While Coventry is often overlooked in favour of its larger neighbour Birmingham when it comes to development, there is much going on here that is positive at the moment. So in this report we will focus solely on development and regeneration in the city of Coventry.
Background and economy: Coventry is 19 miles from Birmingham and has a population around 377,000. ONS projections suggest a fast rate of growth to 417,000 by 2037, which equates to around 200 people per month for the next 17 years.
During the 19th century, Coventry established itself as a major centre for manufacturing, ultimately becoming the UK’s largest motor manufacturing centre. Today the manufacturing sector is still important here but with an emphasis on research, development and advanced manufacturing. The city is Jaguar Land Rover’s HQ and engineering centre.
Other key employers are in the public sector, including the local authority, healthcare and the universities, which underpin a significant knowledge economy here. As well as Coventry University, the University of Warwick is also located in Coventry. The highly acclaimed University of Warwick Science Park was established in the 1980s. It currently houses 140 technology businesses with over 2,000 employees.
Coventry participates in the West Midlands devolution programme under the auspices of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), and the Midlands Engine public-private economic growth partnership. The Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) has an ambition to achieve annual growth rates of more than 0.3% above the national average, GVA per head of 113% of the UK average by 2030, an additional 94,500 jobs plus the building of 75,000 new homes across the sub-region.
Infrastructure: The local authority says that Coventry railway station is the fastest growing station outside London. Work is now underway to improve facilities and access, create a bus interchange and improve capacity. One of the key aims is to improve services on the Nuneaton-Coventry-Leamington corridor, an area that has strong business and employment links with the city. Coventry could also benefit from close proximity to the future HS2 station at Birmingham Interchange.