Notts firms at head of Minsk queue

IT COULD be one of the biggest residential projects that Nottingham has ever seen, with homes for 20,000 people and all the shops, offices and hotels that go with it.

But the city won't notice any difference even if this giant, up-market, 700-acre project goes ahead.

That's because Residential Complex Nottingham is more than 1,100 miles awa y on the outskirts of Minsk, the capital of Belarus, the former Russian state which borders Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Ukraine and Russia.

Since the 1960s, Minsk has been twinned with Nottingham, a link which saw the Ambassador of Belarus come to Nottingham earlier this year to see whether the city might help with the new project. Artist's impressions of this ?500m scheme feature buildings which might look at home in the original Nottingham.

But that's no surprise. UnivestStroyInvest, the development company behind the plan, wants to create something that is quintessentially English in look and feel.

Its developers say: "Residential Complex Nottingham will feature... the best British traditions with the focus on advanced study of the English language in institutions of high and pre-school education."

If Nottingham City Council has its way, the development will also tap into another English tradition - the regeneration business.

It hopes the architects, developers, civil engineers and other professionals who have worked on major projects here will be able to win business over there.

There is clear evidence that Univest is looking for English expertise. Artist's impressions in the project's marketing brochure show buildings with a passing resemblance to some of Nottingham's own landmarks.

John Connelly, the council's regional and international manager, said: "They selected Nottingham as the name because for them it embodies quality and prestige and this is what they associate with Englishness.

"We're now looking to recruit businesses for a mission to Minsk in January where we can talk specifics about the project."

"They are looking for architects, designers, civil engineers."

Coun Alan Clark, who has been involved in neighbourhood renewal projects here, said: "This is a really exciting opportunity to generate some jobs in Nottingham."

Notts companies interested in finding out more about the Minsk Nottingham project and the January trade mission should contact John Connelly on 0115 915 5091.


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