China-based Beijing Construction Engineering Group (BCEG) has agreed to invest in the development of Manchester Airport's new business centre.
BCEG has entered into a joint venture with Manchester Airports Group (MAG), Greater Manchester Pension Fund and UK construction group Carillion, under which the parties will invest a combined £800m to develop the Manchester Airport.
The 'Airport City' project is expected to create 16,000 jobs, attract overseas businesses, and strengthen business links between Britain and China.
The agreement was announced by chancellor, George Osborne, who is on a five-day trade mission in China.
Speaking in Beijing, George Osborne said that the scheme will be one of the biggest projects since the construction of the Olympic Park.
Following the project, the area surrounding Manchester Airport will showcase five million square feet of development, including offices, hotels, advanced manufacturing space, logistics and warehousing.
The Airport City is expected to compete with other European 'Airport Cities' developments in Barcelona and Amsterdam.
MAG chief executive Charlie Cornish said that the group is delighted to confirm BCEG as its joint venture partners.
"The inclusion of BCEG is significant because as a group, we have been keen to forge greater links with the Far East and this gives MAG an opportunity to strengthen vital business links with China."
BCEG International managing director Xing Yan said: "We see our involvement in Airport City as an extension of the memorandum of understanding between China and the UK, where we have been looking to further explore joint infrastructure opportunities for some time."
The project received the outline planning permission in the beginning of 2013 and the construction work is expected to start by the end of this year, with the project set to be established over a period of 15 years.
UK-based property development company Argent, which was involved in the regeneration of 67 acres of brownfield land at London's King's Cross train station, has been appointed by the joint venture as development manager.
Image: The £800m expansion of Manchester Airport is expected to create 16,000 new jobs. Photo: courtesy of MKY661.