Fury after proposed business park threatens businesses’ existence

Businesses in Trafford are at risk of shutting down their business operations in weeks as redevelopment of a business park is expected to leave them homeless.

Wain Estates believes Carrington Business Park is at the “end of its lifespan” and aims to turn it into Carrington Enterprise Park, a 10-unit state-of-the-art industrial estate that the developer says is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs.

With work due to start in September 2022, pending council approval, dozens of companies have had just over six months to research alternative sites.

Although many of them have made it through, some of them are still homeless with only a few weeks left. These now risk stopping the trade altogether.

Carrington Garage, which has been in the business park for about 20 years, is one such business.

Landlord Paul Calderbank said he was given a 10-year lease about three years ago but a loophole meant “it wasn’t worth the toilet paper”.

Paul Calderbank of Carrington Garage.

He said to the Messenger: [Wain Estates] lied between their teeth.

“They told us what we wanted to hear, but that wasn’t what they wanted to do.”

The developer denied this version of events and said it was “transparent”.

Paul also claimed that Wain Estates had indicated that they would move their business to Carrington Business Park on Carrington Enterprise Park, but changed their minds.

His claims were backed up by Phil Oldfield, director of Shawfield Line Marking Specialists, himself on the business park for around 24 years.

Phil said: “They called us all into a meeting and asked us what we needed.

“But the next moment we heard we were going to get kicked out. They said that wasn’t happening anymore.”

Phil said he had searched the area for a home for his business, but was unsuccessful.

Messenger Logs: Phil Oldfield of Shawfield Line Marking Specialists.Phil Oldfield of Shawfield Line Marking Specialists.

In a few weeks, he, his wife, his son and other workers will all be out of work.

Robert Downes, director of development for the Federation of Small Businesses, called on Wain Estates to extend its development timeline, calling its actions a “travesty” in light of the cost of living crisis.

But at a meeting hosted by the Federation of Small Businesses and attended by MP Kate Green, representatives from Wain Estates said that was not an option.

A spokesman for the developer said: “The business park, built in the late 1950s, has reached the end of its lifespan and we have been working with existing businesses since planning permission was granted for redevelopment We have been transparent with the tenants, all of whom were notified prior to the signing of the leases of the redevelopment plans.

“Despite the majority of businesses operating on one-month rolling contracts, we have given notice to all tenants and are pleased to see that the vast majority of businesses have secured alternative accommodation.

“The remaining six companies have been advised following a meeting with Kate Green MP that, given the development schedule, an extension of their leases would not be possible.

“As we appreciate the impact of relocation, we are investing for the future, making more efficient use of brownfields by providing housing, jobs and facilitating new public open spaces, all of which are essential for Trafford and the Greater Manchester.”

A spokesperson for the council added: “Representatives from our Inclusive Economy and Communities team have been in contact with affected businesses to offer help and support.

“We are doing everything we can to help companies find alternative sites, but it is proving difficult due to their specific needs. We will continue to offer our support.”

Paul said the suggestions he received were “garbage”, while Phil said he got “nothing”.

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