Coventry and Warwickshire businesses have been told how academia has attracted £140 million into the local economy in the space of a few months.
The new Science and Health Building at Coventry University – opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and the new UK Battery Industrialisation Centre at the University of Warwick, which was announced last month, are two of the biggest recent investments in the region.
Two men in charge of the developments - Professor Guy Daly, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at Coventry University and Dave Greenwood, Professor of Advanced Propulsion Systems at WMG based at the University of Warwick – outlined the projects and what they will bring to the area at the meeting of Coventry and Warwickshire Champions.
More than 180 business people met at the Ettington Chase Hotel, as part of the Champions programme, which helps spread news of developments and successes in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Les Ratcliffe, Chairman of the Coventry and Warwickshire Champions Board, said the event had underlined the commercial importance of having two leading universities.
He said: “When people think of universities, they immediately think of academia, but these two developments will bring so much more.
“The Science and Health Building is in the heart of Coventry and will train the nurses and medics who will work in the region’s hospitals and other branches of the industry.
“It is a leader in its field and will attract students from across the UK and only enhance the reputation of the city and the university.
“This area won the bid to be home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre against very stiff competition and it will be another major player in helping to drive technology in key industry areas. It is estimated that it may lead to the creation of 10,000 jobs across the wider region.
“They will, therefore, both play a major role in bringing the best people here and driving up the knowledge base of the area.”
David Burbidge, who has led the successful Coventry bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, also spoke to thank the companies who had supported the campaign, while keynote speaker Fleur Sexton, Managing Director of PET-XI, shared the story of the growth of her company which specialises in motivational programmes for young people who are struggling academically, as well as training programmes for women and business.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Champions is made up of more than 130 companies and organisations who help promote the region and its strengths.
From left: Les Ratcliffe (front), Professor Dave Greenwood, Professor Guy Daly, David Burbidge, Fleur Sexton and Jo Reeves (Ettington Chase).