Ambitious plans for a multi-million pound Chinese investment in Wigan have taken a big step forward.
Commercial Group Properties PLC has told the Stock Exchange it has agreed to buy Westwood Business Park from the council for a new manufacturing, research and development facility in partnership with Chinamex, the official trading platform of the Chinese government.
The development could create up to 1000 textile and clothing manufacturing jobs in Wigan, and the council’s leader Peter Smith today welcomed the news.
Lord Smith said:
“This is a very encouraging step in the right direction. We have been in constructive negotiations with CGP for many months. The development would be an enormous regeneration opportunity for the area.
“It would bring substantial job opportunities and economic benefits to our borough. We are currently looking to make sure these opportunities are targeted towards local people.”
Financial details have not yet been revealed and CGP will now submit a full business plan early next month before the proposal is put to the council’s ruling cabinet.
A planning application to develop up to one million square feet of the 55 acre site is also expected.
CGP and Chinamex are working closely with the China Chamber of Commerce for import and export of textiles, which represents 70% of all Chinese textile manufacturers. It has over 6300 member companies.
Lord Smith added:
“China is now one of the world’s most important economies. The UK, particularly the North West, is seen by the Chinese as a clear business opportunity, and Wigan, halfway between Liverpool and Manchester, is ideally positioned within the region to attract investment.
“Subject to an acceptable business plan and planning application, we feel confident this development is now close to becoming a reality.”
- Westwood Business Park is just a mile from Wigan town centre and less than two miles from the M6. The former site of a large power station, its infrastructure has been substantially improved with funding from Europe and the government and it is now a prime development location.