Firms behind proposals say facility could boost West Midlands economy by £434 million and create up to highly skilled 6000 jobs.
A public/private joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd this week unveiled further plans to develop the UK’s largest battery Gigafactory as it explores investment opportunities with battery manufacturers from around the globe.
Located in the epicentre of the UK’s automotive industry, the Gigafactory will begin supplying high-tech batteries for electric vehicles from 2025. It will be the result of a £2.5bn investment, creating up to 6,000 new highly skilled jobs directly and thousands more in the wider supply chain in Coventry and the surrounding region.
This strategically crucial investment is an imperative for the UK’s electrified future, especially for the automotive industry which will stop producing petrol and diesel engines from 2030.
The new Gigafactory, which will command over half a million square metres of space – equivalent to 74 full-size football pitches, will be one of the largest single industry facilities of any kind in the UK and at full capacity will be capable of delivering up to 60GWh of production per year.
It will be powered by a planned major boost to the local energy network, giving the Gigafactory access to a 100% renewable electricity supply, from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables. The West Midlands Gigafactory will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an industry leading approach known as “cradle to cradle.”
Mike Murray, West Midlands Gigafactory Project Director said:
Cllr Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Regeneration and Climate Change said:
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor added:
Based at Coventry Airport, the Gigafactory will be adjacent to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, part of the UK’s Faraday Challenge. The Centre provides a critical link between research at laboratory or prototype stages and the successful mass production of new battery technologies
These links will be hugely important to the future development of the Gigafactory in the West Midlands.
Margot James, Executive Chair at WMG, University of Warwick commented:
West Midlands Gigafactory has support from a unique alliance of West Midlands industrial groups, local government and academic institutions. This alliance includes the West Midlands Combined Authority, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, Rugby Council, Warwick Manufacturing Group at University of Warwick, Coventry University and the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Coventry Airport was first opened in 1936 by Coventry City Council which continues to own the freehold of the site. It operated as RAF Baginton during the Second World War and commercial passenger flights were subsequently reinstated until 2009. Rigby Group plc acquired the long leasehold in 2010 and it remains in its ownership.
An outline planning proposal for the West Midlands Gigafactory was submitted in July and the application is yet to be determined.
Source: Coventry City Council / UK Gov