Coventry gigafactory plan needs private investment – mayor

Image source, West Midlands Gigafactory

Image caption,

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said he was “determined” the factory “should be imminent”

  • Author, Ellie Brown
  • Role, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Plans for a long-awaited gigafactory in Coventry are in need of private investment to get it over the line, according to the West Midlands mayor.

Andy Street said government cash for the project was available and that funding from the private sector was now more likely following the creation of a new investment zone in the area.

Coventry City Council has said the factory could attract £2.5bn of investment and create up to 6,000 new jobs overall.

The plan was to locate it on land near Coventry Airport in Baginton, which the authority said was the only available site in the UK with planning permission for a large-scale battery production facility.

Image caption,

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said he was “determined” to get the project over the line

In an interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Street said he was determined that the gigafactory “should be imminent”.

“We’ve got advanced discussions with private sector investors, who want to do this. I can look you in the eye and say that’s absolutely there,” he said.

It had previously been hoped that Tata Group, which owns Jaguar Land Rover, would choose the site to produce electric cars.

But in July 2023, the firm said it was building a £4bn facility in Somerset instead.

Last year, talks were being held with several leading Asian battery manufacturers about future investment in the site.

Funding of £35m for the project has been offered to Coventry City Council as part of £160m funding for a West Midlands Investment Zone, which was unveiled by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in the autumn budget last year.

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