Latest news in brief from around the region...
World’s first hub for flying taxis opens in Coventry
Air-One® developed by Urban-Air Port® and supported by Supernal is a fully-operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles and is located at Westminster Car Park, in the centre of Coventry (CV1 3fZ). The technology is set to provide a blueprint for more than 200 vertiports planned worldwide by Urban-Air Port® over the next five years to meet growing demand. The firm says the advanced air mobility (AAM) market is set to take off, with forecasted growth of 9% annually to reach $1 trillion within the next two decades.
Turnover up at Instarmac
Turnover moved towards the £80m mark at Instarmac, the road repairing materials company during its latest financial year. Instarmac Group, based at Birch Coppice Business Park in North Warwickshire, has reported a turnover of £77.6m for the year to 30 September 2021, up from £60.5m in 2020.
Warwickshire-headquartered dumper truck maker sees profits rise
Dumper truck maker Thwaites, based near Leamington Spa, reported a turnover rise of almost £30m according to the latest financial year, increasing its profits by £3.6m in the process. Thwaites designs and makes a range of trucks which can take loads of up to ten tonnes.
Rotala Acquires Historic Henley-in-Arden Bus Company
Rotala has acquired an operator of commercial and contracted bus services in Warwickshire and the southern West Midlands. The Birmingham-headquartered company has snapped up Johnsons (Henley) Ltd's entire bus business and 20-strong fleet. The business being acquired currently trades under the 'Excelbus' brand. Rotala estimates that the assets being purchased have annual revenues of approximately £3.5m.
Logistics Firm Locates to Hams Hall
A Birmingham-based logistics and distribution company, which is partnered with major airlines, has agreed a deal for a 131,780 sq ft unit at Prologis Park Hams Hall, in North Warwickshire. LTS Global Solutions provides a range of services within logistics, transport and shipping worldwide. It is partnered with shipping line and airlines to facilitate the provision of bespoke supply chain services, including storage, just in time delivery and international freight forwarding.
Two Warwickshire electrical technology firms awarded development funds
Nuneaton company Viritech Ltd and Warwick-based SysElek are among 13 national firms that have been awarded £135,000 each from Coventry’s Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to help in the race to decarbonise transport.
Former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa takes over as chief executive of Aston Martin Lagonda as Tobias Moers steps down
Aston Martin has appointed its third chief executive in three years, with Tobias Moers stepping down after only two years in charge. Moers will leave the board of the British carmaker with immediate effect but will stay until the end of July to “support the leadership team with a smooth transition”, Aston Martin Lagonda announced. The former Ferrari boss Amedeo Felisa will replace him as chief executive. Felisa joined Aston Martin’s board as a non-executive director in July 2021.
Leamington Box Factory Invests in Automation
A Warwickshire packaging business has secured a £2m funding deal with HSBC UK to enhance its automation capabilities. Based in Leamington Spa, The Box Factory is an independently-owned, high-volume manufacturer of corrugated packing. The funding will allow the business to make upgrades to its machinery and production facilities, with capital facilities supporting with the import and installation of machinery.
Growth investment for Leamington company
A data specialist headquartered in Warwickshire has been backed by growth investor FPE Capital.
Leamington Spa-based Egress specialises in cloud migration projects, with clients including a range of blue-chip public sector and private sector organisations such as the NHS, IBM, Fujitsu, University of Birmingham, DHL and Balfour Beatty. FPE will support the company's management team in expanding its executive team and accelerating growth within UK markets.
Penso Power, Luminous Energy secure approval for UK battery storage project
Penso Power Ltd. and Luminous Energy has secured full planning permission for a 350-MW battery storage development in North Warwickshire, U.K. The companies said May 4 that the approved design for the Hams Hall project allows the deployment of more than 1,750 MWh of battery storage, which will support the U.K. electricity system.
Coventry microbiology start-up impresses industry
A microbiology start-up is set for rapid growth after discovering a valuable by-product of its cutting-edge equipment designed for the medical and microbiology industries. Cytecom, based at The Venture Centre at the University of Warwick Science Park, has developed a novel machine that has reduced a two-day process of counting living bacteria into a simple procedure that takes just half an hour.
Coventry University signals international ambitions
Coventry University is set to establish an education institution in China, in collaboration with the Communication University of China, as it looks to build on its international success. The project is currently in the development and construction stage alongside a number of other Chinese and foreign universities. Coventry University was recently awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade.
Kwalee continue to grow global brand
Award-winning multiplatform games publisher Kwalee is opening its fourth global office, in Portugal. This development is the latest in what’s been an incredible period of growth since 2020, during which Kwalee expanded from its Leamington Spa headquarters and opened international studios in India and, China. With remote team members globally, the expansion means that the company has employees across 18 countries.
Construction of 30,000 sq ft unit at Warwick business park underway
Clowes Developments has instructed construction firm Benniman’s to begin work on the unit at Warwick’s Tournament Fields. The standalone warehouse and distribution facility sits on a 1.70 acre plot of land and work is due to be completed in November.
Development of commercial units to bring 100 jobs to Southam
Nine new business commercial units are set to boost the Warwickshire town of Southam. The 42,000 sq ft development at Kineton Road Industrial estate has been brought forward by the Warwickshire Property and Development Group (WPDG). The land has been unused for a number of years and will be particularly suited to small to medium sized enterprises, especially start-ups or expansions.
Channel 4 Collaboration to Boost Region’s TV Production Sector
Channel 4 and Create Central have formed a collaboration to support and grow the West Midlands' TV production sector, with funding available for companies in the region. A £30,000 development fund called More4 the West Midlands is open to all production companies based within the West Midlands Combined Authority area and/or one of the three West Midlands' Local Enterprise Partnership regions. Three More4 programmes ideas will be selected for initial development and awarded £5,000 each, with one idea awarded an extra £15,000 funding for further development.
New adult learning courses aims to take Coventry and Warwickshire workforce to the next level
Brand-new courses designed to upskill the Coventry, Warwickshire and West Midlands workforce and equip relevant industries with the ability to do business digitally will be available from the end of this month.