Trafford Park is a haven for thriving businesses, and has an industrial history stretching back to the late 19th century. It was the first planned industrial estate in the world, and maintains its place today as the largest in Europe. The ‘park’, which was originally home to Trafford Hall (destroyed during the Blitz), green parkland and deer, occupies an area of 3000 acres.
Further reading on Trafford: Our address and directions | Trafford Links | Salford Quays
Trafford Park played a pivotal manufacturing role during the First and Second World Wars. Its proximity to the Manchester Ship Canal facilitated the import and export of materials and subsequently the production of Rolls-Royce Merlin engines used to power both the Lancaster and Spitfire fighter planes.
Trafford Park is still bordered almost entirely by waterways – namely the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester Ship Canal. Neighbouring street names such as Water’s Reach and Waterside reflect this aspect of its geographical location.
As technology evolved and container ships became larger, they could no longer pass up the Manchester Ship Canal. This spawned a gradual decline in industry within the park during the 1960s and 70s, which continued until the late 1980s when commercial activity was virtually dormant.
The Trafford Park Urban Development Corporation came to the aid of the region in 1987. Its work saw 1,000 companies attracted to the industrial estate during the corporation’s eleven years of existence. The initiative generated over 28,000 new jobs and £1.759 billion of private sector investment.
Excellent transport links to the M62 and the M60 now fulfill a similar function to the Manchester Ship Canal in its heyday, and have allowed the region to reconnect with the rest of the world at a commercial level. Today there are around 1,400 companies, including multinationals such as Rank Hovis McDougall and Kellogg’s, based in Trafford Park, employing an estimated 35,000 people.
Trafford Park borders the new MediaCity:UK, which will be home to BBC North as well as countless film, TV and digital production and development companies.
Further information on Trafford Park
Wikipedia entry for Trafford Park
Trafford Centre – one of Europe’s largest shopping centres, employing 8000 people.
PDF on Trafford Park history
Media City – new media park, bordering Trafford Park.