November 2022


This month's round-up of news-in-brief from the county and region...

AC Lloyd Brings More SME Space to Warwick and Leamington 

Work is on track to open the new £5.5m Space Business Centre on Tachbrook Park. Sixty-one units are currently under construction ranging in size from 285 sq ft to 840 sq ft along with two facilities blocks containing a kitchen, toilets and shower room. One or two car-parking spaces will be allocated to each unit and there will be 12 electric car charging points installed along with solar panels on some of the roofs and a cycle shelter at the 35,000 sq ft scheme. 

Jaguar Land Rover CEO steps down 

Thierry Bolloré, Jaguar Land Rover’s CEO, has stepped down after just two years in the job. In January 2021, as part of the Reimagine Strategy, the Warwickshire headquartered car maker said that it would build six pure electric Land Rovers in the next five years and retain all of its core manufacturing facilities in the UK and worldwide. His interim replacement is CFO Adrian Mardell, a veteran of 32 years at the company. 

Warwick College adds £475k vehicle electrification facility 

A new £477,000 electric vehicle training facility has been completed to help train the next generation of motor vehicle specialists at Warwick Trident College. It features fully-converted workshops with specialist features for the training of skills associated with electric vehicles. The workshop is home to three electric vehicles, one hybrid, one plug-in hybrid and one fully electric – with specialist tools and diagnostics equipment also available. 

Motorcycle giant TVS funds new £1.5m Lord Bhattacharyya Chair in Engineering 

A substantial gift of £1.5 million from TVS Moto Company will help create a new Professorial post in WMG, University of Warwick – the Lord Bhattacharyya Chair in Engineering Education. The gift celebrates TVS Motor Company’s close relationship with WMG and will continue the legacy of the late Professor Lord Kumar Bhattacharyya. Warwick has a close network of more than 5,500 alumni in India and is the most successful Russell Group university for recruiting students from India. 

Alcester light rail company acquires US tram company 

Severn Lamb, the Alcester based light urban, leisure and resort transport business has expanded with a US acquisition. The company has completed the asset purchase of Trams International, a US and global supplier of trams for the past 35 years. 

Wolston motorcycle firm to launch world first EV Neo-café Racer 

Jaguar Land Rover spin-out Arc is weeks away from bringing the world’s first fully electric neo-cafe racer – the Vector – to market. The ground-breaking motorcycle is believed to be the most advanced ever built and, by replacing the traditional chassis with the battery, delivers a dynamic experience which, says the firm, can sometimes be lost with electric vehicles. It takes just 40 minutes to charge, can reach 100kmh in just 3.2 seconds and has a range of over 430km, with a top speed limited to 200 mph. 

EVTEC confirms strategic partnership with US group 

Coventry-based Evtec Group has formed a strategic partnership with an American electric vehicle manufacturer focused on the essential services and urban e-mobility markets. The company has joined forces with ev Transportation Services (evTS) in a move that will involve electric vehicles being built in the Midlands and jobs being created. 

Warwick’s Contechs appoints ex-Ford Europe chief designer 

Leading Warwick-based design and engineering consultancy Contechs has made a prestigious new appointment aimed at boosting its global automotive design capabilities. 

Contechs has appointed former Ford of Europe chief designer  Chris Hamilton to head up its vehicle design studio team. His appointment is aimed at strengthening Contechs’ design studio capabilities and further enhancing the services Contechs provides to its OEM clients worldwide. 

Lloyds Bank extends support for manufacturing skills at Ansty’s MTC 

Lloyds Bank will continue to provide the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC) £1 million per year before 2030 as it extends its support for the centre and wider UK manufacturing sector. Lloyds Bank’s total sponsorship of the AMTC to £15 million. The AMTC, part of the Manufacturing Technology Centre Campus at Ansty Technology Park, has already trained more than 2,500 engineers, a figure set to rise to more than 5,000 by 2030. 

New funding recharges Britishvolt plans 

UK battery manufacturing start-up Britishvolt has been saved from administration after securing additional funding. Its future looked uncertain after it was reported that the Coventry-headquartered company had lost a £100 million government investment. 

Britishvolt plans to build a £3.8 billion gigafactory in the North East of England manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.. 

