THOUSANDS of jobs could be created in Somerset after Indian industrial conglomerate Tata confirmed they will build a £4billion gigafactory near Bridgwater.

The good news was revealed by Agratas, Tata Group’s global battery business, which has confirmed the former Royal Ordanance Factory site in Puritan as the location of its new battery-making plant.

The announcement marks the first time that the plans have been formally confirmed, and could mean the creation of 4,000 direct jobs, with thousands more in the wider supply chain.

Agratas said the plant was estimated to be contributing almost half of the UK’s projected battery manufacturing capacity in the automotive sector by the early 2030s.

Chairman Martin Bellamy and Tom Curtis, co-founders of Gravity, said: “It’s impossible to overstate how important this is for the UK. It is the catalyst to kick-start the electric vehicle revolution in the UK.

“As the biggest battery gigafactory in the UK, and one of the largest in Europe, its transformational impact will be enormous.

“We look forward to working closely with Agratas, Somerset Council, Bridgwater & Taunton College and wider stakeholders to deliver this gigafactory as part of the Gravity Smart Campus.”

Councillor Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset Council, added: “This is momentous for the county, its economy and for future generations. It’s about seizing an incredible opportunity to be at the heart of the UK’s green energy industry that will create thousands of highly-skilled, well-paid, green jobs.”

Andy Berry, Principal and CEO of Bridgwater and Taunton College, also welcomed the news. He said: “I’m delighted by this announcement and what it means for our community and the wider region. We’ve got a great deal of experience in workforce development - big infrastructure projects like Hinkley Point C.

“We can draw on that experience. We’ve been here and we’ve done this and Agratas can be tremendously confident in our community and in our workforce.”

It follows ‘secret talks’ which took place last year between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Tata chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran in an effort to boost Britain’s battery production capacity in the race to electrify cars.