TWO leading business organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire have joined calls for the government to build a ‘Gigafactory’ in the region which could create thousands of jobs.
During a conference video call with businesses in the region, Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Louise Bennett, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) deputy chief executive Paula Deas, and CWLEP chair Nick Abell cited the building of a ‘Gigafactory’ in the region as having the potential to be a game-changer in helping the local economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis.
The Conservatives pledged to build a Gigafactory – which would make batteries for electric vehicles – in their last election manifesto.
Nick said: “The government is going to back a Gigafactory and, wherever it goes, it is going to create thousands of jobs, potentially tens of thousands.
“There is no doubt, we want it here. When you see the arrival of Lotus to the region recently, the development of the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC) and the other incredible companies we already have on the patch, this is the place to be when it comes to the future of automotive.
“If we could bring a Gigafactory here, it would be huge for the area. Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, is pushing for one to come to this region and, who knows, the government might back more than one.
“It’s important, not just on this topic, that we all stick together and that Coventry and Warwickshire continues to work as one – which organisations such as the LEP and the Chamber do extremely well.”
Louise added: “Margot James, a former MP and now of WMG, was on a #PolicyHour call a few weeks ago and called for a Gigafactory to come to this region and it’s clear what a massive positive affect that could have for the economy.
“We can’t say anything other than this has been a really tough time for all of our businesses but we can be optimistic about the future if we can, with government support, get as many companies as possible through this incredibly difficult period.
“And it’s vital that as business bodies in the region, we all work together to support that.”