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Tyne and Wear HER(7673): Team Valley Trading Estate - Details

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7673


Gateshead


Team Valley Trading Estate


Team Valley


NZ25NW


Industrial



Industrial Estate


Modern


C20


Structure


The Team Valley Trading Estate was established in 1936 - one of the first purpose built industrial estates in the country. It was built as a response to the failure of traditional industry in Gateshead. Nearly £2,000,000 of central government funding was awarded under the Special Areas (Development and Improvement) Act of 1934 into economic regeneration to create a clean pleasant light industrial environment. The resulting TVTE intended to provide employment for 15,000 workers with 15 years. It was mastermined by William G Holford under Colonel Kenelm C Appleyard, formerly of Birtley Iron and Engineering Works, who headed a new company, North Eastern Trading Estates Ltd. Constructed began in 1936 and the estate was formally opened by King George VI three years later. The 650 acre estate is recognised by Pevsner as a remarkable example of planned architecture by W. Holford. The building of the estate involved extensive reclamation works and culverting of the River Team which originally was decorated with trellises and climbing roses. The estate was designed on a grid plan and consists of wide roads and verges. The double row of Wheatley elm on Kingsway North is perhaps the most significant landscape feature. Originally factories were encouraged to create their own garden areas, although sadly there are no remains. In the late 1980s the estate underwent a major environmental improvement scheme in an attempt to attract new development. This scheme by Brian Clouston & Partners reinforced many of the original features, including the replanting of the elm avenue with lime as well as solving unsightly late C20 problems such as the containment of car parking and storage yards. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE The Team Valley Trading Estate was a pioneering solution to the economic depression of the 1930s as the first government industrial estate; with its sponsoring body the first publicly funded Estate Company. Various sites were considered, but the Team Valley was eventually chosen, mainly due to the topography of the site and the excellent transport links by road and rail. The 700 acre site, designed by William G Holford (later Lord Holford and only 29 at the time), was transformed from boggy pasture land using colliery waste. The main north-south axis road, Kingsway, was 2 miles long, and at the time the widest in England. In the vast space was included two 24’ carriageways, with a landscaped strip 24’ wide between, bordered by 4’ grass verges and 6’ cycle tracks, privet hedging and 8’ footpaths. Services were laid in the verges in order to facilitate easy and unobtrusive access. The architect showed a great deal of foresight, as in addition to this generous provision, he ensured all factories were to be set back 30’ from the pavement to allow for ample parking for motor cars, which were rare at the time. Together these would have given a feeling of great openness that was very modern compared with the cramped alleys familiar in the centre of Gateshead. The landscaping also created an attractive setting for the brave new world of light industry, contrasting with the unwholesome and contaminated setting of the heavy industrial past. The intention to look positively to the future is clear. On Kingsway North, a double row of Wheatley Elm is of particular landscape interest, but when the site was officially opened these were but a small part of the planting scheme. 10,000 plants and bulbs were introduced along the full length of Kingsway, including tulips, daffodils, palms and ferns, giving an exotic feel. A narrower east-west axis connected Low Fell and the Ravensworth Coach Road. The dirty River Team (known locally as ‘The Gut’) was cleaned up and canalised to improve the environment, in what was, at the time, the longest river rectification system in England. It was culverted for 100 yards in the centre, but for the first mile, at the south end of Kingsway, its course was diverted into a deep concrete channel, which replaced the central


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Fiona Green, 1995, A Guide to the Historic Parks and Gardens of Tyne and Wear, p 56; N. Pevsner (second edition revised by Elizabeth Williamson), 1983, The Buildings of England: County Durham, p 291; S. Taylor and D. Lovie, 2004, Gateshead - Architecture in a Changing English Urban Landscape, pp 6-11; Gateshead Council Local List X20/LLG/24; Grace McCombie, 2009, Newcastle and Gateshead - Pevsner Architectural Guide, p. 35; W H Bevan, The Team Valley Industrial Estate (1976); F W D Manders, A History of Gateshead (1973); W H Bevan, The Team Valley Industrial Estate (1976)

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