Jerry Cheung, the developer behind Sheffield’s £65 million Chinatown development, has teamed up with academics to boost trade with the Far East.
He has showcased his New Era Development at a seminar organised by Sheffield Business School, part of Sheffield Hallam University.
More than 84 companies attended the conference, during which Jerry Cheung presented plans for the China-UK Business Incubator.
Professor Bradley Barnes of Sheffield Business School also presented the results of a joint research project with New Era Development investigating Sino-UK business with specific reference to firms operating in the Sheffield City Region.
Jerry Cheung said: “I’m very grateful that my investor, my shareholders, let me deliver this dream of mine, this Incubator, because a lot of people would think that ‘there’s no business case for this’.
“There’s a massive business case for the city, to connect business, generate jobs, and there’s a case for the Chinese community as well, because I have a passion of helping the Chinese community to integrate into the society.”
The first residents at New Era will move in this autumn, developers have confirmed.
Some 100 studio apartments for students will be finished by August and available in September.
The scheme includes a 20-storey residential tower alongside commercial and leisure space.
There are also preliminary plans to establish a distribution centre in the Sheffield City Region for Chinese e-commerce businesses and manufacturers, for their distribution into the European market.
Jinping Xie, Project Manager for the China-UK Business Incubator, said: “I believe the contributions to Sheffield’s economy that the CUBI can bring are very real and now is the time for local businesses to get involved.
“If Sheffield businesses want to start building links with China, they won’t need to wait until the building is finished because the key principles of the Incubator are already there and we are ready to get stuck in.”