China is to help spawn a £125m inward investment in Wigan this week. Sunday Telegraph

Wigan’s council will vote on Thursday to approve a new scheme for the development of a 55-acre site as a base for Chinese groups looking to export throughout Europe. It hopes the plan will re-establish the town as a manufacturing centre.

Last month, during his visit to China, Gordon Brown said: 'I want to take steps to make the United Kingdom the prime location in Europe for inward Chinese investment. There are now in total 350 mainland Chinese companies investing in the UK. [I want] to work with and secure 100 more inward investment projects from China.'

During that trip, Brown and China’s Premier, Wen Jiabao, signed up to a new target for a 50% increase in bilateral trade in goods and services, rising to £30bn by 2010. That represents more trade than between Britain and Australia or Britain and Mexico.

The new project will see Wigan council link up with Chinamex, a state-owned trading group, and Commercial Group Properties. It is thought that the project will create around 1,000 jobs at the Westwood Industrial Park, which will house Chinese textile and apparel companies.