Britishvolt Education Hub Innovation Series – What’s it all about?

BritishVolt, on track to build the UK’s first full-scale Gigaplant in Blyth, is aiming to power future employment in the North East with their charitable foundation, BV FutureGen Foundation.

The foundation is set to open an education hub in the heart of Ashington. Spread across four floors, they are aiming to inspire the next generation of employees in the green sector by launching an education centre, training space, café, gallery and community hub on Ashington high street.

BritishVolt’s Social Value Manager, Tracy Machnicki will head up the foundation as Managing Director. Tracy said: “We want budding engineers and operators, local people and the business community to be part of the exciting story that is unfolding in Northumberland. A key part of this activity is to bring local innovators into the project to help bring our story to life. The Hub will be a vibrant space for us to meet and engage with local communities and we can’t wait to open our doors.”

To help us achieve this, we’re calling on local innovators and entrepreneurs to respond to a series of funded opportunities to produce innovative exhibition pieces and interactive work which will help to engage young people will some of these key themes:

Aims of the immersive technology projects

  • Provide examples of working in particular industries
  • Skills and careers choices
  • On-site walk through of the BV site/ mock-up gigaplant
  • Batteries and EV’s
  • Industrial heritage of the locality
  • Climate change/ environmental activities
  • Give a ‘wow’ factor to ‘dead’ spots within the building
  • Interactive ‘corridor’
  • Any creative ideas appreciated!

Working with Dynamo North East, the Innovation SuperNetwork is running a series of open calls for innovative content on behalf of the BV FutureGen Foundation. The first of these calls took place in 2021 and we’re pleased to be progressing some exciting projects with a number of regional SMEs and hope to announce the details of some soon.

Further projects will be announced soon including VR, AR and interactive displays, so we’re keen to hear from any regional businesses providing these services. However, we’d love to find something new! Even better, to support a local business to develop something new, perhaps even facilitate a collaboration between businesses. So if you have even the vaguest idea and you’re not sure how to make it work or know the right partner business to bring your idea to life, we’re really keen to hear from you! For any of the upcoming opportunities please register your interest using this form. We will keep you up to date with project launches and invite you to take part in any relevant workshops, pitch sessions or sight visits.

Past Projects

The entrance

This special project is one of the most exciting! Located in the building entrance we’re looking for something engaging, interesting and interactive to draw people into the hub, but not so futuristic or complex that it scares people off! The space is approx. 5m x 10m (view the floorplan here, with the section marked in green:

Keep in mind this space is open to the public and visitors should be able to enjoy this space unsupervised.

The Corridor

Utilising ‘the corridor’, a long walk-through space approximately 12m wide and 13m long with a door at either end, we are now welcoming pitches for this area. We’re keen to fill this space with something interactive that is triggered by visitor movement. Discussions have included telling the story of the history of power, the effects of climate change or even a walk through the factory, but we’d love to hear your unique ideas about what this space could become and what technology you would use.

Take a look at our walk through: 

3D realisation

The first, related to 3D realisation is currently open for submissions, with the deadline extended to Tuesday 14 September. The installation might show show the inner workings of an electric car, a battery being built or anything else related to Britishvolt’s aims for the space (see above).



For further information you can hear from Britishvolt’s Social Value Manager, Tracy Machnicki by watching the project launch event back here.

Please do not contact Britishvolt directly with any queries or pitches, you can contact us .