China’s Xinjiang Hualing Industry & Trade Group has announced plans to invest £1.2bn in Scarborough Group projects across the North, including the £730m Middlewood Locks in Salford.
Middlewood Locks was granted outline planning consent in March, with the masterplan including 2,000 homes and 750,000 sq ft of mixed-use space at a 23.6-acre site near to the former Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal.
Middlewood Locks is being developed by FairBriar International, a joint venture between Scarborough Group, Top Spring International Holding, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer, and Metro Holdings, a Singapore-listed property development and investment group.
The development site is centred around three large basins of the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal. Alongside the residential aspect, which will deliver a mix of family homes and apartments for young professionals, the scheme will deliver space for mixed commercial uses including offices, shops, delis, restaurants, a convenience store and gym.
The two further projects where Hualing Industry & Trade Group and Scarborough Group have agreed financial terms are Thorpe Park, a £400m mixed-use project in Leeds; and Sheffield Digital Campus, a £40m commercial and office development.
In total, the portfolio under discussion has a combined gross value of more than £1.2bn.
The investment was revealed as part of a visit by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to Urumqi in the region of Xinjiang, North West China, during which he announced an ambition to make China the UK’s second largest trading partner by 2025.
According to the latest available trade figures from the Office for National Statistics, China is currently the UK’s sixth largest trading partner, with British exports to the country totalling £25bn in 2013.
Kevin McCabe, chairman of Scarborough Group, said: “We appreciate the invaluable support of the UK government in helping us to create closer global business links.
“For Scarborough, this is the latest chapter in a long history in China, spanning over 13 years, during which time we have established strong relationships with local partners as the foundation for significant investments in China and the Far East.
“As a family business with its roots in the North of England, we are now very proud to bring our partners in China to the UK to invest in our great Northern Cities and to accelerate the development of our major projects in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.
“Our partnership with the Hualing Group is a new and exciting one for Scarborough and we look forward to working with them over the coming years to bring our Northern projects to fruition.”
Scarborough Group has appointed WCEC Group as the architect for the first phase of Middlewood Locks which will deliver around 550 homes, alongside engineer Buro Happold, and quantity surveyor Gardiner Theobald. Zerum represents Scarborough as planning consultant. Studio Egret West is the masterplan architect.