THE WEST Midlands Gigafactory, located in Warwick district, is set to be one of the UK’s first Investment Zones (IZ).
The new battery cell manufacturing facility – which is set to create some 6,000 jobs and which could be operational by 2025 – is seen as vital as the UK transforms the automotive supply chain for a net-zero carbon, battery electric and fuel cell future.
The newly created IZ sites, announced by new chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng, will feature a range of tools to incentivise and accelerate investment and job growth.
The 530,000sqm Gigafactory site – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches – will be capable of hosting a 60gw/h cell manufacturing plant, is located on the Coventry airport, adjacent to the wider Gateway South employment area established as part of the 2017 Warwick District Local Plan.
It is one of a number of sites within Warwickshire that are attracting interest from significant UK and global automotive supply chain investors.
Coventry and Warwickshire has seen innovation assets develop in recent years, driven forward in part by two strong research led universities, with the University of Warwick, and its industry-geared WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group), and Coventry University, as well as by local industry partners.
The area is also a hotspot for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) for vehicle technology design, testing and development, and the local IZs is expected to help unlock further growth to support skills development bringing more of the local population into better paid, higher skilled employment, as well as upskilling the existing workforce, driving growth across the West Midlands.
Warwick District Council leader Andrew Day said: “Establishing an Investment Zone is a breakthrough offer from government, which creates a favourable climate to secure the £3.4billion in investment 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 step-change investment, enabling our net zero economy to flourish.”
Warwickshire County Council leader Izzi Seccombe added: “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.