The Guardian newspaper reports that the traditional textile industry base of Northwest of England may be revivied, aimed by a joint development project by UK and China. Wigan borough council has agreed with Chinamex, a stat-owned body and a local property developer, to develop a brownfield site at Westwood Park on the edge of Wigan.

The Textiles City project will see Chinamex to take on up to 2m sq ft, half for manufacturing, half for research and development. Chinamex hopes this project will creat a manufacturing base closer to European customers.

Wigan has long history of established textile industry since 19th century. However it started to decline from early 20th century, being unable to compete cheaper markets. The last cotton mill closed in 1980.

The Guardian reports (by Helen Carter):

Almost 27 years after the last cotton mill closed its doors in the northern industrial town, synonymous with George Orwell’s The Road To Wigan Pier, Chinese investors are proposing a new manufacturing hub for cotton.

Chinamex, a state-owned body which helps Chinese companies expand overseas, has agreed with a property developer and Wigan borough council to develop a brownfield site at Westwood Park on the edge of the town.

The Textiles City project is being viewed by Chinamex as an opportunity to create a manufacturing capability closer to European customers.

According to those close to the project, Chinamex has agreed to take on up to 2m sq ft, about half of which will be used for textiles manufacturing. The remaining space will be used for research and development and as a showcase to demonstrate China’s manufacturing.