Plans for region's new gigafactory backed by council chiefs

Plans for a sprawling gigafactory that will create thousands of jobs in the West Midlands have been backed by council chiefs.

A new CGI of the proposed West Midlands gigafactory
A new CGI of the proposed West Midlands gigafactory

The giant battery manufacturing plant proposed for Coventry Airport has been given the green light by local authority planners in Warwickshire and Coventry.

The proposals would see the airport close and and a new 5.7 million sq ft plant built where batteries for electric vehicles would be manufactured.

It is considered by many in the industry – including Jaguar Land Rover – to be vital for the future of the region's automotive sector, and would create 6,000 jobs.

However, bosses are yet to identify an investor for the gigafactory, which has been opposed by campaigners concerned about the impact on the green belt, congestion and the economic harm caused by the airport's closure.

A new CGI of the proposed West Midlands gigafactory

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said "another crucial step forward" had been taken in bringing plans for a gigafactory to life.

"Not only will a gigafactory support the future of our region’s automotive sector, creating thousands of new jobs, but it will also help protect our planet from the climate change emergency," he said.

"It truly would be a game-changer, and I am delighted both Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council have recognised this and backed our vision.

"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, working in partnership with industry and the Government, we will not rest until we have secured one."

Mr Street has been lobbying for a major battery plant in the West Midlands for years. He is confident that ministers will back the scheme once private sector funding has been secured.

The Government wants a number of gigafactories across the country as part of the move towards net zero.

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