The London Taxi Company has announced the start of construction work to build its new research, development and assembly site in Ansty, Coventry.

When complete, it will be the first greenfield car production facility built in the UK for almost 15 years.

This important milestone comes soon after the company’s £250 million investment project was announced in the presence of the Prime Minister and Mayor Boris Johnson earlier in the year.

 A breaking ground ceremony attended by Rugby MP, Mark Pawsey, Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson, and Coventry South MP Jim Cunningham took place today at Ansty Park.

The new facility is the first greenfield development of any Chinese automotive manufacturer in the UK, demonstrating parent company Geely’s ongoing commitment to the country and West Midlands region.

The investment will create up to 1,000 direct jobs, and support a further 500 roles in the local supply chain.

 The 37,000m2 building will be constructed by main contractors Winvic, and comprises a 31,000m2 production facility, which will make the next generation of the iconic London black cabs from 2017 and other forthcoming models, as well as 6,000m2 office space.

Ansty will be Geely’s UK base for ultra-low emission vehicle R&D and the London Taxi Company’s global headquarters.

Carl-Peter Forster, the London Taxi Company’s recently appointed chairman, said: “The Geely group strategy to invest in ultra low emission technology is progressing well across all its brands.

“The London Taxi Company and its new products are central to that approach and our investment here demonstrates continued commitment to the UK automotive sector and helps to underpin the world class engineering capabilities which can be accessed in this country.”

The London Taxi Company’s Chief Executive, Peter Johansen, said: “Today marks another important step forward for the company and our employees as we prepare to produce the next generation of ultra-low emission vehicles here in Ansty.

“We would like to thank the local authorities for their hard work and support during the planning process, and everyone who has been associated with the building project to get us to this point today.”

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