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Cameron opens door for UK architects on £16bn 'corridor' city in India

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Prime minister David Cameron has paved the way for UK architects to design a 1,000 kilometre-long ‘economic corridor’ linking Mumbai to Bangalore in India

Speaking in Mumbai at the start of a three-day trade visit this week, the prime minister said British companies were first in line for a wealth of opportunities on the ambitious project.

He said: ‘It’s an ambitious vision which could truly a partnership for the next generation. It would unleash India’s potential along the 1,000km from Mumbai to Bangalore, transforming lives and putting British businesses in prime position to secure valuable commercial deals.’

‘With me I’ve got architects, planners and finance experts who can work out the complete solution,’ he said during a speech at Unilever’s Hindustan base, reported Economic Times.

Companies on the trip include Kings Cross station designer John McAslan + Partners, AJ 40 under 40 practices Sybarite Architects and Project Orange, Benoy, Arup, Aecom and Atkins.

The UK has pledged £1 million in match funding towards a feasibility study for the project which would see new towns and cities built between India’s two major powerhouses.

It is estimated the programme – part of a combined effort between the UK and New Delhi government – could unleash £16 billion worth of development. It is thought the area could include one million new homes. Transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructure is expected in the first phase.

Since 2006 the Japanese government has supported a 2,700 kilometre-long industrial corridor between Mumbai and Delhi. Crossing six Indian states, the enormous project is expected to include six 20,000 hectare investment zones.

Cameron wants to cement a special relationship with India, hoping Britain can become the booming nation’s principle business partner. More than 150 delegates – including business leaders and university heads – have joined the prime minister on the trip.

During the visit Cameron welcomed an announcement Atkins will open a new design centre on Delhi’s outskirts in April.

He said: ‘This demonstrates how Britain’s world-class expertise in design and engineering can help British businesses to succeed in fast growing markets like India.’

Engineers at the 375-capacity centre will focus on water, transportation, utilities.

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