Calls continue for Gigafactory to be built in Coventry

Business leaders and politicians have called on the Government to build a Gigafactory in Coventry and create thousands of jobs.

Two leading business organisations in Coventry have put their backing behind calls on the Government to build a Gigafactory in the region to create thousands of new jobs.

A recent video call among businesses in the area heard from executives at the local Chamber and Commerce and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), all recognising how difficult the past six months have been.

Both organisations said, however, that there are reasons to be optimistic in Coventry in the medium to long term, citing the construction of a Gigafactory in the region as having the potential to be a game-changer.

Gigafactories produce lithium-ion batteries – increasingly used to supply portable energy to smartphones, electric vehicles, medical equipment and more – on a large scale, designed to achieve economies of scale and thus minimise costs.

Nick Abell, chair of CWLEP, explained: “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.”

The fresh calls follow support from Margot James, the former MP and Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, for the Government to back Midlands manufacturing by with a Gigafactory in Coventry.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, is also pushing for the Government to build a Gigafatory in the region.

Taiwo Owatemi, MP for Coventry North West, in her maiden speech to Parliament in March called Coventry “the obvious location for the environmentally sustainable Gigafactory”, considering Coventry’s “history of technological and industrial innovation”.

Louise Bennet, from the Chamber of Commerce, added: “It’s clear what a massive positive effect [it] 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.”