March 2024


Latest news-in-brief from the county and region...

£30m to be invested in Coventry & Warwickshire hotels 

More than £30 million is set to be invested in hotels across Coventry & Warwickshire this year. Conference Coventry and Warwickshire, which works with the hotel industry across the region, says that the investment is a vote of confidence in the visitor economy. A new 145-room Hampton by Hilton Hotel is due to open in Nuneaton this summer and is the cornerstone of Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council’s Grayson Place development, as part of its Transforming Nuneaton project. Other hotels recently open and in development locally include the Hotel Indigo in Coventry and the The Barn At Berryfields in Meriden. 

Automotive manufacturer expands in Leamington 

A leading automotive manufacturing supplier in Warwickshire has doubled its operational footprint and created new jobs, following a significant uptick in demand for its products. The business has invested in a much larger facility next to its original site, doubling its workspace to 10,000sqft. The move has allowed Protec to establish a dedicated assembly line at the new site and introduce a new range of services, such as leather wrapping, whilst also helping to bolster its existing capabilities in electric vehicle manufacturing. 

Steel Manufacturer launches in new base in Exhall 

A manufacturing company specialising in steel products has launched in Exhall, near Coventry. Steel Gates Grill Fabrications has moved into a new home at Colliery Lane, having signed a five-year lease for the 15,700sqft site. 

Chinese EV battery maker linked to Giga Park Site 

A Chinese manufacturer of electric vehicle batteries is in talks to invest more than £1bn to build a giant new factory on the outskirts of Coventry in Warwick District. EVE Energy, is understood to be in talks to construct a 5.7m sq ft gigafactory, which will form one of the main parts of the planned UK Centre for Electrification, an investment zone in the West Midlands. The Chinese company is thought to be considering committing an initial £1.2bn to the project and subsequent phases of the works are expected to expand the site, which would make it almost twice the size of Nissan’s electric battery factory in Sunderland. 

Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark named new Aston Martin CEO 

Adrian Hallmark – whose departure from Bentley was announced earlier this morning – will become Aston Martin’s third CEO in four years, following Tobias Moers and current boss Amedeo Felisa, who will step down as he approaches his 78th birthday. Hallmark has left Bentley with immediate effect, and will start his new role in Gaydon "no later than 1 October 2024", said Aston in a statement. 

Spa Park welcomes international automotive supplier 

International automotive engineering and product supply company, Opus International Products, has signed a 10-year lease on a 39,875 sq ft unit at Spa Park, the multi million pound business park scheme in Leamington Spa developed by Stoford for Blackrock on the former AP Components site. Opus International Products is a leading supplier of high quality automotive interior, exterior and body sealing products to the premium automotive sector. It joins other manufacturing and engineering occupiers at Spa Park including 920E Liberty Vehicle Technologies, Berry Global, Bladon Micro Turbines and Martin Sprocket & Gear. 

Facility for EV manufacturing project advances 

A scheme proposing the creation of an industrial facility in North Warwickshire to support an electric car manufacturing project for Jaguar Land Rover has moved forward. Manufacturer WHS Plastics Ltd brought forward a cross-boundary application for land at Water Orton Lane. Lined up is an industrial unit of approximately 65,000 sq ft and would provide 64 to 80 million plastics parts for JLR. 

Autins Group names next chief executive 

Autins Group, the Rugby-headquartered supplier to the automotive industry, has named its next chief executive and reported a "stronger" performance for its latest financial year. Andy Bloomer brings extensive experience of the European automotive manufacturing industry, particularly with electric vehicles and specialist fibre applications, having most recently held the role of sales and marketing director EMEA - thermal ceramics at Morgan Advanced Materials plc. 

Future of flight discussed at Warwick’s first Electric Aviation Symposium 

The inaugural Electric Aviation Symposium was held in Warwick recently, bringing together regulators, end users and infrastructure providers from across the aviation ecosystem. Together they talked through the possibilities and challenges associated with electric aviation as the UK looks to become a world leader in the field. The event was organised by the team at Warwick-based Flux Aviation, who are in the late stages of developing FLUX-75 – a complete electric powertrain package intended to replace combustion engines in a range of popular training aircraft. 

Hunt begins for new Med-tech CEO to drive growth 

ValiRx plc, the Nuneaton-based life sciences company focusing on early-stage cancer therapeutics and women's health is on the hunt for a new CEO to lead the next stage of company growth. The current CEO, Dr Suzy Dilly, will remain in past until a new incumbent is found, which could take some months, the company said. 

New Office Location The Point Signs Telent for 25,000sqft Grade A Offices 

Leading technology company Telent, has secured 25,000 sq ft at Warwick Business Park, after a major refurbishment by owner Palm Capital. 

First phase completes at SEGRO Park Coventry 

The first three warehouses have been completed at SEGRO Park Coventry, providing 660,000 sq ft of space at the 215-acre logistics hub. The buildings include a 300,000 sq ft regional distribution hub for DHL eCommerce UK and two speculative units, comprising 140,000 sq ft and 220,000 sq ft respectively. They have been built to modern sustainability standards, achieving a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating and the highest EPC A+ standard. DP World Logistics signed a pre-let in 2023 for a fourth building at the development, which will involve the company occupying 598,050 sq ft of space. In total these pre-lets and speculative buildings account for 40 per cent of the consented development space at the site on the edge of Coventry Airport in Warwick District. 

Alstom reveals plans for new passenger rail service 

Alstom, a global leader in smart and sustainable mobility, plans to operate a new passenger rail service across England and Wales. Working in partnership with consultancy SLC Rail, the open access operation will be known as Wrexham, Shropshire and Midlands Railway (WSMR), and the route will include new rail links from Warwickshire locations including Nuneaton and Coleshill. 

West Midlands exhibiting at UKREiiF in May 

The West Midlands area will be exhibiting at the UK's Real Estate and Infrastructure Investment Forum (UKREiiF) in May, showcasing development opportunities and regenerative schemes worth more than £20bn. Investment opportunities from Birmingham, Coventry & Warwickshire, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton will be showcased at the event. 

The delegation includes senior public sector figures who will showcase a portfolio of development opportunities. These will include the recently announced West Midlands Investment Zone, comprising Coventry & Warwickshire Gigapark, Birmingham Knowledge Quarter and Wolverhampton's Green Innovation Corridor. 



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