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China's FEC to build Manchester tower blocks

By ANGUS McNEICE | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-08-29 16:22

Far East Consortium, the Chinese property developer, has been given planning approval for a 235-million-pound ($303 million) residential development in Manchester, north west England.

The company will build four separate blocks of apartments around the fringes in the city's Angel Meadow park area, the tallest rising to 40 floors.

Building will start next year and the scheme will provide 754 new homes. The towers will be designed by UK-based 5Plus Architects.

Following a public consultation process in April, FEC submitted a planning application to the council which was approved on Thursday.

The towers mark a significant step forward in the continued regeneration of Angel Meadows, once one of the UK's most infamous 19th century industrial slums.

FEC will head up further builds in Manchester and its surrounding area in the years to come.

Earlier this year, Manchester City Council selected the Chinese firm as lead contractor on the one-billion-pound Northern Gateway project, which aims to bring 10,000 new homes to the city over the next 15 years.

The Northern Gateway project is led by Manchester Place, a joint initiative between Manchester City Council and the UK Government's Homes and Communities Agency.

Northern Gateway is described as one of the largest development projects ever undertaken in Manchester, and will include cycle routes, walking trails and green spaces across 1.2 million square meters of land-taking in the neighborhoods of New Cross, Lower Irk Valley and Collyhurst.

"Manchester is the third-most visited city in the UK and is famed for its architecture, culture, musical exports and media links along with an impressive heritage of scientific and engineering innovations," said David Chiu, chairman of FEC. "I am of the belief this project is a top priority for FEC in the UK."

FEC was founded in 1972 by Hong Kong entrepreneur Deacon Chiu.

The family business operates under the so-called "Chinese wallet" strategy, in which developers acquire real estate in areas that attract large numbers of Chinese tourists and residents. FEC's overseas portfolio includes property in Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, the UK and New Zealand.

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