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Hi-tech investors hope to spark hub for innovation in England's Northeast

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-06-13 17:45

Newcastle, in England's Northeast, will become a new innovation hub if the British authorities give the green light to a Chinese investor's plan.

TusPark, a Chinese company that builds business parks, has confirmed it is in talks to acquire Maybrook House on Grainger Street in Newcastle. The company plans to use the site to forge stronger links between Chinese and United Kingdom businesses and, if the project is successful, TusPark will consider purchasing a second site, on Newcastle's Science Central, to further boost its presence in the Northeast.

Yu Xiong, a business professor at Northumbria University and the project's principle advisor, told the Chronicle newspaper: "The reason we told them to have a business here in the Northeast is because I feel we have the Northern Powerhouse, we have easy access to Scotland, and we have good industries, such as healthcare, creative industries, and many others." The report noted that Maybrook House currently has a number of corporate tenants and TusPark will not be looking to actively remove them from the office space. Xiong said the center will expand over time and spread into additional space if tenants move out.

The innovation center is expected to provide funding and collaboration to local companies working in subsea technology, life sciences, healthcare, and the creative industries.

According the Chronicle, TusPark will promote joint ventures with Chinese businesses.

TusPark will also aim to make the company's 40 science and innovation parks across China available to UK firms.

The project is also likely to help promote the Northeast by providing facilities in the UK that can be used by Chinese companies.

TusPark will also look to support companies that want to get involved in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

TusPark, which started out as a science park at Tsinghua University, is the world's largest university science park operator and develops and operates parks on the Chinese mainland, and in Hong Kong, the United States, South Korea, and Russia.

The science parks also offer business incubation centers and technology research and development properties.

TusPark confirmed it was involved in talks regarding the project and said more details will be released after a deal is finalized.

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