- Posted by Newsdesk
- On 17th January 2017
- china, Chinese New Year, investment, Manchester, Northern Powerhouse, uk
Considering that Chinese residents in 2011 made up less than 1% of the Greater Manchester population, Chinese interest in Manchester property increasing by 53.8% in November compared to November 2015 may come as some surprise. However, all eyes are on Manchester as a number of investment partnerships are underway right on time for Chinese New Year – for which Manchester regularly holds the second largest celebrations in the UK after London and the third largest in Europe.
As part of the Northern Powerhouse proposal to boost economic growth in Northern England and reposition the British economy away from London, ministers are attempting to attract more than GBP 5 billion for 13 developments from Chinese and international lenders, with four of these projects in the Greater Manchester area. With the Manchester-China Forum estimating that in 2016 a total of GBP 2.1 billion worth of development had Chinese involvement, the region is not far off from its goal. One tangible example of Chinese investment has been seen in Beijing Construction Engineering Group’s (BCEG’s) involvement in the Middlewood Lock’s in Salford, worth GBP 700 million.
But it is not only property investment that has gained attention from the Chinese. A year ago, China’s president Xi Jinping visited Manchester during his first visit to Britain in over a decade. Following his stay, Manchester opened its first direct non-stop flights to Mainland China with a Hainan airways flight to Beijing in June 2016. This has made Manchester the only hub outside of London in Britain with direct flights to China, with the Manchester Airport Group predicting that in 10 years, the economic impact of Chinese visitors to the region will be worth GBP 500 million, doubling the current value. Since Xi Jinping’s visit, Chinese arrivals to Manchester have increased, and bookings from China to the UK for January are up by 81% compared to the same time period a year ago. This increase coincides with the Chinese New Year on January 28th, for which Manchester will host a number of exhibitions and events to celebrate the Chinese holiday. An exhibition titled ‘Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors,’ commissioned for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, is currently on display at Exchange Square, and a number of events are planned for Manchester’s four day Chinese New Year programme.
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