New car manufacturing zone in Whitley to create 3 000 engineering jobs

The UK government will invest £35m into expanding the automotive business zone in Whitley, near Coventry, in a move that is expected to create at least 2,700 new jobs.

The new 24-hectare site, the Whitley South Infrastructure Project, will start opening in 2017. The government hopes the site will attract businesses working in the automotive industry’s supply chain. The majority of the newly created positions will be high-skilled engineering and advanced manufacturing jobs.

The Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) together with Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council will contribute a further £10m towards the development.

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

The investment will also improve industrial transport links on the A45, including a new bridge to connect Whitley South to the existing Jaguar Land Rover engineering centre and global HQ.

The Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership has also announced today it will publish a new Strategic Economic Plan today, which includes ‘Unlocking our Growth Potential’ and ‘Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering’ as its core priorities.

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

“It’s vital we maintain this momentum and keep creating high-skilled jobs and don’t let any opportunity slip through our fingers.”

Currently, some 15,000 people are employed in the advanced manufacturing sector in the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership area.

“The CWLEP and its partners have worked hard over several years to help ensure the sector can fulfil its potential – including improvements in infrastructure, skills and the supply chain,” said Jonathan Browning, CWLEP chairman.

“That work and our overall vision, which is set out in the updated Strategic Economic Plan, has been well supported by central government, our local authorities and the private sector who all understand our vision for the economy of Coventry and Warwickshire.”

Planning permission has already been secured for the new site. Jaguar Land Rover said it will create 125 new apprenticeships and 250 support stuff roles once the site opens.

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