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Coventry gigafactory planned to open in 2025

Coventry gigafactory: From left to right: Andrew Day (Leader, Warwick DC), Cllr George Duggins (Leader, Coventry CC), Margot James (Executive Chair, WMG), Andy Street (Mayor of the West Midlands), Nick Abell (Chair, CWLEP)

Plans for a Gigafactory at Coventry Airport will be submitted this year to increase the area’s attractiveness for investment.

Coventry City Council is to enter a joint venture partnership with Coventry Airport Ltd to develop the proposal to manufacturer electric vehicle batteries.

An outline planning application will be submitted later this year and will be developed alongside regional discussions with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers to secure the long-term investment needed.

The Gigafactory could be open in 2025.

George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Coventry has emerged as a world leader in battery technology.

“The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, world-leading research institutions, and the UK’s largest car maker (Jaguar Land Rover) and it’s clear to me that Coventry is the right location.

“Coventry Airport sits at the heart of this 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.”

The West Midlands is home to several automotive manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda, BMW, LEVC and others.

Securing a Gigafactory in the West Midlands has been identified as vital for the continued success of the automotive industry, creating thousands of green jobs, attracting up to £2bn of investment, and supporting the drive for Net Zero.

The UK Government is actively pursuing investment in a Gigafactory and has made up to £500m funding available, which the West Midlands will be bidding for in due course.

The joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd is set to be approved by Coventry City Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on February 23.

A planning application will be submitted in 2021 and, subject to successful discussions with car makers and battery suppliers, a Gigafactory at Coventry Airport could be operational by 2025.

This is one of a number of gigactories planned for the UK.

For example, Britishvolt's new UK battery gigaplant will start production of electric vehicle (EV) batteries from 2023 and will scale to 300,000 units a year.

Global construction specialist ISG has been appointed to lead the build of the £2.6 billion project located at Blyth, Northermberland.

Construction will start in the second half of 2021 and once the plant is up and running it will produce lithium-ion batteries for the automotive and renewable energy industries at the end of 2023. 

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