A Chinese construction company has agreed to invest an initial sum of £220m

A Chinese construction group has agreed to invest more than £1bn in Sheffield over the next 60 years.

Sichuan Guodong Construction Group has also agreed to a first tranche of funding worth £220m, that will be used on up to five, as yet undetermined, city centre projects over the next three years.

Councillor Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield City council, said: “This is the biggest Chinese investment deal to be made by a UK city outside of London. And perhaps more importantly it is first deal of its kind to be made by a UK city. This is a real partnership.”

“At a time of unprecedented uncertainty and turmoil on the national political scene, we have taken the bull by the horns and led by example here in Sheffield,” she added.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, deputy leader of Sheffield City council, promised that while the investment into Sheffield derives from China, the workforce on the projects will be British.

Mr Wang, chairman and president of Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, has visited Sheffield a number of times.

He has previously said: “Sheffield really does stand out amongst all UK cities as an outstanding business investment. This agreement illustrates our confidence in Sheffield as a city going from strength to strength, with real growth potential. We are looking forward to being a part of this over the coming decades.”

Sheffield has also recently signed co-operation trade agreements with China’s leading centre for oil and gas and location of a major World Snooker International Championship Daqing and the city of Nanchang, to boost trade between local Sheffield companies and China.

The news follows HS2’s unveiling of new proposals to end the high-speed railway line in Sheffield’s city centre rather than at British Land’s Meadowhall shoping centre on the outskirts of the northern city and Sheffield council choosing Queensberry Real Estate as its preferred bidder for the development of its long-delayed £480m city centre retail quarter scheme.