David Sleath, chief executive at SEGRO, looks back at 100 years of company history, success and a long and ongoing involvement in the local community.

"While we intended to celebrate the contributions and achievements of hundreds of companies and many thousands of people from the Slough community that have contributed to our story over the years, the Coronavirus pandemic means that we are reflecting on our Centenary in a very different way.

"History acts as a reminder that many generations before us have also had to deal with tough times. But the remarkable thing about humankind is that we deal with the situation, we learn, we dust ourselves down and we continue to strive for a better future.

"As we have trawled through the archives over the last couple of years we have uncovered some amazing stories which illustrate this strength, and which show how by working together and demonstrating a strong sense of community, the people and businesses of Slough have prospered in the long term.

"It is in recognition of this sense of community and our desire to give something back that we launched our £10 million Centenary Fund last month. Over the next decade it will support projects in Slough and other areas where we have a presence to help people into employment or create community spaces.

"However, in the first year, the majority of funds will be used to help charities to provide basic necessities and to support other initiatives which will help alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 crisis.As communities up and down the country come together to deal with this crisis, and as we emerge from the other side, I hope you will be able to take some enjoyment from remembering years gone by or be inspired by some stories from the past as we look ahead to the next 100 years.

"As many of you will know, the company was born in the aftermath of the First World War, when Slough Trading Company Ltd acquired over 670 acres of land in Slough which was used to store over 17,000 damaged military vehicles.

"Today, the same plot of land is home to Europe’s largest industrial estate under single ownership and provides workspace for businesses large and small from all corners of the UK economy, supporting over 10,000 jobs.

"It has been an incredible journey, with the Trading Estate playing host to the best of British ingenuity and creativity. The Trading Estate is famous far beyond Slough as the place where the Ford GT40 was manufactured, where the television series Thunderbirds was created, and as the home of the Mars Bar, to name just three examples.

"So, as we mark 100-years on May 19, we remain as committed as ever to supporting the people and communities that make Slough and the Trading Estate the places they are. Thank you for your support and I hope you find our shared history an interesting read."

David Sleath, chief executive at SEGRO