M4 corridor

The M4 corridor is the area adjacent to the M4 motorway.

The Eastern End

Its eastern end in particular is home to a large number of businesses, particularly in Berkshire, Swindon and the Thames Valley. For this reason this part of the M4 Corridor is sometimes described as England's Silicon Valley. Often the term 'M4 Corridor' is used to denote only the far Eastern part roughly from Swindon to London.

Companies which have offices along the M4 include Vodafone, Honda, Cisco, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, and MCI. As with many motorways, companies are attracted to the location because of the ease of travel, this is true of the M4 especially because of the motorway's proximity to London and Heathrow Airport which is also alongside the M4.

Westward Spread

Investment has gradually spread westwards since the 1980's. In the west the interchange of the M4 motorway and M5 motorway near Bristol had seen considerable growth of industries by the mid 1990s, where, for example, the headquarters of Orange is located. By the end of the 1990s there were signs of investment into South Wales, the economy of which had suffered badly during the 1980's.

The Welsh M4

The 1980s and 1990s saw the development of the Swansea Enterprise Park. The Celtic Manor Resort located adjacent to the M4 in Newport has undergone significant investment and will host the 2010 Ryder Cup. Newport is home to factories for many electronics firms, such as Panasonic and Alcatel. The 1990s also saw significant investment in Cardiff such as in Cardiff Gate and the Cardiff Bay area.

Since the start of the 21st Century there has been evidence of more investment west of Cardiff, such as:
*Port Talbot
**Aberavon Beach
**Baglan Industrial Park
**Baglan Energy Park
**33 acre Amazon.co.uk fulfilment centre at Crymlyn Burrows
*Swansea
**Maritime Quarter
**SA1 development
**Swansea Vale
**Felindre
*Llanelli
**Dafen/Llanelli Gate
**Parc Hendre
**Parc Trostre and Parc Pemberton
**Llanelli Waterside - including North Dock and Delta Lakes
**Ffos Las racecourse
*Cross Hands
**Cross Hands Food Park
**Cross Hands Business Park

Despite recent development the M4 corridor still has within it some of the poorest areas in Western Europe as well as the wealthiest.

Hot Spots

Apart from London which is at the end of the M4 motorway, Staines, Slough, Windsor, Maidenhead, Reading, Bracknell and Newbury are the main towns in the Berkshire stretch of the M4 (although Staines is in Surrey), and this area, plus the nearby borough of Swindon, forms the most popular location for businesses in the M4 corridor.

Reading is home to many of the businesses (such as Cisco, Microsoft, ING Direct, Oracle, Prudential, Yell Group, Ericsson managing services for Hutchison 3G and MCI) whilst Vodafone is located in Newbury, O2 plc is in Slough and headquarters of Hutchison 3G UK are in Maidenhead.

The M4 also passes the cities of Bath and Bristol before continuing into South Wales and the cities of Newport, Cardiff and Swansea. South Wales is still a siginificant industrial heartland of the UK. One site of note on the M4 Corridor is Port Talbot Steelworks - the largest steel producer in the UK and one of the biggest steel producers in Europe. [http://wales.gov.uk/news/archivepress/enterprisepress/einpress2005/707312/?lang=en]

The M4/M25 junction is large and impressive, one of only three four-level stack interchanges in the UK's motorway network.Fact|date=February 2007

ee also

*Silicon Fen
*Silicon Glen


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