Hopes for hi-tech jobs with the arrival of Rolls-Royce

ROLLS-ROYCE – one of the most prestigious companies in the world – is to set up a base in the area, bringing with it up to 260 jobs and the prospect of more to come.

The giant in hi-tech and manufacturing jobs will move on to Warwick Technology Park, taking over 26,000 sq ft in the Iceni Centre on the site, which is already home to National Grid and Warwick University’s Innovation Centre.

Luring the aerospace and aero engines and gas turbines maker to the technology park has been described as a “feather in the cap” for the area and the hope is that it could tempt more hi-tech companies to set up home here.

The announcement comes hard on the heels of news that Jaguar Land Rover’s research and development centre at Gaydon, near Warwick, will get a chunk of the £450 million regional growth fund to create and safeguard manufacturing jobs.

Cllr John Hammon, Warwick District Council’s porfolio holder for economic development, said he hopes Rolls-Royce will bring with it hi-tech jobs, but the company won’t confirm what will be on site or what existing centre they will come from.

“I think it’s excellent news,” said Cllr Hammon. “It’s certainly a feather in our cap. We want all the hi-tech industry we can get.

“We are already a hi-tech area and we hope that this move by Rolls-Royce will attract more the to area.”

There is speculation that the jobs may come from the Rolls-Royce plant at Ansty, near Coventry.

But a Rolls-Royce spokesman refused to comment on that.

He added: “It’s jobs in Warwick for a hi-tech company but what the jobs will be has not been confirmed.”

Leamington commercial property agents Wareing & Company helped attract Rolls-Royce to Warwick and joint letting agent Andrew Wall said the move “could prove a magnet to other companies”.

He added: “This is an extremely high specification office building and we anticipate that the arrival of Rolls Royce will spark significant interest in the remaining space.

“The building is an outstanding headquarters office which is superbly located and those factors have played a major role in bringing a company of this stature to Warwick Technology Park.”

Jaguar Land Rover has yet to divulge how much it is getting from the Regional Growth Fund or how it will affect Gaydon jobs.

But Kenilworth and Southam Tory MP Chris Wright said the money “should see it create many new jobs at Gaydon and elsewhere”.

His constituency covers Gaydon and he said: “A large number of sustainable, high value-added jobs will be created and will contribute to expanding and rebuilding the UK’s supply chain capacity, particularly in advanced manufacturing.”

Mr Wright was part of a cross-party group of MPs who lobbied the Government on behalf of the company earlier this year.

He added: “We lobbied to help secure the future of Jaguar Land Rover in the UK and to secure the investment for the West Midlands region, which was badly hit by the economic downturn and should be at the forefront of helping to rebalance the economy in favour of manufacturing.”

LEAMINGTON, Warwick and Kenilworth town centre managers have written to shops, restaurants and businesses asking them to take part in an incentives scheme and discount offers to encourage the Rolls-Royce workers to visit the towns.