May 2021


All the latest local news in brief...

Jaguar Land Rover sales up but loss posted for 2020

Like other carmakers, JLR has been boosted by a revival of sales in China after the worst of the pandemic. Revenues in the quarter to March were improved, but a major write down was made on the investment for the now cancelled Jaguar XJ.

Meggitt sees sluggish take-off of revenues continue into 2021

Meggitt, the manufacturer of components for the power and aerospace industries, has seen its revenue slip for the first quarter of 2021. Group revenue dropped by 29% in the first three months of the year, said Meggitt, which was an improvement on the final quarter of 2020, when turnover slumped by 35%.

Gigafactory site consultation launched

Proposals for a Gigafactory in Warwick District have accelerated following the launch of a public consultation. The consultation aims to understand the views of residents and the local community before a planning application is submitted in the coming months. In February, Coventry Airport was announced as the preferred site for a West Midlands Gigafactory with Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd forming a joint venture partnership to bring forward a planning application.

Ex-Ford boss joins Britishvolt

Graham Hoare has left his role as chairman of Ford of Britain and joined Britishvolt, the UK’s biggest investor in automotive lithium ion battery technologies, as president of global operations. Hoare will lead global functional operations at the company from 1 June and will search for future expansion opportunities ahead of the company’s first battery gigafactory starting operations in 2023 at Blythe, Northumberland. The company announced earlier this year it’s plan to build a HQ and R&D base at MIRA Technology Park, on the outskirts of Nuneaton.

Viritech to develop Hydrogen Hypercar at MIRA

Warwickshire’s MIRA Technology Park is now home to the development programme of a 1100bhp hydrogen-powered hypercar from nascent engineering firm Viritech, which aims to become “the world’s leading developer of hydrogen powertrain solutions.”

Baxi Heating scoops industry award for hydrogen boiler Innovation

Baxi Heating’s development of a boiler fuelled by hydrogen has won the Innovation category at the Gas Industry Awards. Baxi’s Hydrogen boiler has been developed as part of its commitment to be a cleaner, greener manufacturing business. Karen Boswell OBE, Managing Director of Baxi Heating, said: “As a leading player in the British heating and hot water industry we are determined to play our part in achieving the goal of being a net-zero economy.

University of Warwick - UK’s top esports university - invests £275,000 in new esports centre

The University of Warwick has announced that is investing £275,000 of its own earned income into establishing a new flexible esports centre to be located at the heart of Warwick campus. It will operate alongside new facilities to stimulate innovation in the, in the newly named ‘Junction’ facility.

Leamington Spa games studio bought by global mobile games company

Supersonic Software Ltd and its subsidiary Appynation Ltd, based in Leamington Spa, have been bought by Miniclip, the Swiss headquartered world leader of market-defining mobile game titles.

Games art degree course in Leamington Spa hailed by industry skills body

A games art degree course taught in the heart of ‘Silicon Spa’ has been accredited by the industry-led skills body for the screen industries. Royal Leamington Spa College’s foundation and bachelor degrees in Games Art have been awarded ScreenSkills Select accreditation. ScreenSkills is the industry-led skills body for the screen industries – film, television (including children’s, unscripted and high-end), VFX (visual effects), animation and games.

The college is one of only eight institutions in the country to have the ScreenSkills Games badge and is the only college to have received the accreditation, with the others all being universities or training schools.

Tata Consultancy Services moving to new regional HQ in Leamington Spa.

The IT consultancy has agreed a ten-year lease at the Aura building at Precision Park, a former HQ building for Wolseley. The Mumbai headquartered company is consolidating under one roof following its move from Victoria Court and Bishops House in Leamington.

Accenture acquires REPL

Accenture has acquired REPL Group (“REPL”), a U.K.-based technology consultancy specializing in solutions for supply chain, workforce management, store operations and retail customer experiences. Founded in 2007, REPL is headquartered in Henley-In-Arden, U.K., with additional offices in London, Warwick and Leeds in the U.K. as well as in the U.S., South Africa and Germany. REPL’s team of approximately 440 professionals will join Accenture Technology.

