Sunderland gigafactory job worth £450m 

Wates has begun construction on a gigafactory in Sunderland which will be the biggest job by single value in its 125-year history. 

It is the second such facility in the city to be developed by Japanese battery technology firm Envision AESC, whose parent is car maker Nissan, and will increase UK electric vehicle battery production six-fold. 


Neil Matthias, regional operations director at Wates, Envision chief Shoichi Matsumoto, and Sir James Wates (right), chairman of Wates

The £450m job forms part of a wider £1bn partnership with Nissan, based elsewhere in Sunderland, and the city council to build an electric-vehicle hub supporting vehicle production. 

Wates, which has been celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is leading the design and delivery on the project alongside its specialist engineering services arm SES Engineering Services, with Turner & Townsend serving as project and cost manager. 

The facility will eventually employ more than 1,000 people and make enough batteries to power 100,000 electric vehicles annually. It is expected to be operational in 2025.