This week, the UK-China Infrastructure Academy opened its doors and welcomed 30 delegates onto its first course.
Over the period of a week delegates from Chinese companies and government departments will receive training on the policy, financial, planning and legal frameworks governing the UK’s infrastructure environment.
Announced during the 2015 China State Visit, the Academy is a key part of the UK-China Infrastructure Alliance, a one of a kind platform designed to bring together UK and Chinese infrastructure capabilities and attract Chinese investment into UK infrastructure projects.
Launching the Academy, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Andrew Percy, said:
I am delighted to launch this new Academy - an important stepping stone in this golden era of UK China relations.
Chinese companies will benefit from greater support to invest in the Northern Powerhouse and across the UK, helping create more jobs and boosting economic growth.
In the last year alone, foreign direct investment into the Northern Powerhouse grew at twice the national average and this new Academy will help build on this success.
The Academy is being delivered on behalf of the government by The Bartlett, University College London’s (UCL) Faculty of the Built Environment.
UCL President and Provost, Professor Michael Arthur, said:
The launch of the UK-China Infrastructure Academy is an exciting opportunity for UCL to use its considerable expertise to help Britain and China to expand their investment in infrastructure.
UCL is redoubling its efforts to work collaboratively with global partners to address pressing challenges and leading this initiative exemplifies our commitment to using our knowledge innovatively for wider social and economic benefit.
Chinese investment in UK infrastructure and regeneration projects has totalled £4 billion since 2012. The Academy will look to increase this by securing large-scale investment from companies actively looking to enter and invest in the UK but who lack experience of operating successfully in the UK.
As part of the course, delegates will visit UK infrastructure sites including viewing Northern Powerhouse infrastructure investment opportunities.
The inauguration of the Academy was also attended by Lin Nianxiu, Vice Chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, and Professor Alan Penn, Dean of The Bartlett, University College London.
The UK-China Infrastructure Alliance will provide benefit UK businesses through improved access to the Chinese market and collaboration with Chinese counterparts in other markets.