Tesla
Image Source: Lapponica
Chloe Shakesby

Tees Valley Mayor urges Elon Musk to choose Hartlepool for new Tesla factory

The Mayor of Tees Valley has today bid for an electric car manufacturer to open is newest factory in Teesside.

Tees Valley’s mayor, Ben Houchen, has teamed up with Hartlepool council leader Shane Moore to urge Elon Musk, founder of Tesla Motors, to reconsider building the new factory in Teesside.

In a letter to Elon Musk, Mayor Houchen and councillor Moore said that construction of the Gigafactory could start as soon as February 2021 and that the region offers “hundreds of acres of identified ideal developable land, with the can-do attitude in political leadership necessary to ensure delivery of major projects.”

Last year, Hartlepool narrowly lost out on becoming home to the manufacturer’s new site, coming in second to Grünheide in Germany.

The latest bid comes as site preparation in Germany has come to a stop for the second time after a court injunction by environmentalists in the region.

Ben Houchen commented: “When it comes to the skills needed to build an electric car and associated battery factory there is no better workforce than what is available here in Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.

“We have the automotive experience; we are leaders in clean energy, and we lead the world in chemicals and precision manufacturing.

“Site preparation work for Tesla’s first European manufacturing plant in Germany has already been halted twice due to legal challenges from environmental campaigners and it is not hard to see more challenges in the future which would inevitably put back the start of construction and production.

“Tesla would not have any of those problems here, we have the land and we have the highly skilled workforce both for car manufacturing and the battery plant.

“So, if Tesla does not want to miss out as other high-end car manufacturers move into electric car space, I would urge the company to look again at Teesside for the plant.

“And if Mr Musk and the board at Tesla needs reassuring at how fast we can do things here, I would highlight the fact we were able to secure planning for 4.5million sq ft of manufacturing space – the largest planning application in the north of England - in just four months without a single objection.”

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “I am delighted Mayor Houchen is joining me in urging Tesla Motors to reconsider the location of its huge new Gigafactory and to opt for Hartlepool instead.

“Having previously made a shortlist of two, the town stands ready to welcome the company with open arms.

“Such a huge and important development would have a truly transformational effect on Hartlepool and surrounding areas in terms of the new jobs it would create and also the wider benefits that would be generated for the regional economy.

“Hartlepool stands ready to roll up our sleeves and start building.”

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