International law firm Womble Bond Dickinson (WBD) has been working on plans for the past five years that will see the UK's largest electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility built in Somerset.

The firm supported on critical planning and infrastructure advice needed for the deal which will see Agratas, Tata Group's global battery business, build a plant at the Gravity Smart Campus, the nation's first strategic commercial smart campus located near Bridgwater.

The deal, which marks a £4bn investment into the regional economy and will create more than 4,000 jobs directly as part of the scheme, will mark the first occupier of the space with the factory planning to produce 40GWh of battery cells annually once fully operational.

A WBD team led by planning and infrastructure senior counsel Kevin Gibbs and assisted by managing associate James Clark supported on the deal, providing all planning and infrastructure advice for the agreement. WBD's advice was critical since the deal hinged on a complex and novel Local Development Order for the original campus which WBD had helped secure for the site. WBD had also advised on the Compulsory Purchase Order for land to facilitate the main access road from the A39.

Kevin Gibbs said: 

"The creation of a new multi-billion pound electric vehicle battery plant at the heart of Somerset is excellent news for our region, creating thousands of jobs and firmly putting Gravity's smart campus on the map as the go-to net-zero site in Europe for large scale advanced engineering and manufacturing.

Our team has supported and continues to support Gravity to not only bring this large scale development to life, but assist with the key planning requirements needed for any nationally significant development such as the Agratas factory.

Having advised Gravity on the securing of a Local Development Order for its smart campus, one of the largest and most complex in the UK with over 1.1 million square metres of advanced manufacturing with rail head, road infrastructure and energy components, we were pleased to be called on to assist on the deal."