Chinese cash sought for Sheffield’s retail quarter dream

Julie Dore
Julie Dore
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Sheffield’s long-awaited retail quarter is one of the key northern projects for which Chinese investment is being sought.

Chancellor George Osborne is to showcase £24 billion of ‘investment opportunities’ at an event in Chengdu with Chinese investors today.

He will say there are ‘unprecedented opportunities’ for investment from the Far East in the Northern Powerhouse as the two countries work together.

Coun Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield Council, is among the civic leaders to be present at the meeting.

She said: “Connecting up the centres of our major cities has to be a priority.

“And the opportunity for Chinese investment to help deliver our plans for new infrastructure must be seen as a basis for faster economic growth.”

As well as key projects such as the £480m retail quarter of shops, apartments, offices and restaurants, the chancellor is expected to speak about potentially doubling enterprise zones across the north.

He is also due to talk about and a commitment to reinvigorate partnerships between Northern and Chinese cities, including Sheffield’s Sister City agreement with Chengdu, which has fostered significant business, civic and cultural links since 2010.

Mr Osborne will also start to bid for £11.8 billion of contracts for the HS2 high speed railway link project.