A round up of latest business news around Warwickshire and the region...

Warwickshire Automotive to share in £77 million Zero-Emission funding

£77 million in new funding for projects developing clean transport technologies has been announced, with companies from across the county part of the consortia. The schemes, which range from work on battery-powered buses, to a hydrogen-powered version of the iconic Ford Transit van, will support more than 4,400 jobs across the UK over the next decade. The funding has been awarded through the Advanced  Propulsion Centre (APC) Collaborative Research and Development programme, to help build an end-to-end supply chain for zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK. Local companies receiving the funding include Jaguar Land Rover, Leamington Spa-based Altair, and Warwick based Aeristech.


Electric vehicle training facility is upskilling technicians across Warwickshire

An electric vehicle training facility which was created after a £477,000 investment is helping to upskill motor vehicle technicians from across Warwickshire. Staff from Warwickshire County Council have become the first cohort to complete an electrified vehicle course at Warwick Trident College’s electric vehicle training facility. The technicians, who day to day handle maintenance on council vehicles, completed the Level 3 Electric/Hybrid Vehicle Systems Repair and Replacement at the college.


TATA Battery cell decision Imminent

The government is said to be in serious talks with Tata, the Indian owners of West Midlands-based Jaguar Land Rover, to build a gigafactory at Gravity in Somerset. According to reports, the Treasury has developed a multi-million pound package of incentives to encourage Tata to invest in a gigafactory in the UK rather than Spain, the other preferred location.


Southam Light Industrial Scheme in Biodiversity Offset Scheme

Warwickshire Property and Development Group (WPDG) has completed the purchase of Biodiversity Net Gain Credits which will support work at the 4,000-acre Alscot Estate, which is three miles south of Stratford-upon-Avon. WPDG was formed last year by Warwickshire County Council to realise the potential of its development sites. Work is underway on its first commercial development which is a 42,000sqft multi-let industrial scheme at Holywell Business Park, part of the Kineton Road Industrial Estate in Southam. The development is being undertaken by Warwick based contractor MCS Group.


Improved outlook for Coventry & Warwickshire economy

The economic outlook for Coventry and Warwickshire has improved since the start of the year, according to new research. The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce's latest Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) shows a small uptick in the potential performance of the regional economy based on firms' current and future orders, their plans to invest and take on new staff and their overall confidence. The survey, which is developed in partnership with Prime Accountants Group, is analysed by the Economy & Skills Group at Warwickshire County Council.


China’s Geely doubles stake in Aston Martin

Automotive group Geely has doubled its stake in British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin, with a £234 million investment, taking the stake it owns to 17%. Geely also owns major stakes in local brands London EV Company, Lotus and Polestar.


Chancellor of the Exchequer visits MTC

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt recently visited the Coventry-based Manufacturing Technology Centre as part of the Government's national Business Connect programme. Accompanied by more than 50 captains of British industry, he discussed the importance of advanced manufacturing to the UK economy. The visit agenda included presentations from the Chancellor, ministers and the MTC chief executive Graham Hoare, round table discussions with industry leaders, and a visit to the world-class MTC training centre and apprentice workshop, which was one of the reasons the MTC was chosen as a venue.


Turnover and profits rise at Leamington dumper-maker Thwaites

Turnover and pre-tax profits rose at dumper truck maker Thwaites during its latest financial year. Thwaites, which is based in Cubbington, designs and makes a range of off-highway dumpers which can take loads from one to nine tonnes. The company serves the plant hire and construction markets on five continents and in more than 70 countries.


Exhall defence and aerospace firm in restructure

The board of Exhall-headquartered Nasmyth has announced the completion of a holding company restructuring that it said will "provide both the financial security and capital base it needs to continue to prosper into the future". The move safeguards more than 450 jobs. Nasmyth, which has a growing orderbook and improving financial performance, will continue to be owned by Rcapital.


Vodafone and Coventry University partner on UK-first 5G SA Media Innovation Lab

A collaboration between Vodafone and Coventry University will open the UK’s first 5G Standalone (5G SA) Media Innovation Lab in Coventry. Working alongside Vodafone engineers and academics from the University, broadcasters, media companies and the software development community will be invited to the lab to develop 5G use cases for the media industry.


Local games development cluster in spotlight

While the Midlands is famous for being at the heart of UK manufacturing, it is also a powerhouse for one of the world’s largest and fastest growing sectors, games development. Video games will be a $192bn industry by the end of this year, significantly bigger than music and film combined, and with predictions of three billion gamers in the world by 2027, and Warwickshire is in important UK base.  


Shakespeare greets visitors at Birmingham Airport

The world’s greatest playwright has visited Birmingham Airport to sample a new installation providing millions of international visitors with a taste of south Warwickshire’s tourism scene. Tourist numbers look set to take off in the county thanks to Shakespeare’s England’s bold new wall artwork which greets passengers as they arrive at BHX. The wall banners total 75 metres in length, and feature key attractions in the region including Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Warwick Castle, Kenilworth Castle, the RSC Theatre and Compton Verney.


DP World sails into Baginton

Global logistics firm DP World Logisitcs/ Synchreon is taking a  pre-let for an almost 600,000 sq facility at SEGRO Park Coventry, the 200-acre development site on the Coventry border near Baginton and Coventry Airport. The new 598,050 sq ft unit will be the fourth building at the development following last year's 300,000 sq ft pre-let to DHL and SEGRO's decision to build two speculative units of 140,000 sq ft and 220,000 sq ft, which complete in September 2023.


Views sought on Midlands Rail Hub

Views from businesses are being sought regarding a regional transport body's plans for the Midlands Rail Hub. Midlands Connect is urging businesses throughout the route to complete a short survey, which will support its future strategy. Midlands Rail Hub is a £900m - £1.5bn blueprint for faster and more frequent connections across the Midlands. The scheme aims to add more than 14 million more seats on the rail network each year and provide faster, more frequent or new rail links for in excess of 30 locations, including Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Nuneaton, Worcester, Hereford, Cardiff, Bristol, Cheltenham and Leicester.


Ansty HQ building wins BCO major award

Cadent Gas, the UK's largest gas distribution network, has been awarded a major title for its new HQ building in Coventry. At the recent Midlands and Central England regional finals of the British Council for Offices Awards Cadent Gas won the ESG award for its 100,000 sq ft purpose-built headquarters at Ansty Park. The building was the largest out of town office development in the UK during the pandemic.


SEGRO and WMCA announce strategic partnership

Real estate investment trust SEGRO, developer of the 3.7m SEGRO Coventry Gateway, has been announced as a strategic partner of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), with a commitment to invest £2 billion over the coming decade to deliver next generation, net-zero warehouse facilities in the West Midlands. As a strategic partner, SEGRO aims to deliver 13.5 million sq ft of sustainable warehouse space across the West Midlands by the end of 2033, focused on tech-enabled logistics facilities as well as purpose-built space for Research & Development and light manufacturing.


Leamington’s Squab Storage in prestigious UK award

Leamington Spa-based Squab Storage has landed a prestigious UK award – and is now in the running for a top European title. Business centre and self-storage company Squab Storage has been named as the UK’s Independent Operator Store of the Year at The Self Storage Association United Kingdom (SSA UK) Awards in Birmingham. The firm will now compete for the European Operator of the Year award at the FEDESSA Awards in Rotterdam in October. The award comes on the back of a period of strong growth for the company, having expanded its Leamington site in 2022 to provide more than 90,000 sq ft of storage space, resulting in revenue consistently growing by a around a quarter over the past 18 months.


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