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Chancellor’s praise as Salford’s Middlewood Locks draws down China investment

Chancellor George Osborne has hailed a 2000-home Salford scheme for attracting Chinese investment during a state visit to the country.

Middlewood Locks – a 21-acre brownfield site in walking distance of Manchester city centre – is being developed by The Scarborough Group.

Plans including towerblocks up to 32 storeys high, alongside 750,000 sq ft of commercial space, are going on show in Salford this week.

Read: Consultation launched on Salford’s 2000-home, £575m Middlewood Locks

The proposals go out to the public on Thursday 24 September at the Ainscow Hotel and St Philip’s Primary School, with all the details here.

Scarborough are expected to lodge a detailed planning application for the first phase of 550 homes, 29,000 sq ft of office and retail space and cycleways connecting Middlewood with Manchester, by October.

middlewood locks

A decision by Salford City Council planners is expected by the end of 2015.

The gross development value of the Salford project varies between £575 million and £730 million in Scarborough’s own estimates.

Scarborough secured deals with China-based Hauling Industry and Trade Group to deliver Middlewood, along with two further housing schemes in Leeds and Sheffield.

In his visit to Xinjiang Osborne announced plans to make China the UK’s second largest trading partner by 2025.

British exports to the country totalled £25 billion in 2013.

Osborne said: “We are building an ever closer relationship with China. It’s a partnership that is set to unleash growth and help regions like Xinjiang where we know investment can make a real difference, as well as unleash new growth back home, in places like our own Northern Powerhouse.”

Scarborough Group chairman Kevin McCabe said: “We are delighted to join the Chancellor on this historic visit moreover we appreciate the invaluable support of the UK government in helping us to create closer global business links.

“As a family business with its roots in the North, we are now very proud to bring our partners in China to the UK to invest in our great Northern cities and to accelerate the development of our major projects in Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield.”

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Tom is SalfordOnline.com's News Editor and community co-ordinator.