Plans for UK battery gigafactory development on airport site set for take-off

by John Shepherd
Gigafactory 'could attract up to £2bn of investment. Image: Coventry City Council
Proposals have been unveiled today for public-private investment to build a battery gigafactory on an airport site at the heart of the UK’s automotive sector.

The electric vehicles battery plant, which could start operations as soon as 2025, would be built on 4.5 million square feet of land at Coventry Airport, in the English Midlands, under a joint venture led by Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, a project spokesperson told World Battery News.

Council leaders are expected to back the proposals on 23 February. The joint venture would then kickstart the planning application process and launch initial talks with battery suppliers and automotive manufacturers "to secure the long-term investment needed”, the spokesperson said.

The project’s leaders would also bid for a share of up to £500m funding, which is being made available by the UK government to encourage investments in battery manufacturing technology.

'World battery-tech leader'

Under the proposals, Coventry Airport would close – but the spokesperson said the gigafactory would provide more economic value to the region by creating thousands of green jobs and attracting up to £2bn of investment.

Coventry City Council leader, Councillor George Duggins, said the city had "emerged as a world leader in battery technology”.

"The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, world-leading research institutions, and the UK’s largest car maker, Jaguar Land Rover, and it’s clear to me that Coventry is the right location,” Duggins said.

The West Midlands Combined Authority, comprising the region’s seven urban councils, have endorsed Coventry Airport as the preferred site for a gigafactory.

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