Tributes paid to giant of Coventry and Warwickshire's post-industrial landscape - The Leamington Observer

Tributes paid to giant of Coventry and Warwickshire's post-industrial landscape

TRIBUTES have been paid to Professor Lord Bhattacharyya – a giant of Coventry and Warwickshire’s post-industrial landscape – after his death, aged 88.

The chairman of WMG at the University of Warwick, passed away on Friday March 1 after a short illness.

“His passing was peaceful and he was with his family, who are in our thoughts and prayers”, the university announced.

For decades he has been a leading figure regionally, nationally and internationally in developing academic research in advanced technology and links with industry.

He was instrumental in Indian giant Tata buying Jaguar Land Rover, and he has a street named after him in Coventry.

He was an influential figure in shaping local and national policy, as was courted by government ministers, local MPs and councillors alike,

Sir David Normington, chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor of University of Warwick said: “Long before I joined the University of Warwick Council, I knew of Professor Lord Bhattacharyya as an adviser to successive prime ministers and secretaries of state and a tireless advocate for UK manufacturing industry.

“Then, as Chair of Council I had the great good fortune to see close up his extraordinary commitment to University of Warwick, to Coventry and the West Midlands and to UK plc.

“He was a force of nature. He pushed at boundaries, he changed lives, he created jobs, and he set the standard for how universities should work with industry. Most of all, for so many of us, he was also a kind and generous friend. We shall miss him terribly but here at Warwick he will remain our inspiration for many years to come.

“We send our love and deep condolences to Bridie and his family.”

Warwick’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart Croft said: “Professor Lord Bhattacharyya served for four decades at Warwick founding and leading WMG. However his service goes far beyond this University.

“The achievements of WMG, particularly his own wisdom, passion, and advocacy of the importance of manufacturing, technology, research teaching, and training has helped guide regional, national and international leaders, business figures and policy makers.

“He has helped preserve and create jobs and transform companies, economies, and individual lives, above all in our region.

“We mourn the passing of a unique man but we also celebrate all that he has achieved.”

A statement from Jaguar Land Rover read: “Lord Bhattacharyya was a remarkable and inspirational man who played a significant role in U.K. manufacturing and engineering over the past 50 years.

“Through his extensive international contacts and his drive towards an exciting and compelling vision of the future, he was instrumental in brokering major partnerships in UK manufacturing including Tata’s investment in Jaguar Land Rover and the recent ground breaking creation and investment in the National Automotive Innovation Centre – fittingly located in the Lord Bhattacharyya Building at the University of Warwick.”

Coventry City Council leader George Duggins and his deputy Councillor Abdul Khan said: “Lord Bhattacharyya loved his adopted city of Coventry and had a great desire to see it as a world-leader in manufacturing and design.

“He brought his amazing skills and knowledge to our city, but he also brought an energy and a passion that inspired everyone who knew him.

“Without him, Coventry would not be the great centre of innovation and manufacturing that it is today. His vision and determination have put us right at the heart of the automotive industry of the future.

The council recently took the rare step of honouring Lord Bhattacharyya by naming a road after him. He was also a Freeman of the City and a holder of the Award of Merit.

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