Our Trafford story
‘Service and efficiency’ is the motto inscribed in the stained-glass window in the main stairwell of Trafford Town Hall. It sums-up our outlook. This is a ‘can-do’ place. Business-like. Focused. A home to makers. Innovators. Problem-solvers.
Trafford is home to the first industrial park in the world - and the most famous football club on the planet.
It underlines that ours is a borough of contrasts. Urban and rural. Small villages and populous towns. Industrial and cultural. Historic and forward thinking.
Trafford was created as a metropolitan district on 1 April 1974 when we received a Royal Borough Charter. But our history goes a lot further back.
In the late 19th Century, Trafford Park was created. The site, still the largest industrial estate in the world, quickly became a hive of industry, employing as many as 75,000 workers by the 1940s. An example of its industrial might, the Rolls-Royce engines that powered the Spitfire and Lancaster World War Two planes were built at Trafford Park.
It is a link to the past but has adapted and diversified to remain a driving force and still employs 35,000 people. Trafford Park remains a prime location for manufacturing, distribution, and large-scale industry, home to household names such as Kellogg’s, PG Tips and Adidas. The next phase in Trafford Park’s evolution is for it to lead the way in sustainability, through our Low Carbon Trafford Park plan.
Located on Manchester’s immediate westward flank, the borough of Trafford stretches southwards into north Cheshire and includes our five main urban areas: Altrincham, Stretford, Urmston, Partington and Sale. Each has its own identity. Altrincham has been transformed from a town with the worst vacancy rate in the UK to an award-winning high street. Now it’s the opportunity for the regeneration of Partington, Sale, Urmston and Stretford through their own plans which build on the uniqueness of the centre of each town and village.
People who live here are proud of Trafford. We have so many close-knit communities who are active, caring and passionate at maintaining and improving the excellence of our borough. Trafford is home to 235,100 people with 83% in good or very good health. Our residents our entrepreneurial, well-qualified and well-educated, 43% of residents have a Level 4 or higher qualification. This is higher than the average for England and the North West, and is the highest of all Greater Manchester authorities.
Connectivity has always been a historic advantage for Trafford. Historically, waterways served our populations, with the River Mersey cutting straight across the borough from east to west. The ship canal forms a border across the top of the borough, while the Bridgewater Canal, one of the great wonders of the early industrial age, runs north to south.
Nowadays, Manchester Airport is within easy reach of the borough, connected to it by train, tram and motorway. Trains run into Manchester city centre from Altrincham and Urmston. Tram lines criss-cross the borough, into the city centre and out to the Trafford Centre. Cars and lorries are served by the M60 and the M56 motorways, with the M6 nearby. It is the quality and choice of these connections, and our links to other major regional economies, that make the borough such an attractive prospect for businesses.
We are home to many outstanding schools, as well excellent Further and Higher Education establishments, including Greater Manchester’s newest university in UA92. Altogether, we have an enviable national reputation for educational excellence and supporting our children to thrive. That comes from the Council supporting our children and their parents, families, friends, communities and teachers. We create the right conditions that allow our children to blossom.
We are a borough rich in heritage and natural beauty, with unparalleled sporting and leisure assets. At the north end of the borough, we are home to not one but two ‘Old Traffords’, Manchester United’s world-famous home ground and Emirates Old Trafford, the home of Lancashire Cricket Club and another internationally renowned sporting venue.
At the borough’s southernmost point sits Dunham Massey Hall, the splendid Georgian-era home. The wider estate boasts 45 listed buildings and two Sites of Special Scientific Interest. In between the two lie parks and gardens which provide a stage for a wide range of activities.
Trafford was at the forefront of the Victorian parks movement and continues its dedication to open spaces, with 11 parks awarded Green Flag status.
Like the River Mersey, culture runs through the heart of Trafford. At the northern tip of Trafford we have the Imperial War Museum North, the award-winning building that has attracted millions of visitors since its opening 20 years ago in 2003. A thriving animation industry has also set up shop in Trafford, the borough is home to 25% of the region’s talent. Postman Pat, Dangermouse, indeed some of the best-loved children's characters of the twentieth century, reside at the Waterside Arts Theatre in Sale.
Meanwhile, the Trafford Centre is the third-largest indoor shopping complex in the UK attracting 35 million visitors a year. It has Europe’s largest food court and Britain’s busiest cinema, with nearby leisure amenities including Legoland Discovery Centre, SEA LIFE aquarium, Chill Factore indoor ski centre and AirKix Indoor Parachute Centre.
As a Council, we are ambitious for our residents. We pride ourselves on being a low-cost high performing Council. We are responsive to the needs of our diverse communities and efficient in how we meet them. Although many parts of the borough are prosperous by Greater Manchester’s standards, people in some areas face hardship in their daily lives. We are there for them and will continue to raise living standards and life expectancy.
This, then, is a snapshot of Trafford. Welcoming, connected, innovative. Proud of our history but prouder of how we can look to an even great future for our borough.