PROPOSALS to expand Jaguar Land Rover which could create ‘thousands of new jobs’ have been announced by Coventry City Council.
The plans would include moving administration jobs to green belt land south of the A45 to free up expansion of JLR’s research facility at Whitley opposite the A45 – first announced last year.
The scheme would have to secure planning permission and government approval, and could also depend on government funding for roads.
A nearby manufacturing and warehousing job creation scheme on greenbelt land around Coventry airport failed last year as it contravened government greenbelt protections.
It is unclear whether further expansion could seek to use more greenbelt land, part of which could be stripped of its Greenbelt status by Warwick District Council.
A planning application to develop the site is expected to be submitted to Coventry City Council and Warwick District Council by February 8.
A Coventry council statement said the announcement followed months of talks, and Jaguar Land Rover is expected to take half the 60 acre site with the rest of the site “snapped up” by “suppliers to the manufacturing giant”.
The scheme would also depend on a successful bid for £40million of government funding to build infrastructure including a new road bridge across the A45, the council said.
Counci leader Ann Lucas said: “This is a game changer for the city. This will further cement Coventry’s role at the heart of automotive innovation, growth and success.
“Our two world class universities, our can-do attitude and our ability to work with the private sector to deliver what successful manufacturers need if they are to stay and expand here have all played their part in convincing Jaguar Land Rover that Coventry is the right place to be at the heart of their expansion plans.
“Jaguar Land Rover – one of Britain’s greatest success stories – is putting its faith in this city to deliver its future and we will not let them down.”
Jonathan Browning, chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership between business and councils, said: “We’re confident our bid for the funding needed for the infrastructure will be recognised by the government as another signal of the LEP’s effective use of public funding on infrastructure projects.
“This funding should therefore reinforce Chancellor George Osborne’s recent comments about the strength of this area with the government recognising the work of the LEP and our partners. At the same time, we are not relaxing, we know there is still plenty more to do to keep driving our local economy forward.”
Local people can have their say in a public consultation between January 21 and 23 and when the planning application is submitted, with work provisionally scheduled to begin by the end of this year.
It comes amid reports that Coventry-based JLR delivered its best full year global sales, retailing 487,065 vehicles in 2015, up 5 per cent. Sales have more than doubled since 2009.