SLOUGH Trading Estate has welcomed 23 new businesses in 2018 and is 97 per cent occupied its manager Paul Lewis has revealed.

In an upbeat assessment for the forthcoming year Mr Lewis said: "We welcomed 23 new businesses including managed print service provider Click Print and a developer of next-gen maritime simulators Artemis Technologies, as well as seeing 11 of our existing customers expand.

"While many of our businesses are adopting a ‘wait and see attitude’ toward what Brexit brings, overall our customers are cautiously optimistic about what 2019 holds for Slough and our regional economy and are determined to get on with the job. It is an honour to host so many dynamic and often visionary businesses – collectively, a microcosm of all that is good about British business and industry."

There has been one major disappointment.

He said: "The Crossrail delay is a disappointment but we are continuing to engage with government to put the view strenuously on behalf of all our customers, that the line should open as quickly as possible. We continue to advocate for a Western rail link to Heathrow, which like Crossrail will be a huge boost for Slough businesses – and residents."

But at 97 per cent occupancy - the estate is enjoying the highest number of businesses it has ever had on site.

Mr Lewis, who is regional director of SEGRO plc which runs the estate, said: "In my experience, having managed the Estate for more than 18 years, that indicates a healthy local economy, with businesses of all stripes keen to locate and expand in Slough. New businesses are setting up here and existing customers are expanding."