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Town centre report helps identify key opportunities for development

08 Feb 2019

Key opportunities for development and economic growth within the borough have been identified thanks to a new report.

As part of the One Public Estate Partnership, Crawley Borough Council, with West Sussex County and Crawley College, commissioned the report to explore routes for development across six town centre sites which are currently under-utilised.

One Public Estate is a national programme that brings public sector organisations together to collectively look at the use of land and buildings with the aim of improving public services, and supporting economic growth.

Crawley is already a significant economic hub, due to its good transport connectivity, proximity to London, Gatwick Airport and the presence of Manor Royal, which is one of the South East’s largest mixed activity business districts.

However, the report identified the following sites as areas with significant potential:

Each development site has been examined for their most suitable use, including a small quantity of commercial and business spaces at Station Gateway and Queens Square (of which already has an established concentration of office based activity and retail offerings).

Plans for the redevelopment of the Town Hall, along with Telford Place and Station Gateway have already progressed significantly. Offering more than 90,000 square feet of business and commercial spaces alongside residential properties.

The report identified the County Buildings (adjacent to the Town Hall), as an exciting development site, with potential for commercial spaces designed to offer workspace for a range of different businesses alongside further residential properties.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, Councillor Peter Smith, said: “With three million square feet of office space currently in the pipeline to be developed and more identified, the town centre potential as a place for economic growth across a number of industries is significant and exciting.

“The report has been pivotal in identifying areas of development that can be brought forwards quickly such as Queens Square and Telford Place.”

Leader of West Sussex County Council, Louise Goldsmith, said: “This is an example of how the Growth Deals signed with every district and borough council in West Sussex and our One Public Estate Programme (OPE) are having a positive impact in helping to achieve economic growth across West Sussex.

“Collaborative working through OPE helps to secure resources and investment to boost the local economy, helping both residents and businesses to prosper and benefit from planned improvements. It puts a real focus on economic growth and development countywide.”

Continuing this, Group Managing Director (Commercial) for the Chichester College Group, Julie Kapsalis, said: “Crawley College is very pleased to be part of this work. We are absolutely committed to developing the offer at our campus in Crawley to ensure that we can train people in the skills required by the local economy.

“We want to attract more students and learners to access our training and facilities. We welcome the joined up approach between partners and a focus on collaboration to ensure the most effective outcomes for Crawley, its businesses and residents."

Under the council’s Town Centre Regeneration Programme, development of these opportunity sites alongside improvements to the town’s public realm and transport infrastructure has been detailed on www.regeneratingcrawley.org.uk.