Did Brexit uncertainty scupper major Chinese investment decision to opt for Holland and not Fenland? Quite likely says council report

Cllr David Oliver (left) of Fenland Council advised colleagues that uncertainty over Brexit may have

Cllr David Oliver (left) of Fenland Council advised colleagues that uncertainty over Brexit may have influenced Chinese decision not to invest in Fenland. Right: The New European newspaper launched by Archant in the wake of the referendum vote to leave. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

A potential major investment by the Chinese into the Fens has been scuppered partly by uncertainty over Brexit, says a report by Fenland District Council.

Councillor David Oliver, the portfolio holder for growth, told council colleagues that the Chinese interest had stalled and now gone elsewhere.

“A significant Chinese investment has opted for a warehouse in Holland rather than the UK,” he said. “Their European customers are concerned about continuity of deliveries from the UK, in part due to the uncertainty created by Brexit.”

Cllr Oliver’s report was presented along with news that in December there had been other inward investment inquiries.

“One significant new inquiry identified is from an investor looking for 60 new prominent sites per year,” he said. “The inquiry is hoping to identify sites in Fenland that could be in town, edge of centre or out of town locations, with main road frontage with strong pedestrian or traffic flow.”

He said the investor was looking for unit sizes of between 14,000ft2 and 26,500ft2, stand-alone units on 1.5 acres plus.

Cllr Oliver said: “Two further inquiries have been received, one from an existing farming business who is looking for funding to reduce production costs and carbon foot print.”

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The other inquiry was from a start-up business, looking to launch in Fenland.

“Advice was provided regarding a new business support programme and potential funding available,” said Cllr Oliver.