Inward Investment flooding in to Warwickshire
Warwickshire's reputation as a great place to base and grow a business continues to attract major investment from companies around the world.
Among big names to be investing heavily in Warwickshire in 2017 are China-powered giants Geely and Detroit Electric, who between them are ploughing more than £600million into their bases in the county.
The London Taxi Company (part of Chinese automotive group Geely, which also owns the Volvo car company) has opened their new facility at Ansty, paving the way for the creation of 1,000 new jobs.
The new factory has the capacity to produce over 30,000 electric vehicles and is the first purpose-built electric vehicle plant in the UK. It will build the new electric hybrid TX5 taxi which, together with the new plant, represents an investment in excess of £300m by Geely.
Meanwhile, the plans of electric vehicle maker Detroit Electric to grow its base in Leamington Spa will also comprise a £300m investment, part of an overall £1.5bn investment in the region promised by Detroit's new parent company Far East Smarter Energy Group of China.
Detroit Electric was an early pioneer of electric vehicles in the early twentieth century and the prestige name has been revived to grace a range of electric vehicles to compete with premium electric vehicle makers like Tesla and BMW.
Detroit's decision to invest in Warwickshire follows a pattern of major investments from automotive companies eager to access the local auto and technology supply chain available and the county's expertise in low-carbon powertrain and autonomous technologies.
Meanwhile, alongside the region's attraction for automotive businesses, its position at the forefront of the digital and creative sector goes from strength to strength as Leamington ‘Silicon' Spa welcomes triple AAA studio Ubisoft.
The French company has opened their new studio, known as Ubisoft Leamington, to add to their existing studios in Newcastle and London.
They join SEGA, Epic Games UK, Natural Motion and Exient among those locating in and around Leamington Spa, as well as a growing number of micro and small studios that have set up here since Codemasters arrived in Southam in the early 1980s.
Meanwhile, Nuneaton-based Japanese automotive engineering consultancy HORIBA MIRA has launched an exciting new partnership with Coventry University. The partnership will bring a new automotive research centre which will explore intelligent connected vehicle technology.
The Nuneaton company and Coventry University will develop and test new technologies to address future transport needs from the hub on MIRA Technology Park. An initial team of up to 20 academic staff and doctoral research students from the university will work alongside HORIBA MIRA engineering teams on projects.
The sustained investment from big global companies is excellent news for Warwickshire, says Dave Ayton-Hill, Economy & Skills Group Manager at Warwickshire County Council.
"That so many companies choose to not only set up in Warwickshire but also invest heavily here, just shows what an excellent place it is to locate a business, " he said. "The council's Inward Investment team is constantly busy working with businesses from all over the world as word spreads about what Warwickshire has to offer.
"We have helped secure a high amount of Foreign Direct Investment into the county in recent years, generating thousands of new jobs, increasing our productivity and bringing new products, services and innovation. Inward investment is vital in driving a successful economic area, as it pumps financial and knowledge capital into a locality and often brings new technology and ways of working."