Skyfarer trial to create drone corridor between Coventry and Rugby hospitals 

A UK-first trial is underway with Coventry-based Skyfarer to connect two Midlands hospitals by a drone flight ‘corridor’ that will speed up medical deliveries. 

The Medical Logistics UK corridor connects 32km of airspace between the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire Trust’s hospitals in Coventry and Rugby and will be in place for a three-month period from October until December 2022, to conduct a record-breaking number of routine and ad hoc medical drone deliveries. 

Silicon Spa pioneer honoured with WCG Fellowship 

A key architect of the UK video games industry has been honoured with a Fellowship from Warwickshire College and University Centre. David Darling, Founder & CEO of mobile game development studio and publisher Kwalee and co-founder of games development unicorn Codemasters, has been named a Fellow of the university. 

Nuneaton games developers seek funding for new game 

A Nuneaton-based gaming startup is seeking external investment to realise its ambition. Mammoth has developed Agartha, an MMORPG with both player versus environment (PvE) and player versus player (PvP) elements, similar to genre monolith World of Warcraft. 

Nuneaton’s Triton Showers recognised with national award 

Triton Showers has scooped the Bathroom Manufacturers Association Special Recognition in Driving Behaviour Change award, in acknowledgement of its ‘Every Drop Makes a Difference’ campaign. It reflects the company’s commitment to creating meaningful change, assisting consumers in reducing their impact on the environment while saving them water, energy, and money. 

Warwick law firm celebrates 175th Anniversary with £27,000 bursary  

Law firm Wright Hassall has marked its 175th anniversary by awarding a share of £27,000 to two students to fund their university tuition fees. The one-off award by Wright Hassall provides disadvantaged young people – who may otherwise struggle to afford university – the opportunity to study for their undergraduate law degree. 

Warwick Business School ranked second globally by Corporate Knights 

Warwick Business School has been ranked second in the world for teaching and researching sustainability. Clean capitalism magazine Corporate Knights revealed its annual Better World Full-time MBA ranking and named WBS top in the UK and Europe and second in the world after assessing 160 programmes across the globe. 

Landmark Ansty HQ office development scoops property award 

The new headquarters building for Cadent Gas, has scooped a major Midlands property award. The Insider Media Property Awards has awarded the development ‘Commercial Development of the Year’ award, seeing off competition from 103 Colmore Row in Birmingham and the new Faculty of Arts Building at University of Warwick. The judges cited the big focus on local supply chains, a determination to upskill and improve the wellbeing of local employees and great green credentials. 

Leamington is top-ranked Midlands town in retail study 

Commercial retail agent Harper Dennis Hobbs (HDH) has released its latest Vitality Rankings. The rankings  determine the health of high streets and shopping centres by analysing a number of factors, including vacancy rates, residents’ movement and suitability to local consumer demand. The rankings reveal the top 50 retail centres, compiled from a list of 1,000 by the strategic retail property consultancy. Leamington Spa was the only Midlands town placed in the top 50. 

Frasers Group buys CBS Arena in Coventry 

Coventry Arena, the former 32,600-seat home of Wasps Rugby Club, has been sold to Frasers Group, the company belonging to Sports Direct retailer Mike Ashley. It will now become a permanent home to Coventry City Football Club and has secured the future of 1,000 jobs in the stadium, which includes a hotel and casino. The purchase follows the release last month of plans by Frasers to create a major HQ campus in Ansty, at J2 of M6. 

Stoneleigh Arms pub is latest site to be redeveloped as part of new Creative Quarter in Leamington Spa 

The next steps in the ongoing project to revitalise Leamington’s Creative Quarter are set to get underway after planning permission was granted on the former Stoneleigh Arms pub, located on Clemens Street within Old Town. The pub has been derelict since the 1990s. 

Office Principles goes down to The Woods 

Office Principles North has completed a £4.5 million office refurbishment in Warwick on behalf of FI Real Estate Management (FIREM) on the IBM campus. Building 2 has been reimagined as The Woods, a flagship CAT A development where over 70% of the 70,000 sq ft building has already been let to firms in the medtech and engineering sectors. 


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