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  1. ITV Report

Chinese agree investment in Lancashire ahead of historic state visit to Manchester

Daniel Hewitt - Political Correspondent

Chinese investment and innovation in Lancashire will be announced on Friday as the North West welcomes President Xi Jinping for an historic state visit.

The Chinese Premier will join Prime Minister David Cameron in a series of events across Manchester following several agreements between the two countries to invest hundreds of millions of Chinese money in the North of England.

The deals set to be agreed include:

  • Hainan Airlines announcing the first direct flights from Manchester Airport to China – the first outside London. The deal is estimated to provide a £50million boost to the Manchester economy and open up links from China to the North.
  • Beijing Construction and Engineering Group (BCEG) being appointed as main contractor for the Middlewood Locks regeneration project in Manchester. BCEG will also provide £4million development financing to help kickstart the project.
  • The University of Central Lancashire establishing a joint innovation and entrepreneurship campus with the Shenzhen Government in south eastern China.
  • The University of Central Lancashire establishing a joint innovation and entrepreneurship campus with the Shenzhen Government in south eastern China.

On his visit to China in September, the Chancellor George Osborne announced £60m agreement between Hualing Group and UK real estate company Scarborough Group International for Middlewood Locks, a regeneration project in Salford building hundreds of homes as well as hotels and restaurants.

China is also investing £800m into Manchester's Airport City.

The Prime Minister said: "We are committed to rebalancing our economy and building a Northern Powerhouse. China is a key trading partner for the UK and the partnerships being made today will see real investment going into the North. This is all part of this government’s plan to attract more investment and deliver economic growth to an area of huge potential."