Sheffield project to add 400 jobs after £65m Chinese investment

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A Proposed development will create more than 400 jobs in Sheffield after securing £65m from a Chinese investment consortium.

Plans for the 40,000 sq m site between London Road and Brammal Lane, dubbed New Era Square, include a pedestrianised plaza with retail units, a 695-room private student residence and 2,700 sq m commercial office space.

The offices will house the Chinese Business Incubator (CBI), which will partner with local companies, public sector organisations and the city’s universities to improve access to firms and investment in China’s markets.

Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg backed the development, which is subject to planning permission, as ‘an outstanding chance to move our city forward’.

‘As a city we should do everything within our power to grab this opportunity with both hands,’ he said.

The development, designed by Sheffield-based architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson, evolved out of plans to create a Sheffield Chinatown in 2005, Jerry Cheung, managing director at New Era Development, said.

Inclusiveness is ‘the single most-important element’ of the scheme, which will provide a ‘pedestrian and social link’ between the London Road area and the city centre, he added.

Sheffield City Council cabinet member Cllr Leigh Brammal said the council is ‘extremely keen’ on the programme as it builds on the existing community around London Road.

The investment is also proof Sheffield has ‘a very strong story to tell’ to attract the international business community, particularly in areas such as Asia and the Middle East, he said.