Originally the historic home of the de Trafford family, the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 made the site of what is now Trafford Park a prime industrial location. At its peak in the 1940s it was home to over 1000 companies, employing over 75,000 local people, including Westinghouse, Rolls Royce, Kellogs, Hovis, Metropolitan-Vickers, Avro, and extended to 3,000 acres / 1,215 hectares.
However by the 1960s the inability of the Ship Canal to accommodate new generation of container ships, plus global industrial restructuring, led to significant decline of the Port and industrial activity in Trafford Park. New leisure, cultural, retail and residential uses started to emerge in the 2000s on the fringes of the Park – such as Imperial War Museum-North, The Lowry, Mediacity: UK and The Trafford Centre – which started to change the area’s character. Fragmentation of land ownership and degradation of essential utilities infrastructure within Trafford Park also became a challenge. As a result a new long-term strategic vision and implementation plan was required to guide the Park’s ongoing renaissance.
DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT
The professional team of EKOS, URBED, CBRE and WSP combined forces to to develop a new Masterplan and associated Delivery Plan on behalf of Trafford Council and Trafford Economic Alliance (now Trafford Partnership). Kerri Farnsworth – at the time a Director at EKOS – led the commission from start to completion. Extensive engagement and consultation was undertaken with local & regional businesses and professional bodies, public agencies, residents and international investors. Emerging Masterplan options were tested through public events & exhibitions, local media coverage and focused workshops and design charettes.
The final Masterplan set out a “Vision for Future of Trafford Park”, with specific objectives set for:-
- Preferred Mix of Uses, including detailed sectoral economic forecasting
- Transport Infrastructure, notably public transport
- Utility Infrastructure, Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Opportunities
- Environmental Enhancements
- Management and Coordination
- Workforce Development
Case Studies both within the UK and internationally were used to provide benchmarks for Trafford Park; and to identify relevant best practice and lessons learned to aid the development of the Park.
The Masterplan was accompanied by a long-term Spatial Framework to guide the physical development of the Park, which was agreed with the engagement of all neighbouring local authorities in Manchester, Salford and Cheshire. A detailed phased Delivery Plan set out implementation priorities, and also provided a framework for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of delivery against milestones and stated objectives.