Half a million contract to take Milton Keynes to China

Dr Wei Yang, an expert on garden cities and a trustee of the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre
Dr Wei Yang, an expert on garden cities and a trustee of the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre

Two cities in China are set to be based on Milton Keynes after a local firm announced a design contract worth half a million pounds.

Wei Yang and Partners Ltd, founded in Milton Keynes in 2011 and still based in Shenley Brook End with a base in London, is being used by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) as a great example for others during Export Week.

Dr Wei Yang, an expert on garden cities and a trustee of the Milton Keynes City Discovery Centre, in Alston Drive, Bradwell Abbey, said the new city is the most successful new town in the world.

She said: “It’s fantastic to have secured this deal to design two new cities in Hunan province and we are now creating the detailed design and guidance that the government can put in place.

“As the birth place of garden cities and new towns, Britain has a great record of success and Milton Keynes is the most successful new town in the world, offering a strong and friendly community which has stood the test of time.

“The Chinese are looking to create cities that offer people somewhere genuinely exciting to live and work, creating opportunities for future generations, so the design philosophy of Milton Keynes is an obvious influence. Chinese visitors to Milton Keynes are always impressed by the green setting, and see it as a model for building long-term vision for the city and the community in the early days of urban planning, which is one of the reasons why my firm has a base there.”

Wei Yang & Partners Ltd received help from the Sustainable Cities Initiative and UKTI’s Passport for Export Scheme.

China specialist for UKTI South East, international trade adviser Chris Lowsley provided advice and support to Dr Yang to help her travel to meet with the relevant officials.

Mr Lowsley said: “Dr Yang is a world leading expert in town planning, who has chosen to have a base in Milton Keynes due to its established reputation.

“Her knowledge and expertise in eco-town planning and garden city planning have rightly paid off and the complex work she has undertaken has led to her clinching fantastic deals from Chinese cities, proving very valuable to this company and its projected growth.

“With the support of UKTI’s UK and China team, Dr Yang will be seconded as a UK principal expert, advising on China’s eco-city policies and planning guidance, which will inevitably help to boost the profile of UK planning expertise in China.“

Export Week runs until Friday, May 17. and aims to encourage other firms to use the support of UKTI to export to high growth markets such as China, India, Brazil and Russia.

Mr Lowsley dded: “I hope that the success of Dr Yang can be an inspiration to other firms looking to boost sales. There are millions of potential new customers in high growth markets and we at UKTI are here to provide any support we can to help firms reach them.”

Dr Yang has extensive experience of master planning new cities and large scale urban expansions in China and the UK, having worked on Wuhan East Lake Innovation Zone in Hubei Province, China, and Strategic Development Locations in Wokingham, Berkshire.