Jerry Cheung: What Sheffield offers the Chinese community

As Chinese New Year is celebrated in Sheffield, community leader Jerry Cheung reveals what Sheffield offers, how difficult 2021 was and how the New Era Development in the city has been a success.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 2:49 pm

Sheffield has a large Chinese community of approximately 10,000 residents – with many Chinese students attracted by the prospect of studying at one of Sheffield’s top universities.

As thousands of residents celebrate the Chinese New Year, Jerry Cheung, leader of the Chinese community in Sheffield and managing director of the New Era Square development, has spoken about what life is like in the city.

Just like it has for everyone else, the past two years have been really tough for the Chinese community in Sheffield with the impact of the pandemic making life difficult for many.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Jerry Cheung, Leader of the Chinese Community in Sheffield, at the New Era Development.

Read More

Read More
Somaliland independence: how Sheffield's Israac community group is fighting for ...

But in 2021, the Chinese community in Sheffield also had a series of racial attacks to contend with, which created some fear in the city.

Police investigations are continuing and Mr Cheung says Chinese people can once again feel safe in the city.

“It is much much better. We hit the front page and I said basically said the city needs to say something and I think that reporting was instrumental in raising awareness of this happening, and I guess people feel completely ashamed that it was happening, and that is powerful,” he said.

The New Era Square at Bramall Lane in Sheffield.

"Since this report, I’m not aware that there has been another one – it was very very helpful in reducing this kind of hate crime.”

Mr Cheung is a big fan of Sheffield, having lived here for a long time, but he says it is the people of Sheffield who make the Steel City what it is.

“Overall, in general, it is a very friendly city and one of the strong points is the people, nice people. It is a city that is very easy to like, very good for living,” he said.

In terms of improvements Sheffield can make to help the Chinese community, Mr Cheung said “more can always be done.”

But he said that Chinese people are very self-reliant and they will just get on with things, which makes settling into a city much easier.

“The Chinese, by nature, they are kind of very self-reliant, and they just get on with things, get on with their jobs, and get on with their life basically,” he said.

“Historically, and it will go on, the Chinese community never cause trouble, they very quietly get on with things, and that will carry on – they are maybe in fact too quiet, I always wanted them to engage more to integrate, and maybe the city can help me out in doing that.

“The city is very supportive of cultural events, like Chinese new year celebrations and all that.”

His New Era Square development, which was completed in September 2020 and is a mix of residential, retail, business and leisure, is said to be proving a success, with students flocking there, all the commercial units having been let and offices now let out.

He hopes the new year proves just as successful.

“The Chinese students can literally get everything they need within the square, groceries, shopping, everything they need really,” he said.