CHINESE investors want to build a 24-hour shopping centre or authentic Chinese restaurant in the hope of attracting visitors from their country to Barnsley.

Mary Lui, 58, from Beijing, has returned to Barnsley to gather information to take back to the investors in September.

She said the investors were 'disappointed' to learn there wasn't much to attract the Chinese and said she had considered suggesting a 24-hour shopping centre, a five-star authentic Chinese restaurant and even a health centre.

"There are a lot of questions from the investors, like what would bring Chinese people here? They asked what the vision for the community was and what the population was," Mary said.

"Chinese visitors like midnight shopping, karaoke and massage, not bars and drinking.

"But they can't find it here in Barnsley. They were a bit disappointed when I said there wasn't much here.

"They want to know what the community's vision is, whether there's anything creative or a tax-free zone that people can go to."

She also said Chinese tourists would need an authentic Chinese restaurant, though it was difficult to get a top chef from China because it's tough to get a work permit.

Mary is looking at ways to attract Chinese people to the town to celebrate Hudson Taylor, who is credited with taking Christianity to China and revered by millions of people there.

There are now 70 million Chinese Christians, many of whom will want to visit his birth place, said Mary.