Plans submitted for an electric battery 'gigafactory' in the Warwick district which could create up to 6,000 new jobs

According to the proposals the site would also be completely powered by 'green energy'

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 3:34 pm

A planning application has been submitted that would see an electric battery 'gigafactory' built in the Warwick district which could also create thousands of jobs.

The plans for the Gigafactory at Coventry Airport which is in Baginton, has been submitted by Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd.

The proposals, which were first announced in February this year, are set to be determined by Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council later in 2021.

A CGI image of the proposed gigafactory site. Image supplied

A Gigafactory is a facility that manufactures batteries for the automotive industry - specifically for electric vehicles.

The Joint Venture Partnership was formed earlier this year to bring forward proposals for a Gigafactory at Coventry Airport, to ensure the site is ready for investment and can become operational quickly.

Backers of the proposal say the 5.7m sq ft site would be for battery production and recycling and would create 6,000 new jobs and tens of thousands more in the supply chain.

According to the proposals, the Gigafactory will be powered by 100 per cent green energy, using a combination of sources including solar and wind power, as well as grid supplied renewables, and will be able to recycle used batteries as well as build new ones in an industry-leading approach known as ‘cradle to cradle’.

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “The submission of a planning application for a Gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands.

"We have worked with regional partners and industry experts at pace to deliver outline proposals for a world-leading facility, powered by green energy, and ready for investment.

“There is increasing pressure to ensure the UK is ready to take advantage of electrification and together the West Midlands is seizing the initiative to deliver for UK PLC as part of a Green Industrial Revolution.

"We are the ideal location for a Gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It is mission critical that the West Midlands secures a Gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, as well as the future of our planet.

"I am therefore delighted that after years of collaborative work, we have now been able to reach this milestone moment of formally submitting a planning application for our preferred site.

“By driving forward with our plans and going through the planning process now, we are trying to get everything in place for when a commercial negotiation between supplier and customer concludes, meaning we can move quickly to get the site operational as soon as possible.

“The West Midlands is already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain.

"A Gigafactory therefore is the natural next step for the UK’s automotive heartland, and I will not rest until we have secured one.”

Sarah Windrum, chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “This is a major step forward in attracting a West Midlands Gigafactory to Coventry to further cement our area’s world-wide reputation in the automotive and transport technology sector.

“There has been great partnership working between all the parties involved and this would have a fundamental role to play in promoting Coventry and Warwickshire’s profile as a centre of excellence in this increasingly important industry while providing a huge boost to UK industry.

“Providing the right conditions for enterprise and innovation to flourish is at the heart of the CWLEP’s Strategic Reset Framework and we believe this is the perfect location in the heart of the UK for a Gigafactory which would provide critical capacity for electrification in future mobility and that is crucial to delivering our national net zero ambitions.”