Business leader says Coventry and Warwickshire is getting into gear with infrastructure

Louise Bennett, chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce

Coventry and Warwickshire is finally making the most of its unrivalled location by investing heavily in infrastructure – according to a senior business figure in the region.

Louise Bennett, the chief executive of the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the area was the envy of many because of its central location and, by harnessing that, it would bring huge benefits to the economy.

In recent weeks, work has started on a new railway station in Kenilworth, improvements to Junction 12 on the M40 have been unveiled and work is scheduled to start soon on the A444 Coton Arches Junction in Nuneaton.

That’s on top of the work being undertaken to enhance the Tollbar interchange, an enhancement of the rail service from Nuneaton through to Leamington, a proposed new station for Rugby and improvements at the Whitley Junction of the A46.

In the pipeline are further works on the A46 corridor at Stanks Island and along the A5 corridor, which is a key route in the north of the county.

Louise said: “With the improvements to both road and rail, it gives Coventry and Warwickshire the opportunity to really make the most of its enviable location.

“There has been a real joined-up approach through the CWLEP, government agencies and the local authorities to bring projects forward and that will bring benefits to the region.

“When we first lobbied government for Coventry and Warwickshire to allow the city and county to be one of the first LEPs in the country it was to allow the region to take control of its own economic destiny.

“The Chamber plays a strong role within the CWLEP – we have a member on the board – and that has allowed us to feed in on which projects we feel will bring most benefit to the area.

“Our Go For Growth campaign this year has focussed on the factors that we feel will allow Coventry and Warwickshire to grow but also on where we see hurdles to overcome.

“There is a great deal to be excited about when it comes to infrastructure but that doesn’t mean we can take our foot off the acceleration pedal.”

Digital infrastructure is also key to the region’s growth and Coventry CORE’s ultrafast internet service across Coventry coupled with the CSW Broadband project are helping to improve the region’s capacity.

Louise said: “Coventry becoming one of the fastest internet cities in the country is fantastic for business and, across Warwickshire, we are seeing improvements too.

“We are, however, very keen to hear from companies who can’t access fast internet speeds because it can put the brakes on growth.”

The Go For Growth campaign will be a topic at this year’s Chamber annual economic conference at the Ricoh Arena on Friday, October 14. The event is being sponsored by HSBC, the LEP and Simplify IT.