China takes stock from Bristol’s industrial regeneration
This week the City of Bristol welcomed the UK–China Industrial Heritage Re-use and Regeneration Forum.
Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams Limited had the pleasure of hosting a delegation of twenty Chinese representatives from development companies, government, architects and academia for a day of exploration and learning around the city. Their purpose was to examine Bristol’s redeveloped post-industrial landscape, learn from the city’s experiences and gather ideas to help address issues facing China’s own urban regeneration.
In the wake of China’s growth, many cities have left behind substantial industrial building legacies which are steeped in rich culture and history. The Chinese government is now focusing its attention on sensitively and sustainably modernising these inner city industrial sites and heritage buildings. It is hoped that the regeneration of these sites will reinforce a sense of community, make important contributions to the local economy and act as a catalyst for improvements to the wider area. Like China, the UK has a strong industrial heritage and has gained a world-class reputation for redesigning and regenerating post-industrial areas into successful urban quarters which China hopes to replicate.
The forum began their most recent trip to the UK at the ‘Industrial Heritage Conference’ in London introduced by Steven Bee, Chairman of the Academy of Urbanism and former director of English Heritage. Bristol, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham completed the list of stop-off destinations on their study tour of the UK organised by China Design Centre’s director Ying Ying Tian, locations all specifically selected for their impressive regeneration projects. Spokesperson for the China Design Centre, Serena Yao, commented,
“This year we observe the UK-China Year of Cultural Exchange 2015, a year-long celebration of the rich and diverse cultural relationship of both countries. It aims to foster cultural exchange, increase the flow of ideas and develop stronger relationships between people, institutions and governments. Bristol is particularly interesting as it is the sister city of Chinese port city Guangzhou. Bristol was once one of the most important industrial cities for manufacturing, and is now one of the most culturally vibrant and innovative cities in the UK. The experience of this transition is a very important lesson for Chinese cities to learn from.”
“Our delegates are very keen to witness the successful regeneration of Bristol Harbourside, to see how this once busy industrial dock site has been transformed into an attractive, modern development filled with restaurants, bars, shops and hotels to become one of the most attractive sides of the city and still retain its maritime culture.”
The day was hosted by Gregg Latchams Solicitors (otherwise known as Rui Cheng in China) who have assisted Chinese companies with their inbound investments for the past five years and employ two Mandarin Chinese speaking solicitors. Directors Paul Hardman and Ken McEwan had the following to say about Gregg Latchams’ Chinese offering,
“Rui Cheng’s vision is to establish an international legal and business consultancy focused within the environmental sector, to help companies from China access European technology, know-how and markets to help create a better quality environment.”
“Given Bristol’s status as European Green Capital 2015 and a leading centre for environmental technology we are sure Bristol’s knowledge and expertise can be applied to help many of the environmental problems facing China since emerging as an industrial power house.”
Serena Yao concludes,
“Gregg Latchams has been very active in the Chinese market and has rich experience in helping Chinese businesses establish themselves in the UK. This was of particular interest given that many of the attending delegates have project opportunities in mind and are seeking an ideal British partner on this trip. Gregg Latchams’ excellent understanding of the Chinese culture and market made them the ideal partner of China Design Centre on this Industrial Heritage study trip.”
To learn more about our work with China please contact Paul Hardman on 0117 906 9425.