Sheffield has secured a Chinese investment deal worth more than £1bn, the biggest by a UK city outside of London, in a move which will initially fund four or five city centre projects over the next three years and has the potential to create hundreds of jobs.
A 60-year partnership has been agreed with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, one of the largest companies in Sichuan Province.
The first tranche of funding associated with this agreement is worth in the region of £220m and will fund four or five Sheffield city centre projects over the next three years. The exact projects that the investment will fund are yet to be determined.
Councillor Julie Dore (above, right), leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “This is the biggest Chinese investment deal to be made by a UK city outside of London.
“And perhaps more importantly it is first deal of its kind to be made by a UK city. This is a real partnership.
“The projects funded by this investment will be determined by Sheffield City Council, and the 60-year commitment secures a stream of investment into our city for the next generation, and means a whole range of projects become viable because of the long-term nature of the relationship.”
Councillor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, added: “We are clear that this will create hundreds, if not thousands, of additional jobs for the people of Sheffield. The investment comes from China, but the workforce on these projects will be British.”
The deal between Sheffield City Council and Sichuan Guodong Construction Group has been over 18 months in the making.
Mr Wang (above, left), chairman of the board and president of Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, has visited Sheffield a number of times.
Wang said: “This agreement illustrates our confidence in Sheffield as a city going from strength to strength, with real growth potential. We are looking forward to being a part of this over the coming decades.”
Chengdu is a city of 16 million people, the fifth largest in China, and largest in Sichuan Province in western China. The work agreement with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group is running parallel to increasing civic and cultural ties between Sheffield and the city of Chengdu.