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Sheffield's incubator bid to boost business links with China

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Business and education leaders from Sheffield are joining forces to launch a new hub set to help build links and generate investment from China.

The China UK Business Incubator launch takes place on Monday 17 September from 5pm at New Era Square in Sheffield.

Business leaders, entrepreneurs, policy makers, VIPs and Chinese students have been invited to the launch, which is being hosted by New Era Development, Sheffield's new Chinatown district - at the junction of Bramall Lane and St Mary's Gate.

The China UK Business Incubator (CUBI) is a not-for-profit social enterprise, which will be located at the New Era Development, It is supported by supported by New Era, Sheffield Chamber of Commerce, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and Sheffield City Council. The aim is to stimulate more economic activity between Sheffield City Region and China at a time when the UK needs to increase trading partners beyond Europe.

The CUBI will sit within the New Era Development a mixed use project which includes the 21 storey Jade Tower, student accommodation, offices, retail and catering units along with a purpose-built plaza.

Jerry Cheung, New Era Development managing director, said: “The key to success of this China UK Business incubator is the marriage of the public sector (Sheffield City Council), the education sector (University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University), the business sector (Chamber of Commerce) and the private sector (New Era Development); all coming together to collaborate on this not-for-profit social enterprise. The overarching objective is to create wealth and jobs for the people and businesses of the City of Sheffield and the local region.”

Professor Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Sheffield Business School at Sheffield Hallam University, said: "We are delighted to be part of this exciting initiative to grow business links with China. It will help to cement Sheffield's position as northern gateway for Chinese enterprise and as an education and innovation hub for Chinese students. "We look forward to strengthening our links with China and creating new jobs and opportunities for our graduates and others living within the city region."

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Sheffield added: I am very proud to have been asked to serve as the Honorary President of the China UK Business Incubator to be based at the New Era Development in Sheffield. The vision for the project is one of true collaboration between individuals, organisations and countries for the greater good.

"It also reflects a spirit of openness to China and its people which will create opportunity and prosperity for local people in Sheffield and within China, leading to the kind of win-win cooperation which is important to all our futures. I wish all the best to those who will bring their ideas and energies to this venture and I'm committed to doing all I can with my university to ensure the UK and China can work together for the good of all."

Sir Keith will be Honorary President of the CUBI while former MP and ex-Sports Minister Richard Caborn will be Chairman.

The CUBI will offer support in trading with China, incubation space to help Chinese nationals set up businesses in Sheffield and help in increasing the city's Chinese student population.

To attend and for press information: ContactPolly Mosley in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 3224 or email