Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Team Valley Has Changed Our Lives; the Jarrow March, the Berlin Olympics, the Abdication Crisis and the Plans for the Team Valley Trading Estate May Seem Odd Bedfellows but They All Have One Thing in Common - They All Happened 75 Years Ago. Work Began on Building Team Valley in 1936 and the Estate Was Opened by King George VI Three Years Later. KAREN DENT Takes a Look at the Then and Now of the 700-Acre Site

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How Team Valley Has Changed Our Lives; the Jarrow March, the Berlin Olympics, the Abdication Crisis and the Plans for the Team Valley Trading Estate May Seem Odd Bedfellows but They All Have One Thing in Common - They All Happened 75 Years Ago. Work Began on Building Team Valley in 1936 and the Estate Was Opened by King George VI Three Years Later. KAREN DENT Takes a Look at the Then and Now of the 700-Acre Site

Article excerpt

WHEN plans were unveiled for a new trading estate in Gateshead, more than half of the borough's workforce didn't have a job to go to.

This wasn't an uncommon statistic at the time; the Great Depression of the 1930s hit the North East hard and the Government of the day decided to intervene with extra help to get the region back on its feet.

The idea of specially built trading estates for private enterprises had already proved successful. Manchester's Trafford Park had been open since 1896 and Slough's trading estate had been running since 1920.

But whereas private money had been used to set them up, the Government made public funds available for Team Valley after passing a special Act of Parliament.

It was the first of 19 planned for the North East and the contract to develop the 7,000-acre site went to Wimpey. It was worth around pounds 80,000 - the equivalent of almost pounds 4m in today's money. When it opened for business, the estate had 76 tenants. Today, it is home to 740 businesses and covers 7.5 million sq ft of property and employs more than 21,000 people.

Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry whose first two full-time jobs were at Team Valley, said: "Team Valley Trading Estate was established to directly stimulate private sector industrial enterprise at a time when unemployment levels were reaching almost 60%.

"It has now become a significant centre of employment, critical to the region''s economy and it supports significant supply chains within other industries in the region."

Owned since 2004 by the North East Property Partnership joint venture, which trades as Buildings for Business, the estate houses a massively diverse range of companies.

They range from bank note giant De La Rue to Northumbrian Fine Foods and Tyneside Safety Glass, which was set up in 1937 and produces bullet proof police car windscreens and glass for banks and post offices. …

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