with Agratas to facilitate the development of a talent pipeline.

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