China’s £1 Billion Investment in Sheffield
It seems like our ‘half full - sunshine’ movement (Weekly Insight 5 August 16) has already started to bring us all some sunshine as we learn that China’s Sichuan Guodong Construction Group has inked a deal with Sheffield City Council to invest up to £1bn over the next 60 years.
One of the Biggest Outside London
This is one of the biggest investment deals outside of London. A number of projects will be developed over the next few years. The first few are thought to involve work to get more visitors into the city centre. This will involve the development of more hotels and leisure facilities as well as building more residential properties.
£220 million First Tranche ‘Cheer’
The first tranche of funding in the agreement is worth around £220m. It will fund four or five Sheffield city centre projects over the next three years. The exact projects the investment will fund are yet to be determined and will be decided by the council in the near future.
A ‘Real Partnership’ to smile about
Council leader Julie Dore said:
“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.”
Let’s be Positive - Other Chinese Deals
The partnership deal was signed during a trade visit to Sheffield’s sister city of Chengdu. Sheffield has also recently signed cooperation trade agreements with Daqing, the leading centre for the oil and gas industry in China, and the city of Nanchang, to boost trade between local companies and China.
Chinas Interest in the North
It is not the first time China has shown interest in the northern part of England. Manchester has also been identified as a key strategic market and partner with the country. In particular the concept of the Northern Powerhouse has captured the imagination of Chinese investors, at state, institutional and individual level.
Building on Partnerships
Whatever your project, wherever the development, the chances are that it can benefit from a partnership approach. Essentially, a good team, working together with the key objective of satisfying the client’s needs for a better building, will deliver more for less within agreed time targets. Designers may benefit from some degree of technical expertise, sourcing specialist materials, adaptive engineering, off-site prefabrication and on-site MMC. Whether or not BIM is being used, conceptual designs can be made more ‘buildable’, Building Regulation compliant, and cost effective if the technical structural aspects have been addressed as the design is worked up. Indeed, ideally a ‘team working’ approach is desirable and can have significant benefits, especially in the area of energy efficiency. A useful mnemonic for ‘team’ is:-
Together Each Achieves More