GM BUSINESS connect
Chilling at the Traffor
December saw the joint Trafford Council and GM Chamber’s Trafford Park Business Network take place at Trafford’s very own indoor snow park - Chill Factore - highly apt for a winter-themed business event.
Chris Fletcher from the Greater Manchester Chamber and chair of the Trafford Economic Growth Board welcomed everyone. He then introduced Sean Antsee, leader of Trafford Council.
As a networking event this is unique in as far as it has one sole purpose – to bring together businesses in one of the world’s largest and oldest industrial parks - Trafford Park.
Sean’s theme was a look back on business engagement over 2017 with a view to future projects in 2018.
As an event this was limited to attendees only based in the park - the purpose being to bring together businesses in one of the world’s largest and oldest industrial estates. As usual the event was wellattended with an eclectic mix of different businesses and organisations, with a format consisting of open networking which included several stands from sponsors and supporters of the event. After the initial networking
Sean observed: “What is Trafford known as? We are known as a borough of enterprise, of sport, as a global borough. As for Trafford Park, we try to ensure that it is a place in Trafford where businesses and people can thrive - and a place that is easy to get around. “What is my overall interpretation of what 2017 has brought us? We are operating in unprecedented, uncertain times. There is a responsibility on Trafford Council and businesses in the borough to respond to a change in external environment that gives people confidence in our future – this is
one of the driving forces of our economic policies. We need to create an environment in which you can grow and be profitable and, where Trafford Park continues to be identified as THE ‘in place’ for business across the North West. “One of the things we did see at the start of the year was a £350 million extension of Metrolink lines, and whilst the work is underway, we continue to do our level best to make it easy to still get around Trafford Park – we are ahead of schedule with our construction of this line, laying the first tracks in the new year. “One of our key focuses is around our many town centres. We have rebuilt Partington shopping centre, Altrincham town centre is thriving and we have consulted on new plans for Sale - and one of the key things is to launch a new university proposal - UA92 - for Stretford with Gary Neville and the class of ’92. These are hugely exciting proposals
for Stretford and Old Trafford. “We are also bringing investment in to the areas that have desperately needed it for some time. We are aiming to get people living in our town centres - trying to reverse the vacancy rates - 13% in Stretford alone. In terms of business we want to see that through the UA92 concept the relationships between employers and higher education will enable graduates to experience the real word of work, coming out with skills, ready to work and not just academic degrees. “We want to see more people coming in to the towns aligning with proposals like the Stretford Masterplan, bringing into use the new Stretford Leisure Centre and new housing – and we need your help, to shape this over the next months and years. We need to take something that is a once in a generation opportunity for us in Trafford and make it sit in the Greater Manchester higher education environment as best as possible. “Reflecting on the events of May 22,
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