Community calls for matched ambition on steel industry

The Tata Group has unveiled plans to build a new 40GW electric car battery factory in the UK to supply its subsidiary company, Jaguar Land Rover. The proposed factory, which is to be one of the largest in Europe and Tata’s first gigafactory outside India, is expected to be secured through a £4 billion investment by the company and to create as many as 4,000 jobs.

Tata chair Natarajan Chandrasekaran said the decision to invest in the new battery plant – which is expected to be sited in Somerset – ‘strengthened the company’s commitment to the UK’.

The announcement was due to be made this morning in the West Midlands, where Tata have collaborated with Warwick University and the University of Wolverhampton on the European Innovation and Development Centre, which specializes in engineering and digital solutions across the automotive, aerospace and industrial machinery sectors. In March this year Tata confirmed that 350 new jobs would be created at the centre.

Alasdair McDiarmid, Assistant General Secretary of Community the steelworkers’ union said:

“Community welcomes the £4 billion investment by the Government in the production of a new gigafactory for electric car batteries.

“This new deal shows us that the Government can achieve ambitious and far reaching investment for this country when it puts its mind to it. Sadly the Government has not put the same level of ambition into our steel industry.

“Today clearly shows the need and demand for our steel industry as UK steel can and should fuel the building of this factory and the production of its batteries.

“We need to see the Government apply the same level of ambition as they’ve shown for our automotive sector for our steel sector and deliver investment to greenify our steel industry, protect it from carbon intensive imported steel, and provide competitive energy prices.

“The Government can and must deliver for steel.”

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