Industry in Basildon
From the earliest days of Basildon's designation as a new
town the development corporation began drawing up plans for the first industrial estate. This
was built at Nevendon and called industrial estate No. 1. The first to open on it was
South-East Essex Wholesale Dairies, at Cranes Farm Road, in 1951. Bonallack & Sons coachbuilders
were an early big name to locate to Basildon when they opened their factory at Nevendon in
1953. Carreras cigarette making factory, which opened in 1959, received a royal visit in 1960
when the Duke of Edinburgh, who flew in by helicopter, switched on the final piece of plant
The 1960s saw Ford Motor Company invest heavily in Basildon when their
Dagenham based Tractor Plant transferred to a new purpose built 100 acre site in 1964. Earlier
in 1957 they opened a purpose built radiator plant in Honywood Road on the Nevendon Industrial
Estate and in the mid 1960s land at the former Southfields Farm in Dunton Wayletts was acquired
to house the company's new Research and Engineering Centre which opened in 1967. In 1977 their
expansion continued when they took over the vacant Station House office building in Cherrydown,
renaming it Trafford house and making it the headquarters of their European Truck Division.
Cosmetic giant Yardley of London relocated to industrial estate No. 2 in the mid 1960s and
Marconi, Mk Electrics, Standard Telephones & Cables and Ilford films were other big names who
chose to make Basildon their base.
Another new estate called Southfields was created in
the 1980s at Laindon. Gordon's Gin opened a 26 acre factory there in 1984.