Plans for a £92 million automotive development centre at the University of Warwick have been hailed a positive step for one of the Midlands’s most important sectors.
Business experts say the move will see the West Midlands lead the rest of the world in creating the vehicles of the future.
They have welcomed news that the £92 million National Automotive Innovation Campus will be built at the Westwood Heath-based university next year – claiming it will bring a much-needed boost to the region.
Airport owner and business tycoon Sir Peter Rigby has branded the decision ‘great news’ and says this proves government has faith in the area as a world leader.
Work will begin in December 2013 on the state-of-the-art centre – which is jointly funded by government, Jaguar Land Rover and Tata Motors European Technical Centre.
NAIC will create and develop the latest technologies in the automotive industry to reduce CO2 emissions and tackle fossil fuel dependency.
It will also develop a stronger supplier base in the UK – safeguarding and creating many jobs.
Sir Peter, who is chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “The National Automotive Innovation Campus is precisely the type of investment we need and is a great example of private and public sector working together alongside an education establishment.
“The automotive industry is key to the future of Coventry and Warwickshire and the development and establishment of this new campus shows that the Government has great faith in this area as a world leader in the automotive sector.
“It is great news for the University of Warwick and Warwick Manufacturing Group but is also, generally, very good news for Coventry and Warwickshire.”
Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “In a globally competitive market, it’s vital that we are at the forefront of new technology.”
Rachel Eade, supply chain specialist at the Manufacturing Advisory Service, said having the campus on its doorstep “is a great incentive” for firms to break new ground in the sector.
University teams up for jet research centre – page 27