A roound up of latest local news-in-brief....
US games giant makes £1bn bid for Codemasters
EA has sensationally submitted a last-minute £945m bid that would top the offer agreed in November with Take-Two Interactive Software, which makes the Red Dead game franchise. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2047036-us-games-giant-gatecrashes-codemasters-deal-with-945m-bid.
Battery-maker plans HQ and R&D centre at MIRA Technology Park
Britishvolt has announced the intention to site its new global headquarters in the West Midlands. The new facility, in the heartland of the UK automotive industry, will spearhead the development of battery technologies for future electrified vehicles. This closely follows the UK Government’s announcement to ban all petrol and diesel vehicle production by 2030. The new 5000 square metre facility, set to be fully operational by 2022, will be located at the MIRA Technology Park Campus near Nuneaton. https://www.ukspa.org.uk/member-news/britishvolt-plan-new-global-hq-at-mira-technology-park/
The Midlands ‘poised to become a world leader’ in engineering innovation
The Midlands is poised to become a world leader in engineering innovation, but only if it solves the longstanding productivity gap issue, according to a new report. Investment in digital manufacturing can turn the UK, and the Midlands in particular, into a science and engineering superpower, according to 'Manufacturing Confidence – a report by the Midlands Manufacturing Resilience Commission (M2R)'. Digital industrialisation could be worth as much as £455 billion to the UK’s economy over the next decade. In addition the UK manufacturing sector could grow by up to three per cent a year and create 175,000 jobs if the country’s industry embraces emerging technologies. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2047123-the-midlands-%e2%80%98poised-to-become-a-world-leader%e2%80%99-in-engineering-innovation
Projects making up bid for £25m of Government funding for Nuneaton agreed
The projects that will form the basis of a bid for £25m of Government funding for Nuneaton have been agreed. Twelve projects will be included within the My Town Nuneaton submission (Town Investment Plan). Nuneaton is one of 100 towns across the country that has been selected to bid for funding from the Government’s Towns Fund Initiative, where up to £25m per town is available. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2046907-projects-making-up-bid-for-25m-of-government-funding-for-nuneaton-agreed
Coombe Abbey to remain closed
Coombe Abbey Hotel in Warwickshire has announced that it will remain closed for the rest of the year. The venue shut its doors once again in November when the second national lockdown came into force and then stayed closed when Warwickshire was placed into Tier 3. The hotel said that “with all the uncertainty about the Government’s tier system and the number of Covid cases still being high across the county” its management has made the decision to stay closed. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2047141-historic-hotel-to-remain-closed-until-2021
Canadian coffee chain brews up expansion with latest venue launch
A global coffee chain is opening a cafe in Leamington town centre for the first time. Esquires Coffee has signed a ten-year lease at a ground floor 2,200 sq ft unit at 52-54 Warwick Street, which used to be home to the former Co-op store. The coffee chain is expected to open its doors by the end of the year – creating nine jobs – and comes soon after news that Dodo Pizza will be opening its doors in the neighbouring unit over the coming weeks. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2046595-canadian-coffee-chain-brews-up-expansion-with-latest-venue-launch
Stratford business pilots ‘click-and-collect’ food app at town’s market
Queueing for street food at outdoor events could be a thing of the past as a Stratford-upon-Avon business is trialling a new click-and-collect service at the town’s late-night festive shopping markets. Feast Streat – a Stratford event catering business – is encouraging customers to download its smartphone app from QR codes dotted around the market, which will be at Waterside on Thursday and Sunday evenings. Visitors can then use the app to order their food from Feast Streat’s many food stalls at the market in advance. https://www.cwlep.com/news/stratford-business-pilots-%E2%80%98click-and-collect%E2%80%99-food-app-town%E2%80%99s-market
Major improvement works to start at A46 Stoneleigh Junction as WCC announces award of construction contract
Warwickshire County Council and key strategic partners are pleased to announce the start of major improvement works to the A46 Stoneleigh Junction following a contract award to Colas-Siac Limited. The £38m scheme will be funded by Warwickshire County Council, The Department for Transport and the West Midlands Combined Authority with developer contributions from the University of Warwick and Whitley South Works through the Coventry & Warwickshire Development Partnership. The works between Kenilworth and Coventry will include a new bridge across the A46 and realigned slip roads forming the basis of a new signalised gyratory system. https://www.cwlep.com/news/major-improvement-works-start-a46-stoneleigh-junction-wcc-announces-award-construction-contract
Construction of housing scheme on historic former radio station site starts
The ongoing transformation of the former Rugby Radio Station site continues to progress with the delivery of 158 affordable homes now underway. The development, named Midland Heart at Houlton, forms part of the urban extension being brought forward by Urban&Civic in partnership with Aviva Investors. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2046886-construction-of-housing-scheme-on-historic-former-radio-station-site-starts
New president for Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber
A new president of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has been appointed.Tom Mongan, general manager of manufacturing company Subcon Laser in Nuneaton, has taken over from David Penn of Bromwich Hardy, who held the post for two years. Mongan said: "It really is an honour for me to take up this role. David has done an incredible job in difficult circumstances and I have big shoes to fill – and that includes those who have filled the role going back in time. https://www.insidermedia.com/news/midlands/new-president-for-chamber-of-commerce
The first official Coventry 2021 merchandise has gone on sale – just in time for Christmas.
Coventry City of Culture Trust has opened a ‘pop up’ shop at Coventry Transport Museum which will open every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm in the run up to Christmas. The merchandise includes everything from t-shirts and aprons through to mugs and coasters, which carry the Coventry 2021 branding that was first revealed earlier this year. There are also postcards available as well as a range of limited-edition Christmas cards. https://www.cwlep.com/news/first-coventry-2021-retail-items-go-sale-pop-shop