Proposed Chinese development could create 400 jobs in Sheffield
08 September 2014
A £65million property development has been announced at a special launch in Sheffield.
New Era Square is a proposed 20-storey mixed leisure, commercial and residential development which is set to transform an area between London Road and Bramall Lane, close to the city centre.
The project, which has received significant inward investment from China, is set to create more than 400 new jobs once construction has been completed.
Planning application has been submitted to Sheffield City Council, with the aim to start work on the development by early 2015 and Phase 1 to be completed by the summer of the following year.
A consortium of six investors from China have put the funds forward for the project, which has received support from the Consulate-General Of The People’s Republic of China in Manchester, with Consul General Pan Yundong attending the project’s launch in Sheffield.
New Era Development Ltd, the Sheffield-based company behind the plans, wishes to create a “cosmopolitan, international, multi-cultural square which is available to all.” It is working with Sheffield architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson Ltd on the proposals.
The exciting major project will include retail units, food and drink outlets on the ground floor, leading out to an open air square for events. A large Chinese supermarket will span two levels.
On the first floor there will be office space for professional service businesses, an exhibition hall and a China Business Incubator to enhance enterprise and trade between China and the UK.
From the third floor there will be approximately 700 student accommodation units, predominately 30sqm studio rooms, plus micro-flats and student cluster flats.
Jerry Cheung, Managing Director of New Era Development (UK) Limited said: “This development is a significant inward investment in the Sheffield City Region. It is a landmark project for an area of the city which will be transformed into a modern, cultural and enjoyable location for all.
“The investors from China are key business individuals and are very keen to promote and showcase the incubator facility we are looking to create in Sheffield to their contacts in the Far East. This will offer a fantastic opportunity for any business looking to break into the Chinese market. It would also provide businesses in China with a UK market entry through Sheffield.
“We began work on this project a number of years ago, but in the last 18 months we began to purchase land to take forward our plans and make them a reality. Plans to redevelop the area have been discussed for more than a decade. These proposals will contain the spirit of those plans but with a more cosmopolitan feel incorporating all cultures, not just Chinese.
“We have liaised closely with Sharrow Community Forum, Sheffield City Council, St Mary’s Church and Sheffield United Football Club on the proposals, plus local businesses.
“If granted planning permission, the project is to start construction in early 2015 with the aim to be completed by the summer of 2016 in-time for the new student intake that September.”
At the project’s launch, one of the investors, JainFei Qin, said: “Great Britain is a great financial and trading nation, is one of the most globalised countries in Europe and is also a country with the fastest economic recovery in western countries. Foreign trade and international investment is an important step. From this point of view, the UK and Sheffield provides a good opportunity and indeed an important market where Chinese enterprises can get onto the world stage.
“We are very pleased that the Sheffield Government, business community and education sector have all shown their strong support to our project. The New Era Square development is just our first step in investing in the UK.”
Deputy Consul General Zhou Haicheng, said: “Sheffield is a well-known city to China. By looking to the UK as one of the biggest growing economies I think there are a lot of opportunities for these two communities to work together.
“New Era Development has caught this great opportunity for development and investment and I wish the success of this project. I hope Sheffield becomes a real global city as a result of this scheme.”
Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City Council added: “The New Era Square project is an exciting step forward for the city of Sheffield and will bring with it a number of benefits. Investment such as this in the city is vital to keep the local and regional economy robust and this will be a fantastic opportunity to boost our international trade and investment links with China.
“The multi-use development will create a modern and cultural hub that will be a significant landmark for the city and I am very much looking forward to seeing the project come to life over the coming months.”
Paul Blomfield, Labour MP for Sheffield Central, said: “The New Era Square scheme is a significant business and residential development for the St Mary’s Gate area. This is a major investment that will allow Sheffield to strengthen our links with China and encourage further investment within the city. It will provide a significant boost to the local economy through the creation of hundreds of jobs and by attracting more people to live, work and eat in the area.”
Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg, said: “As a local MP I believe that the New Era Development is an outstanding chance to move our city forward and build on our strong business relationship with China. This significant inward investment could see major improvements to part of the City Centre, create hundreds of new jobs and act as a catalyst for even more investment. As a city we should do everything within our power to grab this opportunity with both hands.”
Plans are now being developed for further public consultations on the proposals in the coming weeks.