WHEN the Government decided to spend almost £2m on establishing the Team Valley Trading Estate in the 1930s, it was initially planned as a landscaped industrial environment for around 15,000 workers.

It was officially opened in 1939 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and initially housed a central headquarters, now used by English Partnerships, a bank, post office and some smaller industrial buildings and start-up units.

It was officially opened in 1939 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and initially housed a central headquarters, now used by English Partnerships, a bank, post office and some smaller industrial buildings and start-up units.

Many German Jewish firms restarted here in the middle of the decade prior to the Second World War. Using their experience in manufacturing, they quickly succeeded in building up thriving concerns which employed hundreds of jobless North-East workers.

At the heart of the Team Valley is the two-miles long Kingsway, which was completed by Wimpey Construction in 1938 and took several years to build.

At the southern end was the National Coal Board’s regional headquarters, which later became a Safeway and now a Sainsbury’s supermarket. Many people today still refer to the ‘coal house roundabout’ at the junction of the A1.

Running directly beneath the trading estate is the River Team, which is hidden away in a culvert.

Now the 7million sq ft site houses 740 businesses and 24,000 workers – and with more than £18m worth of developments in the pipeline its future looks rosy.

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