Coventry takes forward gigafactory plan

Coventry City Council will enter a Joint Venture partnership with Coventry Airport to develop proposals for a gigafactory, it has announced.

The public-private partnership will see the joint venture develop proposals and submit a planning application for a Gigafactory in 2021. This will take place alongside regional discussions with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers to secure long-term investment at the site.

The local authority hopes that the JV will mean the time required to make the gigafactory operational will be reduced – and ensure continued growth of the area’s automotive industry, potentially creating new jobs and up to £2bn in investment.

The Government has already highlighted its desire for a gigafactory in the country with £500m made available for its development. The West Midlands Combined Authority, which is led by the West Midlands Mayor and comprises the region’s seven urban councils, has formally endorsed Coventry Airport as the preferred site for a Gigafactory. The Airport site could accommodate up to 4.5m sq ft of commercial space, making use of the large areas of hard standing and existing development.

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry Airport sits at the heart of (a) powerful automotive research cluster and is the obvious location for a UK Gigafactory. It will immediately plug in to a mature automotive supply chain and skills eco-system.

“The green industrial revolution is coming, and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that Coventry is right at the heart of it. We have the site, the skills and the pedigree to make this work.”

“Our Joint Venture partnership is unique in the UK and creates a strong platform to attract investment and deliver more than 4,000 new jobs, support our automotive sector, and secure our competitive advantage.”

Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, said: “By announcing the site now and driving forward with a planning application and a joint venture, we are showing how united and serious the region is about making this happen.

“The next step is to submit the case to Government to win the funding required, and discussions are already well underway with the UK’s leading car makers and battery suppliers across the globe to put together the strongest bid possible. I will not rest until the West Midlands has the Gigafactory it needs.”

Cllr Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council, said: “In relation to the site now being proposed, Coventry Airport is within the Warwick District Council area and as the Strategic Local Planning Authority, this Council will ensure that the planning application is considered rigorously, meticulously and diligently, as is every application submitted to us.

“We have already begun work with the Joint Venture partners to ensure that the application they ultimately submit recognises and mitigates the potential impacts of these proposals.”

  • image from press release

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