Coventry City Council is to enter a joint venture partnership with Coventry Airport to develop proposals for a gigafactory on the site.

The joint venture partners will develop proposals and submit an outline planning application for a gigafactory in 2021.

This will take place alongside regional discussions with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers to ensure long-term investment needed.

Securing a gigafactory in the West Midlands has been identified as vital for the continued success of the automotive industry, creating thousands of green jobs, attracting up to GBP2bn (US$2.8bn) of investment and supporting the drive for net zero.

The UK government is actively pursuing investment in a gigafactory and has made up to GBP500m funding available, for which the West Midlands will be bidding in due course.

The West Midlands Combined Authority, which is led by the West Midlands Mayor and comprises the region's seven urban councils, has formally endorsed Coventry Airport as the preferred site for a gigafactory. The airport site could accommodate up to 4.5m sq ft of commercial space, making use of large areas of hard standing and existing development.

"Coventry has emerged as a world leader in battery technology," said Coventry City Council leader, George Duggins.

"The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, world-leading research institutions and the UK's largest car maker Jaguar Land Rover and it's clear to me Coventry is the right location.

"Coventry Airport sits at the heart of this powerful automotive research cluster and is the obvious location for a UK gigafactory. It will immediately plug in to a mature automotive supply chain and skills eco-system. The green industrial revolution is coming and I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure Coventry is right at the heart of it. We have the site, the skills and the pedigree to make this work.

"Our joint venture partnership is unique in the UK and creates a strong platform to attract investment and deliver more than 4,000 new jobs, support our automotive sector, and secure our competitive advantage."

For his part, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership chairman, Nick Abell, added: "Coventry and Warwickshire [have] worked incredibly hard over recent years to ensure the region is an attractive destination for investment, particularly in automotive and battery manufacturing, allying our engineering heritage and capability with our cutting-edge research.

"Since securing the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre in 2017, our capability in battery technology has gone from strength to strength. The joint venture between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport will continue to establish our region as the obvious location for a UK gigafactory."

The joint venture between Coventry City Council and the airport is due to be approved by Coventry City Council's Cabinet at a meeting today (23rd February).

A planning application will be submitted in 2021 and, subject to successful discussions with car makers and battery suppliers, a gigafactory at Coventry Airport could be operational by 2025.

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