Winner on first phase of scheme due this spring

Bids for the first phase of Tata’s £4bn car battery plant in Somerset will be returned by four firms in the next few days, Building understands.

The Indian firm said it and its subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) would be the anchor customers for the new factory.

Firms in the hunt include ISG and Wates but previous interest from Laing O’Rourke, which built a design and engineering studio for JLR at Gaydon in Warwickshire, is understood to have cooled.


The new factory will start production in 2026, Tata said

The others thought to be looking at the job are Sir Robert McAlpine while Vinci is also believed to working up a tender with its bid being co-ordinated from France.

Once bids go in, a decision is expected later in the spring with the new factory set to begin supplying units from 2026.

Tata has confirmed that the plant will be built at Bridgwater with the scheme being masterminded by Tata’s global battery business which is called Agratas. Its chief executive Tom Flack said: “Our multibillion-pound investment will bring state of the art technology to Somerset, helping to supercharge Britain’s transition to electric mobility while creating thousands of jobs in the process.”

The business park it will be built on is a 616-acre, so-called “smart campus” being built near the M5 motorway at Puriton. The scheme, a former Royal Ordnance factory, is being developed by private banker Salamanca.

Work on the complex first began in 2019 with Welsh contractor Alun Griffiths building a link road to connect the site directly to the M5 at junction 23.