As a new breed of business takes over in Salford, it

Chimneys belching soot into leaden skies, and cobbled streets lined with back-to-back houses thats the image which many people unfamiliar with Salford might perceive when its name is mentioned. But the 21st century reality is far removed from that. Salford encapsulates more than nearly any other part of the UK the transition which has taken place in life in Britain since much of the industrial activity in this area, and many others like it, was lost.

Today, the preferred vista of the city is looking towards Manchester from Salford Quays, the flagship new development in the area, which has helped transform it from a tough, inner-urban area into a leading light of which people from all over the north-west of England can be proud. Salford lies directly west of Manchester, and occupies an area of just over eight square miles. The city itself is home to nearly 73,000 people, but the wider borough which shares the same name has more than 219,000 inhabitants.

The areas prosperity was founded on cotton, and families flocked to the area to work in the many mills which were established. The finished yarns produced here were transported away on canal barges to be turned into the everyday items which people soon began to take for granted. Over time, imported cotton and other fibres took a heavy toll on the industrial landscape of Salford, and it underwent several decades of stagnation, which brought with it rising unemployment and terrible poverty.

Today, though, Salford has found new uses for many of the buildings and much of the infrastructure on which it built its industrial heritage. The Quays is a very popular retail, leisure and residential area, where a new generation of inhabitants have easy access to all the facilities they need. The types of businesses around there, too, are a far cry from those forbidding factories. Modern office blocks house legions of IT and new media specialists, and the areas transformation will be signalled to the world when the BBC begins to broadcast much of its news and sport output from the newly-constructed Media City over the next few years.

This new wave of businesses will as ever require reliable means of receiving goods, and getting them out to their customers, wherever they may be. So while the way a business operates gets increasingly sophisticated, some needs such as for a dependable delivery service to destinations near and far will remain.

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