Chapter Case Study 3: The Manchester Ship Canal and the World’s First Industrial Park
This project turned a landlocked city into a commercial seaport. More importantly this infrastructure transitioned the city commercially from a cotton production centre to a diversified manufacturing centre through Britain’s first industrial estate based on the technologies (electricity, combustion engine) and processes (production-line, verticalisation, mass-production) of the second industrial revolution replacing those of the first industrial revolution (steam). The local economy rapidly grew and the city became an economic powerhouse. Because of opposition the realisation of the canal took much longer and arrived when competitive transportation costs in rail had plummeted. However, the project had the foresight to recognise emerging opportunities, and address these. Industrial parks were a new concept that required the right conditions and infrastructure, and the canal and docks catalysed this.
KeywordsProject sponsor role Defining business case Exploiting unexpected opportunities Governance Uncertainty and complexity
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