December 2019


All the latest News-in-Brief...

Aston Martin Lagonda launches crucial new model

The new Aston Martin Lagonda DBX SUV has been launched to critical acclaim. The vehicle, designed and engineered in Warwickshire, will be manufactured from this month in St Athan, South Wales, and will its hoped significantly increase Aston Martin volumes above 10,000 units per annum.

Silicon Valley comes to Nuneaton

Plug and Play, the early stage investor, accelerator and corporate innovation platform with global headquarters Silicon Valley, has launched its first UK centre in partnership with MIRA Technology Park. The partnership will foster a mobility tech centre in the heart of the UK automotive industry.

The partnership was launched on November 20th, with the ‘Accelerate Mobility’ event attracting start-ups from around the world keen to attract funding through the platform.

Coventry & Warwickshire Automotive Dinner celebrates its 10th year in Nuneaton

The 10th Annual Coventry & Warwickshire Automotive Dinner took place this year at MIRA Technology Institute, attracting over 70 guests from 45 auto businesses and support organisations both local and national.

Keynote speaker was Jeff Pratt, managing director of UKBIC, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre opening next year in Coventry. Other speakers included Derek Benfield from battery maker Envision-AESC and Tony Harper from the Faraday Challenge. Marion Plant OBE of North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College gave a welcome on behalf of CWLEP and Adam McGiveron spoke on behalf of headline sponsors Shakespeare Martineau.

Cubbington-based Thwaites Dumpers makes key promotions

Thwaites Dumpers, the construction equipment-maker, has announced a series of changes to its senior team, making a number of internal promotions. Deputy chairman Ian Brown said: "These changes will further develop the business as we maintain our investment in the factory and product development with the focus on enhancing our customer base in UK and export markets."

New Games Development Studio opens in Leamington Spa

Electric Square is the latest games developer to open a Leamington Spa studio, creating 50 jobs. The Brighton-based company behind Forza Street and Hot Wheels id has hired Nick Harper (previously of Exient) to lead the new office. This new inward investment follows on from a number of other new names and expansions from the sector in the town over the last 18 months.

Digital experiments takes Shakespeare to a New Place

A pilot Extended Reality (XR) project will give visitors their first chance to see virtually inside Shakespeare’s New Place - 260 years after his grand family home in Stratford-upon-Avon was demolished.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is working with artificial intelligence and immersive technology specialists AiSolve and Coventry University’s Centre for Postdigital Cultures on the first of a series of digital experiments exploring the application of emerging technologies at the charity’s Shakespeare heritage sites in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Businesses across mid-Warwickshire have a new voice to represent their views

Sarah Windrum is the new chair of the mid-Warwickshire branch of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, replacing David Myskow in leading the branch which represents firms in Leamington, Warwick, Kenilworth and the surrounding area.

Sarah is the co-founder of regional technology company The Emerald Group and also a board director of the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), leading on economic growth of the digital creative sector.

Jon gets juggling

Jon Wilby, Head of Litigation at Coventry-based solicitors Band Hatton Button, will be juggling his day job alongside being the face of Coventry & Warwickshre First until October 2020.

C&W First is a forum exclusively run by and for professional and financial services firms in Coventry and Warwickshire. It has more than 40 members which range from entrepreneurial start-ups to family firms and global organisations. Jon's new role will see him representing the forum at events and developing a strategy to build the forum’s membership and profile.

Rugby construction company builds turnover and profit

Rugby construction company Stepnell has reported strong results for 2018/19.The 151-year-old family-owned firm, which operates across central and southern England, has attributed its robust performance to a range of successful projects during the year and a clear strategy of competing in diverse markets including healthcare, retirement and education and extending to commercial business, retail and leisure premises, and also civil engineering works.

National £35m fund launched to support rural businesses

Rural businesses across Coventry and Warwickshire have the opportunity to apply for a share of £35 million of nationwide funding. The RDPE Growth Programme provides grants for rural start-ups and businesses to purchase equipment and machinery to create jobs, boost tourism and unlock growth in rural areas.

The scheme has already given £99 million to 546 local businesses across England, creating 3,771 new jobs in rural areas. Rural business in Warwickshire have so far been allocated £2.6 million from the two previous rounds of the scheme.

Wellesbourne Innovation Campus new appointment

Martin Yardley will take on a new role in the new year after he leaves Coventry City Council, spearheading the development of the University of Warwick’s Wellesbourne Campus, one of the region’s most important research and development focused investment sites.

The 472-acre (191 hectares) campus, between the villages of Wellesbourne and Charlecote, became part of the university in 2004. It already houses a range of research organisations and businesses including the Warwick Crop Centre, which is internationally recognised for its research into sustainable agriculture, horticulture and food security.

Leamington Business Awards raises £4,500 for local charities

The 2019 Leamington Business Awards, organised for the first time by Leamington Business Forum, shone a spotlight on some of the district’s entrepreneurial success stories. Established in 2014, the Awards champion and celebrate the work of local businesses, individuals and organisations while also raising vital funds for local charities.

Among the winners were commercial property company AC Lloyd scooped Business of the Year as well as Property Business of the Year; the People’s Choice Award winner, sponsored by The Leamington Courier, was revealed as Temperance, a vintage shop, art gallery, cafe, live music venue, art cinema and performance space, and the Leamington Legend Award went to local couple Marianne and Archie Pitts.


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