November 2017

Labour Market Bulletin

Business headlines...

The third Rural Innovation Centre at Stoneleigh Park near Kenilworth has opened, known as Chamberlain House.
The first phase was opened in September 2013 and due to continued demand it has now twice been extended by LaSalle Investment Management, as part of its on-going transformation of Stoneleigh Park.
An adjoining building was converted in 2016 to increase the high-quality serviced offices from 16 to 35. A separate two-storey building, which backs onto the original centre, has now been converted to take the total number to 45.
The original centre was opened in partnership with Warwickshire County Council, who successfully bid for funding on behalf of the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership to support businesses and boost employment in rural areas through the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network.

The Wigley Group, a commercial property and construction company, has signed a new sponsorship deal with Warwick Racecourse.
The company has moved from sponsoring races at the Jockey Club course, to a deal which will see its name in the winning enclosure for the next three seasons. The company recently completed the creation of the Coronation Club for Premium members at the course which was built by Wigley Building and Development, the construction side of the business.
The company also announced recently that it would be moving its headquarters to Stockton, near Southam.

A delegation of key figures from the electric vehicle industry in China visited Coventry and Warwickshire to learn more about the EV (electric vehicle) opportunities and R&D supply chain in the UK.
China EV100, a forum of the leading Chinese EV companies were welcomed to the region by the Coventry
& Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, the CWLEP Growth Hub, Invest in Coventry & Warwickshire and the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Around 30 representatives from the companies and organisations that make-up the body were given a tour of strategic locations in the automotive and electric vehicle sector across the area. They visited Horiba-MIRA, Geely-LEVC at Ansty Park, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) and Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) at the University of Warwick before finishing at the British Motor Museum.

Further investment has been made at tier 1 JLR and Toyota supplier Brose, based in Exhall. More than 30 new jobs have been created following the completion of its £10m paint plant.
Brose UK, which employs nearly 1,000 workers at its two factories in Exhall and Coventry, has signed off the installation of its e-coat line, giving it the capacity to paint more than 3.5m seat structures every year.

The first look of what a new driverless light rail service could look like in Coventry has been unveiled. Early vehicle concepts were presented by researchers from WMG at the University of Warwick. The project is being funded by the government's Local Growth Fund through the Coventry and Warwickshire LocalEnterprise Partnership and West Midlands Combined Authority Devolution Deal.
Project leaders have said the new state-of- the-art rail system, which will be designed and built in the UK, will be cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than anything currently available.
The WMG very light rail project is seeking to to significantly reduce costs by developing a UK supply chain for the manufacturing of lightweight rail vehicles and tracks, enabling councils to install new community rail services and reduce congestion more easily.
These small rail vehicles will have the capability to operate autonomously without a driver which will reduce the operational costs and enable more frequent services for passengers, and combine lightweighting and EV technology carried over from the automotive sector.

The Japanese engineering and testing company HORIBA-MIRA, based in Nuneaton, began construction of its new global skills centre at its technology park, thanks to a £9.5m injection from the Leicester and Leicestershire LEP (LLEP) Growth Deal Fund.
The 24,500 sq ft MIRA Technology Institute (MTI) will be a collaboration between North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College, Coventry University, Loughborough University, and the University of Leicester. The centre, which is set to open in September 2018, will help to create specialist skills in some of the new disruptive technology areas such as electrification and driverless car technologies, ensuring a sustainable supply of future technical specialists and engineers. Companies located on the 2msqft MIRA Technology Park campus will be able to access the skills support available from the centre.

An important sector for Coventry & Warwickshire received a significant boost after the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, together with Ukie, a trade body for games and interactive entertainment, announced a two-year programme to grow the games industry and wider digital creative sector in the region. The new programme will build on the success of the gaming and creative cluster in and around Leamington Spa, often referred to as ‘Silicon Spa’. It promises to deliver on many of the recommendations of the report - The Games Industry in Coventry and Warwickshire - a Blueprint for Growth;

Construction has been completed on the first building at Coventry's £700m business district by the city’s station, known as Friargate.
The 13-storey One Friargate will be home to 1,350 city council staff and 300 workers from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Coventry University and German engineering company FEV Ltd have signed a £30m deal to build a clean transport lab in the city to rdevelop joint research on future powertrain.
The new applied low-carbon technology centre will open next to the recently-launched £7m National Transport Design Centre (NTDC).
Four powertrain test cells will allow researchers and engineers to test and improve performance and emissions on a range of different powertrain concepts, including hybridized, electric, conventional and alternative fuel propulsion systems.

Exhall based Arrowsmith Engineering, which manufactures aerospace components, has secured a $1m order from the US, with the help of funding from the Manufacturing Growth Programme.
The company employs 60 staff at its recently-extended facility in Bayton Road and the company expects to double annual sales to £7m by 2020.

