A planning application to build a gigafactory on Coventry Airport has been submitted by Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport Ltd.
The gigafactory would take up most of the main runway and would produce batteries for electric vehicles, and also recycle them. Jaguar Land Rover, based nearby, would be a likely customer.
The announcement came this morning (Thursday) and follows a consultation period which ended on 6 June. Businesses based on the airfield heard through local media.
One airport business told FLYER: “We have learnt this morning from the press that a planning application has been submitted.
“We have not as at the time of writing been formally notified by the Rigby Group and/or their subsidiary Coventry Airport Limited. A reflection sadly on the contempt held for businesses by property developers who clearly place us within the collateral damage folder.”
????THE GIGAFACTORY PLANS ARE IN????
Delighted to announce that our plans for a West Midlands Gigafactory have been submitted to Coventry and Warwickshire planners.
We’re pressing on now so we can have planning permission in place for when any commercial negotiation concludes. pic.twitter.com/ISQ87a64rO
— Andy Street (@andy4wm) July 15, 2021
Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said, “The submission of a planning application for a gigafactory is the important next step as we seek to deliver battery production for the West Midlands.
“We are the ideal location for a gigafactory as the home of the UK automotive sector, alongside world-leading research in battery technology.”
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, added, “It is mission critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, as well as the future of our planet.
“By driving forward with our plans and going through the planning process now, we are trying to get everything in place for when a commercial negotiation between supplier and customer concludes, meaning we can move quickly to get the site operational as soon as possible.”
If given the green light, the 5.7m sqft electric vehicle battery production and recycling plant is expected to add £434 million in gross value to the regional economy.
The proposal also claims that 6000 new jobs will be created, with tens of thousands added to the supply chain, and that the factory will be powered by 100% green energy, including solar and wind power.
The applicants say too that Coventry Airport is an ideal location for an EV battery factory, because it’s adjacent to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which is the UK’s largest battery research centre.
Coincidentally, the battery centre opened on the same day as the planning application was announced. The Prime Minister turned up to open the £130m national facility.
The city council and Warwick District Council will vote on the proposals later this year. If the plans are approved, the site could be operational by 2025, though it would need investment from the private sector.