NORTH Somerset Council is exploring ways that the region's residents can benefit from the new £4bn giga factory.

Agratas, Tata Group’s global battery business, has confirmed its plans for the factory, which will produce EV batteries and will be based at the Gravity Smart Campus in Puriton.

The development, which is just 12 miles from North Somerset, will create around 4,000 additional jobs.

It could also help the council accelerate green inward investment through building a supply chain cluster linked to electric vehicle battery innovation and manufacturing.

Due to its proximity to the Gravity site, it is believed that the Weston Enterprise Area is ideally placed to support supply chain activity.

Cllr Mark Canniford, North Somerset Council's executive member for spatial planning, placemaking and economy, said: "This is great news for our economy and the people and businesses of North Somerset. We've been working on ways to ensure we benefit from this investment for a while.

"We’re in close contact with Somerset Council to explore opportunities for joint working and are working to support local firms in accessing the supply chain and helping remove barriers. We’re also considering ways to attract new business into North Somerset to capitalise on the investment.

"Work with Weston College will help us understand future skills needs so that the right training can be available for local people and a partnership with colleagues at Gravity will enable us to market Weston Enterprise Area as an ideal location for complementary supply chain businesses. Our new local plan will also provide the commercial floor space needed to realise the maximum economic benefits.

"There is the potential of 882,000 sq ft of commercial floor space in Weston Enterprise Area and we will work closely with partners to bring together this opportunity to ensure North Somerset’s economy is resilient, thriving and delivers for our residents."

Tom Flack, CEO, Agratas, added: “Our multi-billion-pound investment will bring state-of-the-art technology to Somerset, helping to supercharge Britian’s transition to electric mobility whilst creating thousands of jobs in the process.

“We care deeply about the communities we operate in, so it’s imperative to us that we work with, and listen to, our new neighbours as we build our factory in Somerset."

Preliminary works on the site are in progress, with piling to establish the factory’s foundations set to start in Spring.