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Wigan to become largest textile centre in Europe
26
Feb '08
England's North-west is set to become a major European centre for trade with China after ambitious plans for a £125million textile manufacturing hub were unveiled this week.

Dubbed 'Chinagateway', the one million square foot development will be similar to one in Dubai. It will create the largest clothing and textile industry centre in Europe – a 'textile city' that will be home to a large number of Chinese companies trading with the UK and Europe.

It is expected to create at least 1,000 jobs plus a further 3,000 in spin-off industries. An international quality hotel for exhibition delegates and buyers visiting Wigan will also be built, along with a direct link from the site to the A49 and M6.

Thursday's deal follows more than two years of discussions between Wigan Council, Chinamex (the official trading platform of the Chinese government) and Commercial Group Properties PLC, one of the fastest growing property companies in the UK. It is supported by the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Textiles, which has a membership of over 6,300 Chinese textile companies through its links with Chinamex.

Wigan Council Leader Peter Smith says: “The Prime Minister says he wants the UK to be the prime location in Europe for inward Chinese investment. In Wigan we are about to make that ambition a reality.”

“The benefits to Wigan and the North West region in terms of jobs are enormous, but this is a scheme that has internationalsignificance.”

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