the Trafford Centre
Opened in September 1998, this enormous new shopping and leisure complex has already been designated the “Temple to Consumerism”, and is the largest centre of its kind to date in Europe. Peel Holdings’ Trafford Centre occupies a former wasteland site of 300 acres in the Dumplington district on the outskirts of Trafford Park.
It took 27 months to build, employed over 3000 building workers and cost some 600 million pounds to complete. Although it contains all the major high street department stores and chains – (Debenhams, Boots Chemists, Burtons, The Body Shop, Dorothy Perkins, W.H.Smith, Top Shop, British Home Stores, etc), it is much more than a shopping centre.
Its gigantic dining hall, “The Orient”, has innumerable fast food franchises and restaurants, (including a speciality Chinese street), in a dramatically theatrical ocean liner setting with swimming pool and performance stage with a large film/TV screen. Even when shops close in late evening, the leisure facilities centred around the Orient, which also contain the UCI 20 Screen Megaplex Cinema, continue on until 12 midnight.
A covered market area, the Festival Village, is included at the far end of Peel Avenue, where independent trader’s stores add a more localised
and down-scaled atmosphere than that found in the rest of the centre. The project was controversial from the outset – surrounding towns
and districts like Bolton, Stockport, Altrincham and Warrington expect it to draw shoppers from these districts and anticipated, (initially
at least), a 15-20% drop in retail sales as a result. Though nothing quite so drastic did actually occur, there was some temporary decline
in trade in surrounding areas.
The Trafford Centre is a mammoth undertaking. It covers an area equal to 30 football pitches, has onsite free parking for
10,000 cars and 300 coaches, there are 350 closed circuit TVs in operation, its malls have over 3 miles of covered walkways, use 19 miles of drainage, and its roof bears around 2 tons of water a second in rainy weather.
It produces 400 tons of waste packaging every week and uses enough electricity to power a small town. It is eventually expected to raise some 13 billion a year in till receipts.
The Trafford Centre abounds with superlatives; 40,000 worth of gold leaf decorates the columns in the shopping malls. Its 3 massive domes dominate the surrounding countryside for many miles and are a major new feature on the adjacent M60 motorway, especially at night when the whole complex is brightly floodlit. Its central glass dome is about 2/3 the size of that on St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
There are excellent facilities for the disabled, with a dedicated
65 space car park with “Shopmobility” facilities onsite. These include
electric wheelchairs. All entrances, lifts and escalators are designed
for wheelchair access. There are also facilities for the visually
impaired, with special lenses available at the Customer Services Desk
and the Shopmobility Unit. Mothers and babies are equally well catered,
with specialist baby changing and breast feeding rooms, disposable
nappy dispensers, and a milk bottle heating facility in the Orient.
The children’s Play Area, Wonder World, can deal with up to 100 children
and there is a crèche facility for the over 2 year olds. Organised
entertainments are available, including performances by the Trafford
Centre Bears, magicians and jugglers. Children’s buggies are available
from Customer Services desks, and security ID tags are available for
parents and children Public Bus services run directly into the centre
– these include services from Manchester Piccadilly, Stockport, Bolton,
Altrincham and most surrounding districts, but also as far afield
as Heaton Park in north Manchester. Taxi services exist on site. Bus
timetables and information schedules are available from Customer Services.
are Customer Service Booths and Information Desks situated in all
Shop Opening Hours
Mon-Wed: 10.00am-8.00pm Thurs-Fri: 10.00am-9.00pm Saturday: 9.00am-7.00pm
Open 7 days a week Mon-Fri: 10.00am-12midnight Saturday: 9.00am-12midnight
Orient Cinema Mon-Thurs: 10.00am-12midnight Friday: 10.00am-3.00am
Saturday: 9.00am-3.00am Sunday: 11.00am-12.00midnight.
Customer Services: 0161-749 1717
Management Suite: 0161-746 7777
Crèche: 0161-746 9000
Shopmobility: 0161-749 1728
Buses – GMPTE: 0161-228 7811.
Trafford Centre operates a non-smoking policy within the premises,
except in designated areas of the Orient.
Shopping in Trafford Borough (Altrincham,
Hale, Timperley, etc).