Chinese Group To Support €1.6b Of Real Estate Projects In Northern England

Three major property schemes in Leeds, Sheffield and Greater Manchester with a gross value of £1.2bn and the potential to create 18,000 jobs are to receive substantial Chinese investment, UK Chancellor George Osborne has said.

Osborne has been visiting Urumqi in Xinjiang, North West China, as he welcomed an investment by a Xinjiang-based business.

Hualing Industry and Trade Group will provide the investment needed to unlock three projects, which are being led by Scarborough Group and are expected to create 18,000 jobs and enable the delivery of 10,000 new homes.

The three projects where Hualing Industry and Trade Group and Scarborough Group have agreed financial terms, facilitating Hualing's investment, are: Middlewood Locks, a £730m residential project in Salford incorporating a total of 2,000 residential units and circa 750,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation.

In Yorkshire, Thorpe Park, a £400m mixed-use project in Leeds and Sheffield Digital Campus, a £40m commercial and office development which will build 130,000 sq ft of office space in the city, will receive investment.

The Chancellor's historic visit came as he announced a new ambition to make China the UK's second largest trading partner by 2025, potentially adding billions to Britain's economy, as part of the government’s wider efforts to increase UK exports to £1trn a year and to get 100,000 more UK companies exporting.

"We are building an ever closer relationship with China – it's a partnership that is set to unleash growth and help regions like Xinjiang where we know investment can make a real difference, as well as unleash new growth back home, in places like our own Northern Powerhouse.”

Kevin McCabe, chairman of the Scarborough Group and co-owner of Sheffield United, said: "For Scarborough, this is the latest chapter in a long history in China, spanning over 13 years, during which time we have established strong relationships with local partners as the foundation for significant investments in China and the Far East.

"As a family business with its roots in the North of England, we are now very proud to bring our partners in China to the UK to invest in our great Northern Cities and to accelerate the development of our major projects in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield."

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