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Slough is a large town in Berkshire in between the Thames Valley and London. It has attracted people from all across the country since the 1920s, which has helped shape the town into a major trading centre, with one of the most ethnically diverse populations in England. Recently, it has enjoyed quite a renaissance, with the redevelopment of the main shopping centre, a newly built bus station and the launch of The Curve, Slough’s iconic library and cultural centre. Slough has famously featured as the setting for Ricky Gervais’ The Office – Crossbow House is shown in the opening sequences – and it has also produced many Olympic-class athletes as part of the Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow Athletics Club.
Before the 19th century, the main businesses of Slough were brickfields and agriculture. Later, as the Great West Road traffic increased, inns and pubs began to spring up to serve the passing trade, and the town developed as an industrial area. Nurseries were prominent in the local economy, and James Horlick, one of the eponymous founders of the malted milk company, opened a purpose-built factory near Slough Railway Station. For many years, Slough’s economy was mainly manufacturing-based, but in the last 20 years or so, there has been a major shift towards an information-based economy, with the closure of many factories, which are being replaced by office buildings. Hundreds of major companies have set up in Slough over the years. In fact, the town has the highest concentration of global corporate headquarters outside London, and the Slough Trading Estate is the largest industrial estate in single private ownership in Europe, providing over 17,000 jobs across 400 businesses. McAfee, Burger King, Mars, O2, Black and Decker and Lego all have offices in the town, while Dulux paints are manufactured here. The motor trade has also long been represented by Slough, with Citroën, Mercedes, Fiat and Maserati all having local bases.
Slough is at the intersection of the M4, M40 and M25 motorways, while the A4 and the Great Wester Main Line pass through the town. From 2019, the Elizabeth line is expected to allow even faster journey times to central London. A real travel hub, Slough is near Heathrow Airport, Uxbridge, Maidenhead and Staines, and many people from the town work in nearby Windsor, Reading, London and Bracknell. Within Slough itself, there are good bus services, taxis and a national cycling network. The Cycle To Hire scheme was launched in Slough in late 2013, targeting commuters travelling between the trading estate and nearby railway stations.
There are numerous primary and secondary schools, and in addition, East Berkshire College has a campus in the area. What’s more, Slough schools are rated as the top 10 best performers in the country at GCSE level.
The average property price for Slough stands at £357,562, and in terms of property types, flats sell for around £210,252, and terraced houses for £301,967.
A final fact about Slough… Did you know that the Thunderbirds series was filmed here?