Yotta joins forces with Finnish company to make smarter use of road data

Yotta, the Leamington based connected asset management and services provider, has partnered with Vaisala, the Finnish weather, environmental and industrial measurements company, to enable UK councils to collect accurate high-quality data from across their highways network much faster than before and use it to make more intelligent decisions about the future of their roads.

Dutch tech company chooses Coleshill for UK office

A hi-tech company from Holland has set up an HQ for its UK and Ireland operations at Quartz Point business park on the M42 corridor. Lely Atlantic, which specialises in automated and robotic systems for housing, feeding and milking dairy cattle, is also opening a showroom on the site to display its equipment to potential customers.

Warwickshire outperforms Midlands peers in high growth businesses

A new report from Beauhurst shines a light on high growth Midlands businesses. Warwickshire top the Midlands local authority areas for share of high growth businesses as a percentage of the total number of businesses (6.8%) and is second after Nottinghamshire for equity invested (£282m and £323m). Meanwhile University of Warwick tops the 16 Midlands universities listed with 40 spinout companies 2011-2020.

West Midlands local authorities create 5G Challenge for Smart Cities Revolution

5PRING – the consortium delivering the UK’s first 5G commercial application accelerators – is working with West Midlands local authorities to launch the Smart Cities challenge. The collaboration is laying down a new challenge for innovative start-ups and small businesses to shape the future of UK Smart Cities, through the exploration of 5G applications in the West Midlands.

£43m forward funding deal agreed for market quarter scheme

A £43m forward funding deal has been agreed, paving the way for a build-to rent development in Rugby. Located at Railway Terrace, the development, called Market Quarter, will provide 360 one and two-bed apartments for rent.

Moto set to open flagship electric vehicle charging motorway service area in Rugby

Originally due to open in July 2020, but delayed due to COVID-19, the new service area opened on April 30th, following a £40m site investment creating 120 jobs. Located at Junction 1 of the M6 it features 24 ultra-rapid electric vehicle charging points, 12 Tesla & 12 Electric Highway, making it the largest ultra-rapid charging site on the motorway.

Nuneaton & Bedworth secures design dunding

A new national design code meaning areas are “beautiful, well-designed and locally-led” is being tested across 14 areas in England, including Nuneaton and Bedworth. It gives local planning authorities a toolkit of design principles to consider for new developments, such as street character, building type and façade as well as environmental, heritage and wellbeing factors.

£10m Future High Street funding confirmed for Leamington Spa

A £10m injection from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for a programme of investment for Leamington Spa town centre has been confirmed. Receipt of the ‘Future High Street’ funding comes on the back of a business strategy which was put together and submitted to the government by Warwick District Council as part of a competitive process. The council worked in partnership with a range of stakeholders including Leamington Chamber of Trade, Leamington Town Council, BID Leamington and Warwickshire County Council.

CORE 42 pre-let to Marshall Fleet Solutions

CORE 42 Business Park, located on the A5 and J10 M42, at Dordon, North Warwickshire, has pre-let a new 25,000sqft unit to Marshall Fleet Solutions. The location provides excellent access to local food processors and e-commerce businesses, such as Bunzl, Ocado, Greencore and Aldi.

Coventry 2021 opens retail store

Coventry City of Culture Trust’s vibrant new retail store, ticketing and information centre has opened in the city centre. The Trust has been working with partners to fit-out the unit at 31-35 Hertford Street over recent weeks to launch before the UK City of Culture year starts on 15 May, remaining open through to May 2022. It will showcase and sell original artworks and products created by artists and makers from Coventry and Warwickshire.

NAEC reopens for exhibitions and conferences in Warwickshire

NAEC at Stoneleigh Park has been announced as the new venue for the underwater exhibition Go Diving. The top event in the UK diving calendar will take place at the venue on 4-6 March 2022. NAEC Stoneleigh reopened for business last weekend with the new National Camping Show from Thursday 20th May 2021. Other new events planned at the venue in 2021 include Kidztopia, a family event utilising indoor and outdoor event space in July, and The Movers and Stores show, a trade show for the removals & self-store industries taking place in Hall 2 in November.

WCG gains degree awarding powers

WCG has become the first college group in the country to be granted a duo of degree awarding powers. The college group which has sites across Warwickshire will now be able to design and award full three-year honours degree courses and has pledged that all of its degrees will have a technical or professional focus.


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