Ongoing investment in new vehicle technology is great news for the region
The continuing flow of investment in new vehicle technology in Coventry and Warwickshire will keep the region right at the forefront of the sector. With investment in R&D and manufacturing for a range of future transport technologies continuing to grow, it is an excellent news story for the region. Steph Williams, an inward investment officer at Warwickshire County Council, reports .
Coventry & Warwickshire will be home to the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, designed to support the Government’s Industrial Strategy for the future of mobility in low carbon and smart and connected transport.
The research centre will enable companies to work together to manufacture the next generation of battery systems across electrode, cell, module and pack levels. New skills are vital for the transport industry, so the centre will also act as a national training and skills hub for battery manufacturing.
The £80m project is among the first of six investment areas announced by the Government to be funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). The project will be led by Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Warwick Manufacturing Group, at the University of Warwick. The facility is scheduled to open by 2020.
Meanwhile, German engineering company FEV Group recently announced a new £30m investment with Coventry University. The new research and testing labs will support improvements into different powertrain concepts.
Centres opening this year
The National Automotive Centre, a £150m collaborative investment between Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors European Technical Centre, the University of Warwick and the Higher Education Council England, will open its doors this summer.
The space will provide co-location for engineers, designers and academics to work together to focus on long-term automotive research in the areas of testing smart and connected vehicle technology and the next generation of propulsion technology.
The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI), a multi-million pound technology institute being built at HORIBA MIRA in Nuneaton, will open in September. The institute is a partnership between North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Coventry University, Loughborough University, and the University of Leicester.
The MTI will help create specialist skills in areas such as electrification and connected and autonomous cars.
Prime development sites for engineering and manufacturing companies have been allocated to support business expansions and new investment.
Prospero Industrial Park, a former site of Rolls Royce, will form the second phase of Ansty Business Park, home to AVL, Fanuc, London Electric Vehicle Company and The Manufacturing Technology Centre.
The 185-acre site will be redeveloped by Manse Opus to provide advanced engineering and manufacturing companies with bespoke design & build opportunities to accommodate 2,300,000 square feet of B1 and B2 uses. Rolls-Royce will continue to retain a key manufacturing facility on the site, producing fan-cases for its large civil aero engines.
Aerospace & defence engineering group MeggittPLC are the first to announce a £130m super hub to consolidate its UK operations to Prospero.
The Southern Manufacturing Sector is a 90-acre development site at HORIBA MIRA offering the automotive industry 1.5 million square feet of B1 and B2 bespoke uses, linking it directly to MIRA’s engineering test facilities. The site provides an extension to the world-renowned Technology Park which is home to leading brands Aston Martin Lagonda, BMW, Caterpillar, Changan, Jaguar Land Rover and Triumph.
Connected & Autonomous Vehicles
Alongside low carbon vehicle development, our automotive and tech cluster are highly active in testing connected and autonomous vehicle research with programmes such as UK Autodrive and UK CITE.
Local companies involved in CAV studies include Jaguar Land Rover, TATA European Technical Centre, RDM Group, Coventry City Council, LG Electronics, HORIBA MIRA and University of Warwick.
Recent company investments
Coventry & Warwickshire continues to attract new investment from businesses seeking to access our engineering professionals and extensive R&D facilities.
Companies include UK start-up Danecca who provide expertise in new battery development, who recently located to Venture House Business Centre (Stratford-on-Avon), Bharat Forge and Satyam Venture Engineering Services.