Warwickshire is among a shortlist of locations in the UK chosen as trailblazers for the Government’s new flagship ’IZs’, or Investment Zones.
Coventry & Warwickshire is home to the West Midlands Gigafactory site, a key site for the West Midlands, as the UK transforms the automotive supply chain for a net-zero carbon battery electric and fuel cell future. The 530,000sqm site, capable of hosting a 60gw/h cell manufacturing plant, is located on the Coventry border in Warwick District.
It is one of a number of sites within Warwickshire that are the focus of significant interest and investment from UK and global automotive future mobility supply chain. The IZ sites will feature a range of tools to incentivize and accelerate investment and job growth.
The Warwickshire and Coventry area has seen a strong eco-system of innovation assets develop in recent years, driven forward in part by two strong research led universities, with the University of Warwick, and its industry-facing WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), and Coventry University, as well as by local industry partners.
The Warwickshire area has been a hotspot in recent years for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for vehicle technology design, testing and development, and the local IZs will help unlock further growth and support skills development to bring more of the local population into better paid, higher skilled employment, and support the upskilling of the existing workforce, and help drive growth in the West Midlands.
The automotive and future mobility supply chain locally already supports 50,000 jobs directly in R&D (research and development) and manufacturing, and many more across the West Midlands.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “It is wonderful news for Warwickshire and for Coventry that the site of the Gigafactory is to be an Investment Zone. The very principles that support these zones are already deep-rooted in the region with our strong talent pipeline, the collaboration between private and public sector and the innovation throughout our enterprises that has driven so much growth in the region in recent years.
“That additional sites in Warwickshire will potentially form further Investment Zones is excellent news for the area, and testament to our long-held commitment to encouraging and promoting collaboration and innovation between all partners. We hope that Warwickshire’s economy, our local supply chains, and those seeking gainful employment in the area, will reap the benefits of that commitment when, as we hope, these zones materialise.”
Cllr Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council said: “Establishing an Investment Zone is a breakthrough offer from government, which creates a favourable climate to secure the £3.4b in finance needed to deliver the West Midlands Gigafactory. This vital new facility will anchor our important automotive and future mobility supply chain, that already supports 50,000 research, development and manufacturing jobs locally, as well and many and many more across the West Midlands. This is just the sort of bold initiative we need to foster the right environment for stepchange investment, enabling our net zero economy to flourish.”