West Midlands Gigafactory gets another green light in major boost for automotive industry

  • Coventry City Council gives backing to West Midlands Gigafactory
  • Proposals were approved by planners in Warwick earlier in the week
  • Plans would see more 6,000 jobs created in automotive industry

Time 2 weeks ago

The West Midlands Gigafactory has inched another step closer after receiving the green light from a second planning committee. 

Earlier this week, the plans were approved by Warwick District Council before being sent to planners at Coventry City Council.

The committee has now also given the thumbs up to the proposals meaning the project could now be put before a public enquiry.

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The plant is expected to cost around £2.5bn and will supply high-tech batteries for electric vehicles all round the world.

It is estimated the project will create up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region.

The new gigafactory, which will command over half a million square metres of space – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches, will be one of the largest single industry facilities of any kind in the UK and at full capacity will be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year.

After securing backing from both local council’s, the search will now be stepped up to find investors.

Cllr Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council said, ‘This is good news for Coventry.

‘The gigafactory, alongside our ambitions including Very Light Rail, will put us at the front of the green industrial revolution bringing significant investment and job creation to our city.

‘The gigafactory is part of Coventry and Warwickshire’s ambitious 10-year vision and investment plan, it is at the heart of an area that has been developed to create the right environment for the next generation of automotive investment.

‘We have the location, people and supply chain expertise developed in the automotive and battery sectors over many years to make us the perfect location for a gigafactory.

‘The next step is to secure an investor to ensure that the wider automotive and battery ecosystem in Coventry and the West Midlands continues to contribute towards increased economic growth, job creation and skills development.’

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, added: ‘This is another crucial step forward in bringing our plans for a West Midlands gigafactory to life.

‘Not only will a gigafactory support the future of our region’s automotive sector, creating thousands of new jobs, but it will also help protect our planet from the climate change emergency.

‘It truly would be a game-changer, and I am delighted both Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council have recognised this and backed our vision.

‘The West Midlands is already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain.

‘A gigafactory therefore is the natural next step for the UK’s automotive heartland, and, working in partnership with industry and the government, we will not rest until we have secured one.’

The outline plans will now be sent to Michael Gove, the secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities.

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It will be down to him to decide whether the gigafactory should be put to a public enquiry.

The government recently promised an extra £350m to help the automotive supply chain move to electric.

It has already invested in gigafactories, including at Nissan’s Sunderland plant.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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