MK firm leading way to great haul of China

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A MILTON Keynes company of master planners’ work in securing contracts in China has been highlighted as an example for other firms to follow.

David Lock Associates (DLA), in North Thirteenth Street, is taking a lead role in the development of a new community in Guiyang, south west China, which will provide homes and facilities for around 440,000 people.

During a visit to Chongqing in China, trade and investment minister Lord Green called on UK companies to look for new opportunities there.

DLA had visited Chinese eco cities allied to the UK during a trade mission organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) in 2009.

In turn, MK has been visited by delegations of Chinese planning professionals eager to learn about MK and sustainable development in the UK.

After DLA produced a conceptual master plan for expansion of the Wuhan East Lakes innovation zone in 2010, Wuhan City Planning Bureau awarded DLA the contract to provide a master plan and urban design guidance for the Bayi Road project near central Wuhan.

A Memorandum of Understanding with DLA’s partner in the project, Wuhan Planning and Design Institute, was signed in Beijing last year.

Lawrence Revill, DLA’s MD, said: “It has taken only a short time for projects in China to become a very important part of our business. UK expertise in these fields is highly regarded in China, allied to sustainable design and construction to reduce the carbon impact of development while creating high-quality places for people to live. This ‘export’ opportunity owes a great deal to UKTI expertise, sponsorship and support.” DLA plans to establish a Chinese business later this year.

Lord Green said: “China invested nearly US$35 billion in clean energy in 2009, more than anywhere else in the world. That is why we are encouraging greater collaboration between UK businesses and their Chinese counterparts to transfer technical expertise, cut business costs and drive green economic growth.”