China state visit: 9 UK projects the Government wants to sell to the Chinese after Hinkley

The Hinkley power plant is just one of the projects up for sale during President Xi’s visit

Hazel Sheffield
Monday 19 October 2015 13:09
British Union flags and Chinese flags fly together on the Mall in central London, on October 18, 2015.
British Union flags and Chinese flags fly together on the Mall in central London, on October 18, 2015.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, will start a four-day visit to the UK on October 19, where he is expected to clinch an investment deal to fund a nuclear power plant at Hinkley point.

Ahead of the visit, the Chinese ambassador Liu Xiaoming said on the Andrew Marr show that the deal is “in the best interests of Britain and also in the interest of partnership between China and the UK”.

Asked if he expected a deal to be announced, Mr Liu said: “I certainly hope so because it is a very important project between our two countries.”

The Hinkley power plant is just one of the projects up for sale during President Xi’s visit. In September, Chancellor George Osborne put together a brochure of projects worth £24 billion for Chinese investment. They include a new shopping district in Birmingham, homes and offices in Sheffield, a new Chinatown in Liverpool, and “Science Central” – a “living laboratory” of homes and shops in Newcastle.

This is where some of the Chinese money is going to go

Here are ten of the projects George Osborne is trying to flog:

1. Birmingham City investments, Birmingham

£10-50 million in 2015

Denise Li, president at GlobalChina Wealth Management Company, told the Birmingham Post that a Chinese consortium plans to spend between £10 million and £50 million in 2015 and treble that the year after. The projects could stretch to Birmingham Smithfield development at the Wholesale Markets, regeneration around Curzon Street Station and the Icknield Port Loop residential quarter, the Post said.

2. Sheffield Retail Quarter, Sheffield

£480 million

From 2017-2021, Chinese cash will be used to build homes and offices in a new retail quarter in Sheffield.

3. New Chinatown, Liverpool

£400-500 million

Osborne wants £400-500 million for 1000 new homes in the UK’s oldest Chinatown.

4. Preesall Gas Storage


Halite just got planning permission to open the UK’s largest on-shore underground gas storage facility in Lancashire, worth £660 million. The project has been subject to a 12-year planning dispute from local people worried about an explosion, among other disputes. Now it has planning permission, eight years of construction are about to begin.

5. South Bank, Leeds

£1.5 billion

A regeneration scheme covering more than 130 hectares in the city centre worth £1.5 billion.

6. Science Central, Newcastle

£2 billion

Science Central, a 24 acre city-centre development in Newcastle, which is being designed as a “living laboratory” where “solutions” to cities can be tested and commercialised, according to the Science Central website.

7. Hinkley Point Nuclear Plant

£2 billion

Hinkley Point power stations: Britain has not built a nuclear power station for 25 years but a new plant at Hinkley is planned to supply 7 per cent of Britain’s energy needs

EDF, the energy has admitted this that China General Nuclear Corp (CGN) and China National Nuclear Corp (CNNC) were some of the only investors in two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point – because no one else wanted to be involved.

8. Manchester Place, Manchester

£3 billion

Three new zones of more than 10,000 homes with a combined value of over £3 billion, with construction starting in the summer of next year.

9. HS2 High Speed railway

£11.8 billion

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne leaves Turpan, north west China where he paid a private visit to the ancient ruins of the Silk Road settlement Yar City dating back three thousand years.

Osborne is seeking £11.8 billion for seven contracts needed to build the first phase of HS2 high speed railway between London and Birmingham – before the scheme has received planning approval in Parliament.

10. Atlantic Gateway, Manchester and Liverpool

Up to £75 billion

A series of projects connecting the Port of Liverpool to the City of Manchester. According to the prospectus, by 250,000 jobs will be created in this area, involving £14 billion of new investment, by 2030. Among the projects in the business prospectus:

• Expansion of the Sci-Tech Daresbury science and research base

• Expansion of the port facilities at the Port of Liverpool, Port Salford, and Port Warrington

• Improving rail connectivity across the North of England

The full 'pitch book' is available via the Treasury.

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