Coventry is set to receive millions of pounds in extra funding for its UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, currently under construction.
The Centre is set to be a cutting-edge research facility that will enable the scale up and manufacture of the batteries that power the electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and autonomous vehicles of the future.
An additional £3.1 million is coming from UK Research and Innovation, the government’s research and innovation funding agency through its Faraday Battery Challenge funding. It brings UK Research and Innovation’s total investment in the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre to £111.1 million.
Coventry was chosen as the home for the site in a tough selection process and the multi-million pound facility is set to open in spring.
The 18,000m² centre will initially employ an estimated 100 people once fully operational. Additional jobs will also be generated in the supply chain, and further employment and training opportunities will be created in the future.
A report to Coventry City Council’s Cabinet says that following talks with industry leaders, the extra funding has been made available to make sure the centre continues to attract the best automotive manufacturers and research and development companies from around the world – not just now, but in the years ahead.
The report also makes provision for the Council to accept further funding for the project should it become available in future.
Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Cabinet Member Jobs and Regeneration, said: “Coventry is the historic home of the UK motor industry, and we are now once more leading the way through the latest technology.
“We are the testbed for autonomous and electric vehicles, and this fantastic new Battery Industrialisation Centre will make Coventry and Warwickshire a focal point for companies from around the world.
“Traditional car manufacture is changing fast, and with this additional funding, we can ensure the centre, and our region, is right at the very heart of automotive research and design work for many years to come.
“Not only that, it will also support our work to help create a cleaner, greener city, region and planet for future generations, and it will attract jobs and investment to our region, improving the quality of life for all.
“These are exciting times for the motor industry, and for our motor city, and the funding is yet another show of faith in the new Coventry we are creating.”
Tony Harper, Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research and Innovation, said: “Coventry is already the heart of the UK’s car industry and, through the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, UK Research and Innovation is investing in Coventry’s future as the driving force of the growing electric and autonomous vehicle sector.
“The UK Battery Industrialisation Centre will be a leading centre of excellence for battery technology.
“This top-up to its funding will help to future-proof the site in the fast-changing world of battery technology.”
Councillors at Coventry City Council’s Cabinet will hear that the shell of the building has now been completed and handed over, and a team of 50 has so far been recruited.
A consortium comprising Coventry City Council, Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership and the Warwick Manufacturing Group was awarded the project to create the UKBIC in November 2017