21st July 2016
Following their return from a visit to Sheffield’s sister city of Chengdu in China, the Leader and Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council are today announcing a 60 year partnership agreement with Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, one of the largest companies in Sichuan Province, who are worth over one billion pounds.
The first tranche of funding associated with this agreement is worth in the region of £220 million 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, 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.
“At a time of unprecedented uncertainty and turmoil on the national political scene, we have taken the bull by the horns and led by example here in Sheffield. We have the skills and the connections to drive economic growth in our city.”
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “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.
“This agreement is ground breaking. It will see the resources made available to deliver the vibrant, growing city centre our city needs. This will make Sheffield even more attractive to inward investment, create jobs and enable us to compete with other big cities. It demonstrates our ambition for the city. We have gone out and made this happen, not sat back and waited for others to come to us. Chengdu and Sichuan Guodong Construction Group are some of the best partners out there and we look forward to further strengthening our ties with the city to make this exciting project happen.”
This deal between Sheffield City Council and Sichuan Guodong Construction Group has been over 18 months in the making. Mr Wang, Chairman of the Board and President of Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, has visited Sheffield a number of times. Mr Wang has previously said of his association with Sheffield: “Sheffield really does stand out amongst all UK cities as an outstanding business investment. 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.”
As well as signing this historic agreement for Sheffield, Councillor Julie Dore and Councillor Leigh Bramall attended the 2016 China Chengdu Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fair and showcased Sheffield to over 50 countries represented.
Sheffield has also recently signed co-operation trade agreements with Daqing, the leading centre for the oil and gas industry in China and location of a major World Snooker International Championship, and the city of Nanchang, to boost trade between local companies and China.
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.