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£35M boost to Midlands automotive sector

News   •   Sep 01, 2016 14:19 BST

The government is set to invest £35M in the Midlands’ thriving automotive sector in an effort to create more highly skilled automotive and advanced manufacturing jobs.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark announced today that an expanded automotive business zone in Whitley, near Coventry, is set to become home to nearly 3,000 highly-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs, following £35 million in government investment.

The new site will be known as the Whitley South Infrastructure Project. Covering 24-hectares, it will generate new growth opportunities for local manufacturers and businesses in the supply chain, creating highly-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs.

The site is being developed with support from Coventry and Warwickshire LEP (CWLEP), Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council, who have secured further local contributions of £10M to see the project come to fruition.

CWLEP has also announced it will publish its updated Strategic Economic Plan today, which includes ‘Unlocking our Growth Potential’ and ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering’ as its core priorities, as well as underlining the importance of funding the Whitley South Infrastructure Project.

Speaking ahead of a visit to Coventry-based advanced manufacturing company AMT Expert, Business Minister Margot James said: “The resurgence of advanced manufacturing and the automotive industry in the West Midlands is a real success story.

“It’s vital we maintain this momentum and keep creating high-skilled jobs and don’t let any opportunity slip through our fingers. Today’s £35 million investment unlocks land that will help to cement the region as a leading destination for investment.”

Industrial transport links on the A45 will also be improved and will see the construction of a new bridge to connect Whitley South to the existing Jaguar Land Rover engineering centre and global HQ.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said: “Our world-class auto sector is leading the way and this new development will create thousands more skilled jobs. It shows how private and public sector can work together to make a difference to the economy.

“That’s why every member of my ministerial team has been appointed as a local growth champion, to work with local enterprise partnerships like CWLEP to support key opportunities and increase prosperity.”

It is expected businesses will be on site and hiring from 2017 to 2018.

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