News in Brief

Autocar Awards recognise automotive achievement

The recent Autocar magazine 100 Great Women in the British Auto Industry recognised talent from across the Coventry and Warwickshire area, covering marketing, sales, design and manufacturing, via a virtual awards ceremony.

Alison Jones, MD of Coventry-based PSA Group UK, topped the list as the most influential woman and fellow PSA leader Linda Jackson becomes the first member of the Great Women Hall of Fame.

Jaguar Land Rover saw 12 staff recognised, and Aston Martin Lagonda’s Paula Stevenson won the sales award in the manufacturer category.


Premier Sheet Metal closure

The Exhall-based automotive firm that made the 2012 London Olympic torch has gone into liquidation.

Premier Sheet Metals said it blamed “conditions within the automotive sector which were further compounded by the onset of Covid-19”.

Other companies within the group remain unaffected.


Prodrive latest to develop low carbon truck

Prodrive, the automotive engineering provider, has delivered an electric truck for Volta.

With Arrival, also in Banbury, and London EV Company in Ansty, this area has become an important centre for low carbon CV commercial vehicle development.


Acoustic and thermal insulation specialist delivers millions of PPE items

Rugby’s Autins, which designs, manufactures and supplies acoustic and thermal insulation, has manufactured and supplied millions of PPE items, including nearly 200,000 face masks and millions of parts for visors to customers over the last four months after securing a £3.05m finance package.


MIRA MTI brings together automotive leaders

The MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) in Nuneaton brought together leaders from across the automotive industry to discuss how skills in emerging technologies will rejuvenate and re-energise the sector in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.


Aston Martin Lagonda teams up to power into virtual world

Aston Martin has revealed its first racing simulator for drivers who want to compete in the virtual or the real world.

The AMR-C01 Racing Simulator is the first product to be borne of a new partnership between the Warwickshire-headquartered listed car maker and British technology company, Curv Racing Simulators.


IT Consultancy sees growth to March 2020

A Queen's Award-winning retail IT consultancy and technology company headquartered in Warwickshire grew both its turnover and pre-tax profits during its latest financial year.

REPL Group, which is based in Henley-in-Arden, has reported a turnover of £34.5m for the 12 months to 31 March 2020, up from £26.6m.


Meggitt flies into red in 2020

Ansty-based international aerospace and defence engineering company Meggitt made a pre-tax loss of almost £370m during the first half of its financial year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The listed company, which moved its headquarters from the South West to Warwickshire earlier this year, has reported a loss of £368.4m for the six months to 30 June 2020, compared to a profit of £72.6m during the same period in 2019.


Vivarail battery train demonstrator receives ORR approval

A new fully electric battery train from Vivarail has been given the go ahead from the Office of Road and Rail to enter service as a demonstrator train.


Formal construction begins on HS2

HS2 Ltd has announced the formal start of construction on the project.

The announcement signals that the scheme is moving from enabling works, scheme design and preparatory work, to full construction of the railway.


NP Aerospace to build Coventry VLR

Coventry City Council’s plans to run a battery powered very light rail (VLR) transit system in the city have taken a step forward thanks to work from engineering firm NP Aerospace.

NP Aerospace has been appointed as the assembly contractor of the rail guided, battery-powered vehicle for Coventry’s planned Very Light Rail network, which will run on the local road network.


Bus operators under pressure

Jobs are at risk as Coventry’s Travel de Courcy has gone into administration and Henley-in-Arden’s Johnsons Bus and Coach is seeking to reduce its workforce.


Visit England recognises local excellence in tourism

The Howard Arms in Ilmington, Warwickshire, was among a trio of West Midlands businesses that have won prizes at the annual VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, which celebrate the best of the country’s tourism industry.


University of Warwick climbs global rankings

The Times Higher Education 2021 World University Rankings has ranked the University of Warwick 77th overall in the world and ninth in the UK.

The university has climbed from a rank of 157 in 2012 to 77, up two from last year. The university is consistently in the UK top ten.


Nuneaton and Bedworth driving micro business growth in the West Midlands

South Staffordshire, Wyre Forest, and Nuneaton and Bedworth have been revealed as top hubs for micro-business growth (businesses with fewer than 10 employees) in a review of UK micro-business activity.

The State of the Nation report by GoDaddy shows that between April and June 2020, at the height of the Coronavirus outbreak, the West Midlands hub experienced 18 per cent growth in new micro-business ‘ventures’, compared to a nationwide average of 14 per cent.


New national landmark to join Emerge Surf at Coleshill

A new national landmark which aims to profile a million answered prayers has been given the go ahead to be built on a site in North Warwickshire Borough.

Eternal Wall of Answered Prayer in Coleshill, which will eclipse the size of the Angel of the North, will be located near to the new surf park Emerge Surf, and will stand at 169 feet and is expected to attract 300,000 visitors each year, contributing £9.3m to the local economy.


Daimler Wharf re-engineered into a collaborative arts facility

Southam-based The Wigley Group has begun a major transformation to convert a historic industrial site in Coventry into a £2.4m creative hub for artists in time for UK City of Culture 2021.

Daimler Powerhouse, once home to the UK’s first mass production car factory opened in 1897, is being transformed into the first purpose-built and collaborative art production facility in the city.


New manufacturing and distribution park coming to Rugby

Plans for a warehousing and distribution park in Warwickshire which would create more than 2,400 jobs have been recommended for approval.

Tritax Symmetry is behind the proposals for land north of the A45 and M45 junction which would see 2m sq ft of space constructed.


AC Lloyd sees strong demand for residential homes in Warwickshire

Warwick property development and investment company AC Lloyd has set a new weekly record for house sales in its 72-year history after re-opening its sites due to Covid-19.

AC Lloyd Homes, which was established in 1948, has had a surge in property sales since the government announced the stamp duty holiday in July.


CWLEP reshuffles top team

Two leading figures from the business and further education sectors have been appointed chair and vice-chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) to support its work driving forward the economy.


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