Well Played Games is a new games development studio start-up that has been established at Pure Offices in Tachbrook Road by colleagues who were all previously at Exient in Leamington.
Adam Wells and Rich McClaughry have headed up the creation of the business made up of colleagues who were made redundant when Exient scaled back its UK operation after the Brexit vote.
The team has previously worked on games such as Angry Birds Transformers, which has been downloaded more than 75 million times

Cheese and butter producer Dairy Crest announced a positive first half to the year, with its core brands - Cathedral City, Clover, Country Life and Frylight - all performing strongly.
Cathedral City is the UKs leading cheese brand and is produced at the company’s site in Bermuda, Nuneaton.

GB Warwickshire specialist coachbuilder Coachbuilt GB has moved to larger premises in Nuneaton to accommodate the company’s recent growth. The company designs and manufactures coach-built vehicles accessible to wheelchair users and is a past wimner of the Queen's Award for Enterprise for its innovative
vehicles.

Bell Court, the new leisure and retail development in Stratford-upon- Avon anchored by Everyman Cinemas, announced some new names moving into the development. ASK Italian and, in a first for the West Midlands, Wine café Veeno opened in October.
Everyman cinema, which opened at Bell Court in June and has already attracted 10,000 visitors.
Meanwhile the Ropewalk shopping centre in Nuneaton has recently welcomed Pure Gym and TJ Hughes to the centre. These are the first high street chains to open in the town centre for some time, and together promise to bring with them significant additional footfall to the town centre.

Stratford-upon-Avon-based Rigby Group enjoyed a record-breaking year, with turnover exceeding £2bn for the first time. The company, which operates across Europe, the Middle East and Asia, has said it has published the best set of accounts in its 42-year history.
They include revenue increasing by 21.2 per cent to £2.17bn while pre-tax profit also climbed 22 per cent to £27.9m during the year to 31 March 2017.
The group comprises six core divisions which include technology, airports, hotels, aviation, real estate and finance.

Warwick company R53 Engineering whoseclients include Bentley, McLaren, and the Ministry of Defence, is to broaden its services and develop more of its own products thanks to support from local funding.
The company recently relocated to the Heathcote Industrial Estate after being handed the £35,000 funding from Warwickshire County Council with support from CWLEP Growth Hub and the University of Warwick Science Park.
It allowed the business to move to a larger facility and also for the new premises to be developed with a research and development room, vehicle prototype area and expanded office area as well.

Leamington-based Detroit Electric revealed further details at the LCV show CENEX about its new range of electric cars, following a major investment into the company.
The company also launched a major recruitment drive to fill between 150 and 200 positions by next spring.

A Warwickshire video game developer revealed plans to create 150 jobs before the end of 2017 after securing a new project. Playground Games, which develops the Forza Horizon driving game for Microsoft, has taken an additional 3,000 sq ft at Rossmore House on Newbold Terrace to accommodate its growing workforce, as well as agreeing a new ten-year lease on 20,000 sq ft building.
The company has recently hired a number of developers from North America, China and Europe, and further hires are likely to be similarly international.
"Leamington is a hugely important area for the digital gaming industry and we are the largest developer in the town, and it is important that we keep attracting as well as breeding the best new talent in the industry," said a company spokesman.

Vitsoe, the high end modular furniture company that manufactures designs based on originals by German industrial designer Dieter Rams, recently officially opened its new global HQ and manufacturing centre in Leamington Spa. The company relocated from London to access the dynamic local design and creative community, quality of life and lower cost base that Warwickshire can offer UK and international companies looking for a UK base.
The opening ceremony included a factory ‘open-house’ and a performance from the town’s leading dance company Motion House, who will be using the factory as one of their town centre bases going forward.

A major announcement was made recently by the UK Government of £51m of funding for Connected and Autonomous Vehicle research, through the newly created organisation known as Meridian. The majority of the spending came to the West Midlands and Coventry & Warwickshire, with a further £20m going to Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire and London.
HORIBA-MIRA and partner Coventry University were successful in securing funding of £13m towards a total spend of £26m for a new high speed CAV driverless vehicles test facility, the Trusted Intelligent Connected Autonomous Vehicle (CAV) consortium, known as TIC-IT. The facility will allow driverless cars to be driven and tested at high speeds.
WMG at the University of Warwick secured £17.6m towards a £25.3m scheme to set up real-world test environment, between the UK Central, the location of Birmingham Airport, the NEC and the new HS2 station and Coventry & Warwickshire. WMG will be supported by Amey, AVL, Costain, Coventry University, HORIBA-MIRA, Transport for West Midlands and Wireless Infrastructure Group and its test bed will be based on 80 kilometres of urban road.
The funding comes as part of the national strategy to establish the UK as a global-leading centre of excellence for the development, testing and commercialisation of CAVs. This is the first investment by government and industry through a new organisation known as Meridian, based out of the APC (Advanced Propulsion Centre). Meridian is a mobility technology cluster designed to accelerate the development of connected and autonomous vehicles, and will support and grow the CAV cluster already established along the M40 corridor between London and Coventry. The funding will be used to enhance industries' testing facilities and together will help to position the UK as a global hub for CAV development in a market predicted to be worth £51 billion* by 2020.

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