Coventry has an extensive automotive history; check out the Transport Museum’s 14 exhibitions on this to get the full experience! Now, one of the giants in the automotive industry, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), is investing even more in the Coventry area, expanding on their current endeavours. What will this mean for Coventry? We at Discuss explain all below.
Over the last year, JLR has announced their long-term plans to invest £500 million over three phases of development:
- Expand their Whitley site
Primarily intended for research and development purposes, the investment for this stage of the development was outlined in 2015.
- Build on Gateway North
A patch of land on the opposite side of the A45 and existing Whitley site, the Gateway North site will be an administration hub, housing new and existing office staff. This will only take up half of the available space; the other half already being earmarked for JLR’s suppliers.
- Purchase of King Henry VIII Rugby pitch site
Although not confirmed yet, JLR have earmarked this area of land for its materials and metals department.
When is this happening?
Coventry City Council approved the planning permission for the Whitley and Gateway North projects in April this year. Last month it was revealed that central government had approved the plans, meaning the project is able to go ahead, once the land purchases have been made and the final sign off obtained.
The projects have been met with criticism regarding the use of greenbelt land that will be taken over as part of the expansion plans. However, it was previously reported the land was going to be removed from the greenbelt by Warwick District Council in any case.*
What does this mean for Coventry?
JLR is a massive employer, employing 29,000 people globally, with an additional 190,000 as part of local dealerships, suppliers and businesses.** The expansion of the company in Coventry is likely to bring thousands of jobs to the area during construction and once the site has opened.
On top of this, improvement to the roads surrounding the Whitley site will form part of the work, including a bridge over the A45 linking the two Whitley sites, hopefully easing traffic congestion for the additional workers heading to the area.
Overall, it is hoped this opportunity, coupled with the London Taxi Company beginning production in Coventry in 2017, will restore Coventry as an automotive powerhouse once more.