February 2021


Latest News-in-Brief from around Warwickshire...

UK companies report strongest employment intentions since onset of pandemic

UK employers are reporting their strongest employment intentions in a year, the latest CIPD/Adecco Labour Market Outlook shows. The survey’s net employment intentions figure, which measures the difference between the proportion of employers expecting to add jobs and those planning to cut positions, rose to +11 this quarter - its highest in a year. This compares to –1 in the previous quarter. https://www.cipd.co.uk/about/media/press/210221companies-report-strongest-employment-intentions#gref

Jaguar Land Rover makes major strategic announcement

An all electric Jaguar range and hydrogen propulsion technologies for Land Rover were among changes announced by JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré this month as he outlined the new ‘Reimagine’ Strategy. The company has committed to all of its core global R&D and manufacturing sites, including Gaydon, to where the senior team will relocate to going forwards, although 2,000 jobs will be shed worldwide. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56072019

Takeover creates Midlands games development tech Unicorn

Southam-based video games developer Codemasters has been taken over California studio Electronic Arts, valuing the business at £1.2bn. It follows a bidding war between rival US studios EA and Take-Two Interactive Software. The pandemic has seen strong growth among games developers, as more people turn to video games for entertainment during the global lockdown. https://www.businessinnovationmag.co.uk/ea-completes-1-2-billion-takeover-of-leamington-spas-codemasters/

Coventry ‘Gigafactory’ details revealed

Warwickshire County Council and its partners at West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), Coventry & Warwickshire LEP and Warwick District Council have endorsed a joint venture between the Coventry City Council and the Coventry Airport Ltd to bring forward a new Gigafactory on the site of the airport. The plans could create a facility of up to 4.5m sqft representing a £2bn investment and 4000 new jobs. The UK government has set aside £500m to invest in a gigafactory, which the Coventry project will be bidding for “in due course”. https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/technology-news/coventry-gigafactory-plans-revealed

20 years and 12 product lines milestone at BMW Hams Hall

Congratulations to BMW Hams Hall, Warwickshire and Coventry’s largest manufacturing facility. The company is celebrating 20 years at their Coleshill site, where they have produced five million engines and 12 different product lines. The company marked the occasion with its latest apprenticeship drive, announced during National Apprenticeship Week. https://www.press.bmwgroup.com/united-kingdom/article/detail/T0325634EN_GB/bmw-group-uk-engine-plant-marks-20-year-milestone

Israeli company sets up at Nuneaton tech park

REE Automotive UK (REE), a leader in e-Mobility, has announced the establishment of a new £66m state-of-the-art Engineering Centre of Excellence. The new Engineering Centre will expedite REE’s strategic plans to meet anticipated global demand for its breakthrough REEcorner and Electric Vehicle (EV) platform technology. REE will have access to world-class test facilities and a proving ground for physical testing and validation of the REEcorner and EV platform at the MIRA Technology Park, on the outskirts of Nuneaton, and has promised to create 200 new jobs. https://ree.auto/press-release/ree-automotive-opens-new-engineering-center-of-excellence/

Warwickshire green mobility business to create clean transport eco-system

Warwickshire firm Ox (Global Vehicle Solutions) has secured £1.2m of funding to develop technologies to electrify its light truck and create a sustainable clean transport eco-system, aimed at the developing world. OX will work on projects with local auto tech firms Penso Consulting and Potenza CNH. https://www.businessinnovationmag.co.uk/warwickshire-clean-transport-start-up-secures-1-2-million-funding/

Under-25s hit worst as unemployment rises again

The unemployment rate has risen to its highest level in almost five years, with younger workers bearing the brunt of the job losses, official figures show. The UK's jobless rate rose to 5.1% in the three months to December, with the number of people on company payrolls down 726,000 on pre-pandemic levels. Almost three-fifths of these were younger than 25 years. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-56165929

Electric urban airport lands in Coventry

Urban Air Port has partnered with Hyundai Motor Group, and Coventry City Council to launch the world’s first site – Air One – in Coventry to demonstrate the potential of urban air mobility for the UK and worldwide. The programme is funded by £125 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and is expected to be matched by up to £175 million from industry. https://www.businessinnovationmag.co.uk/world-first-electric-urban-air-port-in-coventry-secures-government-backing/

Royal Mail takes 840,000sqft for automated distribution facility near Rugby

Royal Mail has confirmed that it is building a second parcel hub Prologis’ DIRFT III scheme on the outskirts of Rugby. Once built, the planned 840,000 sq ft Midlands parcel hub will become Royal Mail’s largest parcel hub. The building will have the capacity to process over 1m parcels per day. It is scheduled to be fully operational in 2023. https://www.logisticsmanager.com/49608-2/

Warwickshire law firm celebrates 175 years with offer to fund local student

A chance for a disadvantaged young person to have their undergraduate law degree’s tuition fees fully funded is among various initiatives that have been unveiled to celebrate the anniversary of one of the Midlands’ leading law firms. Wright Hassall – which is based on Olympus Avenue in Leamington Spa - turns 175 years old this year, and to mark this major milestone, the law firm has launched a series of competitions and challenges centred on the number 175. https://www.wrighthassall.co.uk/knowledge-base/free-law-degree-tuition-on-offer-from-midlands-law-firm

New event to promote investment opportunities in the Midlands

Hot on the heels of the inaugural Midlands Forum for Growth last year, a new online conference and exhibition is to take place on 26 May known as Invest Midlands, which will focus on driving sustainable economic growth and delivering transformational place-making in the wake of the COVID pandemic. https://www.thebusinessdesk.com/westmidlands/news/2048958-major-new-event-to-set-the-agenda-for-what-comes-next-in-the-midlands-2-2

CWLEP announces new chair

An entrepreneur and digital transformation expert will take over as the new chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) in April to help lead the area’s recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic. Sarah Windrum is the founder and a director of the Leamington-based technology company The Emerald Group. She joined the CWLEP as a board director in 2016 and is the chair of its Digital and Creative Business Group. She will succeed Nick Abell as chair when his term of office comes to an end in April. https://www.cwlep.com/news/cwlep-announces-new-chair-0


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