Coventry and Warwickshire business leaders charge up calls for regional Gigafactory

Thursday 15th of October 2020 07:49 AM

Nick Abell, chair of the CWLEP

Two leading business organisations in Coventry and Warwickshire have put extra charge in the call to Government to build a factory in the region that could create thousands of jobs.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce held its latest #PolicyHour video call with businesses in the region and invited representatives from the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to discuss its reset strategy for the economy.

The event heard from Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce as well as Paula Deas, deputy chief executive of the CWLEP, and Nick Abell, the chair of the CWLEP.

All three recognised how difficult the past six months have been for companies of all sizes and sectors in the region and that there will still be incredibly tough months ahead as firms face up to the continuing Covid-19 crisis.

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

Nick said: “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.

“If we could bring a Gigafactory here, it would be huge for the area. Andy Street, the mayor of the West Midlands, is pushing for one to come to this region and, who knows, the Government might back more than one.

“It’s important, not just on this topic, that we all stick together and that Coventry and Warwickshire continues to work as one which organisations such as the LEP and the Chamber do extremely well.”

Louise added: “Margot James, a former MP and now of WMG, was on a #PolicyHour call a few weeks ago and called for a Gigafactory to come to this region and it’s clear what a massive positive affect that 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.

“And it’s vital that as business bodies in the region, we all work together to support that.”

Caption: Nick Abell, chair of the CWLEP