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Gigafactory Would be a Game-Changer, Says Andy Street

West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has welcomed further details of a planned new ‘gigafactory’ in Coventry – which would be the UK’s largest single industrial facility.

Mr Street, who leads the West Midlands Combined Authority, has campaigned for more than two years to bring the giant facility to Coventry, to produce the batteries needed for the next generation of electric cars.

Now new details of the planned Gigafactory – which would be built on the site of Coventry airport – have been released, including plans to power it using entirely renewable energy.

Mr Street said, “From securing the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job creation that would bring, to helping protect our planet from the climate change emergency, a West Midlands Gigafactory would be a complete game-changer for our region – and we are making it happen.

“By submitting our planning application earlier this year, and now answering the difficult question around power supply and renewable energy, we are doing what we can to be able to get the site operational ASAP once a commercial negotiation between supplier and customer concludes.

“Coventry and the West Midlands is already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre, and a world-leading supply chain.

“A Gigafactory therefore is the natural next step for the UK’s automotive heartland, and, working in partnership with industry and the Government, we will not rest until we have secured one.”

The Gigafactory would have access to a 100% renewable electricity supply, from a combination of solar power and grid-supplied renewables, and the facility would also recycle used batteries as well as build new ones.

The factory, which could be up and running by 2025, would become the UK’s largest single industrial facility, covering the same area as 74 football pitches.

It is estimated the £2.5 billion investment would create up to 6,000 jobs directly and thousands more in the supply chain.

Mr Street added, “The chosen site, at Coventry Airport, is perfectly located in the heart of the UK automotive industry.

“It will provide a huge cash investment in the area, leading to thousands of well-paid jobs and creating crucial new skills too.”

The Gigafactory would be next to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which provides a key link between research at laboratory or prototype stages and the mass production of new battery technologies.