Local council joins forces with Coventry Airport to host EV battery ‘gigafactory’; kicks off search for funding

A joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport that will develop proposals for a battery ‘Gigafactory’ is set to be greenlighted at a council cabinet  meeting on 23 February.  The partners will develop proposals and submit an outline planning application for a Gigafactory at the airport in 2021, and kick off regional discussions with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers to secure the long-term investment needed. They will make a bid for funding from a £500M pot made available by the UK government and aim for the factory to be in operation by 2025.

The West Midlands is home to several automotive manufacturers and securing a Gigafactory in the region has been identified as vital for the continued success of the industry.  The West Midlands Combined Authority, which comprises the region’s seven urban councils, has formally endorsed Coventry Airport as the preferred site. It could accommodate up to 4.5M sq ft of commercial space, making use of the large areas of hard standing and existing development.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “I have been utterly obsessed with securing a Gigafactory for the West Midlands … as we are already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain.

“By announcing the site now and driving forward with a planning application and a joint venture, we are showing how united and serious the region is about making this happen.”

Cllr Andrew Day, Leader of Warwick District Council, said: “Coventry Airport is within the Warwick District Council area and as the Strategic Local Planning Authority, this Council will ensure that the planning application is considered rigorously, meticulously and diligently, as is every application submitted to us.

“We have already begun work with the Joint Venture partners to ensure that the application they ultimately submit recognises and mitigates the potential impacts of these proposals.”

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Further reading

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