Coventry city council and Coventry Airport have announced their intentions to create a new battery factory in the area. Alongside the Britishvolt plant, this could be England’s second battery production facility. This is part of a private-public partnership that means planning permission could be applied for by the end of 2021.
The West Midlands is home to a number of car manufacturers, including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin Lagonda, BMW, and LEVC. With so many manufacturers making the switch to electric, a local battery factory would be welcomed. In fact, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bolloré once said: “If there might be one day a battery plant or several plants, why not in the UK? We would be very, very glad. It would make a lot of sense in terms of supply chain to be close by any battery plant.”
Coventry would make a great place for a battery factory as it’s close to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre. There’s also an already-formed automotive supply chain in the area. George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council said: “Our joint venture partnership is unique in the UK and creates a strong platform to attract investment and create more than 4,000 new jobs, support our automotive sector, and secure our competitive advantage.”
This shows that the UK government has recognised the opportunity for battery factories and the opportunity to secure jobs in the UK automotive industry. The private-public partnership would need to raise £2 billion for this gigafactory, and is working with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers to secure the investment.
Andrew Bell, CEO of Regional City Airports who own and manage Coventry Airport, said: “Coventry City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority have together identified Coventry Airport as the preferred site for a Gigafactory. Coventry Airport Ltd has been working to deliver the best possible outcome for the region and is ready to back the West Midlands through a Joint Venture with Coventry City Council.
“We recognise what a significant opportunity this is and are backing the project with investment alongside our public sector partners. This is a ground-breaking initiative, and we are excited to be a part of it.”