News that a national battery centre for electric cars will be built in Coventry and Warwickshire, bringing thousands of jobs with it, has been hailed as 'fantastic' by a local MP.
Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and Coventry City Council have been awarded £80 million between them to establish a new National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility (NBMDF) in the area.
The news, announced by Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark MP at the University of Warwick on Wednesday November 29, could bring thousands of jobs to Warwickshire.
And the Labour MP for Warwick and Leamington Matt Western, who sits on the Automated and Electric Vehicles Committee, was delighted with the news.
He said: "It’s fantastic news that the National Battery Manufacturing Development Facility will be based in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. It’s testament to the strength of the technology and manufacturing sectors in our region.
"As someone who worked in the automotive industry, I know this is the crucial next step for our area to produce the very best electric vehicles in the world. It’s absolutely vital that the UK and our region stays at the forefront of this development.
"Having met with the Warwick Manufacturing Group and companies such as Jaguar Land Rover in recent months, it’s clear the next evolution of models will need to incorporate battery cell technology – this announcement takes us one step closer to that.
"This announcement also shows that collaborative working across business, local government and civil society can bring fantastic results and provide our region with jobs and growth. Well done to all those involved with the bid.”
Once the battery centre is built, it will allow companies and researchers to work together to build and create technologies for batteries and their components in vehicles.
The centre will also incorporate a learning facility which will train the next generation of engineers to continue to build new batteries and come up with new ideas.
Professor Lord Bhattacharyya, Chairman of WMG said: “We are delighted to have been successful in the bid to create this new national battery facility.
"Working with industry and the supply chain we will develop and expand battery R&D which will see the creation of skilled jobs and developments within the automotive sector.”
And Martin Yardley, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP), said: “This will be a centre which will lead and drive forward battery technologies, making alternative vehicle propulsion systems practical across a wide range of uses.
“We always believed with our globally-renowned pedigree in research and development, automotive and advanced engineering that we would be the perfect location to deliver such a cutting-edge project."