The new economic vision for Coventry and Warwickshire was presented for the first time when Government minister Margot James returned to the area.
The Business Minister, who was born in Coventry, was in her home city to announce £45 million of funding to support the Midlands’ automotive sector and was given a briefing on the area’s growing economy.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) has been developed by the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to stimulate growth, create jobs and provide a pipeline of projects across the region.
The SEP, which was first published in 2014, has been updated to reflect the progress that has been made in the local economy over the last two years.
The funding announcement spelled out plans for an expanded automotive business zone in Whitley is set to become home to nearly 3,000 highly-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs, following £35 million in government investment.
The site is being developed with support from Coventry and Warwickshire LEP (CWLEP), Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council, who have secured further local contributions of £10 million to secure the project.
The CWLEP’s refreshed SEP is focussed around five strategic pillars to allow Coventry and Warwickshire to achieve its potential. These pillars are unlocking our growth potential; advanced manufacturing and engineering; growing our SMEs; growing our talent, and culture and tourism.
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “We were delighted to present our updated Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) during what was a hugely important day for Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Securing £45 million of funding will enable Coventry and Warwickshire to build on the success that has been achieved by our advanced manufacturing sector. It will help create highly-skilled automotive and advanced manufacturing jobs in our area and fund improvements to key transport links.
“The updated SEP builds on the progress which has been made over the last two years, with support by central government, our local authorities and the private sector, and the funding announced by Ms James is a key milestone in helping drive forward our economy.”
The SEP was presented to Ms James during a visit to Expert Tooling and Automation, based on Wickmans Drive, Coventry.
PICTURE CAPTION: left to right – Jonathan Browning (CWLEP), Mike Crone (Jaguar Land Rover), Business Minister Margot James and Phil Kelly (Expert Tooling and Automation) during the visit to Expert Tooling and Automation