Northumberland County Council leader confirms sale of Britishvolt site in 'tremendous news'

An artistic rendering of a typical data centre design for conceptual purposes
An artistic rendering of a typical data centre design for conceptual purposes -Credit:QTS/Northumberland County Council

American investment firm Blackstone have completed their purchase of the former Britishvolt site in Northumberland, it has been confirmed.

The leader of Northumberland County Council Glen Sanderson revealed that the sale had gone through in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The council has also negotiated a new buy-back arrangement in the event the project is not built, similar to the one with Britishvolt.

The company, alongside its data subsidiary QTS, plan to build a series of AI data centres on the land at Cambois near Blyth, which was previously earmarked for a gigafactory producing electric car batteries. The site, also known as Northumberland Energy Park Phase 3 or NEP 3, will now provide the necessary computing power needed to drive the booming artificial intelligence sector.

Up to £10 billion will be invested into the area while £110 million will be pumped into the council's coffers to fund business investments across the county. The £110 million was agreed as part of a deal that saw the council drop the previous buy-back agreement that was on the land.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of the county council on Wednesday, Coun Sanderson said: "As we move into this next year, we can look forward to some very exciting developments. I can announce that this morning at around 1am Blackstone bought the land at NEP 3 and agreed to a new buy back clause.

"This is tremendous news and I'm very proud to be able to say that. This will be the largest investment to come to Northumberland, ever."

The county council confirmed a new buyback clause was in place. A spokesman said: "As per the recommendation agreed by cabinet on 23rd April, now the land transaction is complete, a new buyback arrangement has been put in place in the unlikely event the planned development did not proceed."

The council say the project will create more than 1,600 direct jobs, including 1,200 long-term construction jobs, as well as more than 2,700 indirect jobs.