LONDON, (Xinhua) — Investors from Chinese mainland are funding a 65-million-pound showpiece development scheme in an area regarded as Yorkshire’s unofficlal Chinatown.
A 21-storey block, housing almost 700 student apartments, will tower over the development in the city of Sheffield in Northern England.
One of the key aims of the project, announced on Monday, is to strengthen links with the many Chinese and other businesses already clustered around an area of the city known as St Mary’s Gate, famed for its vibrancy and cosmopolitan feel.
Included will also be a China business incubator to help businesses to break into the Chinese market and provide firms in China with a way into Britain.
Sheffield-based architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, who are working on the scheme, said: “The economic benefits that the scheme can bring to the city are potentially very great. Finance for the development is coming from China, bringing substantial overseas investment into the city.”
Detailed plans have been submitted to Sheffield City Council, and planners will now check they fit in with the what is a conservation area.
The area has been the focalpoint for the local Chinese community for many years, and has many Chinese and other ethnic restaurants.
Meanwhile, thousands of students from China, Malaysia and Singapore have come to Sheffield’s two universities. The aim of New Era Square will be to capitalise on the area’s existing links with the Chinese community.
A consortium of six investors from Chinese mainland have backed the scheme. It is hoped construction work will begin in early 2015 and be finished in the summer of 2016.