Published: 03 September 2021
From: Business and economy
The consultation on the draft Crawley Economic Recovery Plan has been extended to give businesses, stakeholders and residents more time to respond.
The plan provides a clear vision for Crawley’s future socio-economic prosperity, a clear path for recovery from the pandemic and a marker to Crawley’s formidable reputation for economic productivity.
It’s the overarching strategic plan for all of our existing delivery programmes:
- Town Centre Regeneration Programme
- Crawley Growth Programme
- Towns Fund
- Employment and Skills Programme
The draft plan was considered by the council’s Cabinet in March who agreed for it to go out to public consultation. The plan highlights new schemes proposed for delivery, a number of which are already being taken forward thanks to government funding secured by the council alongside partners from the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce.
The consultation is live and the closing date has been extended until Monday 11 October.
The final plan will be adopted following the public consultation and consideration by the council’s Cabinet.
The proposed strategic priorities of the plan are:
- A diverse and resilient economy – renew Crawley as an attractive, abundant, diverse economic powerhouse, founded on “green growth” and digital innovation
- Green transformation – establish Crawley at the forefront of “green growth” and as a place where green technology businesses thrive
- Town centre renewal – secure a vibrant neighbourhood and sustainable economic future for the town centre via significant qualitative investment
- Skills for the future – to significantly improve overall social mobility among Crawley residents, creating powerful and effective skills pathways
- Connected Crawley – to enhance a “green” economic future for Crawley by delivering low carbon transport and hyper digital connectivity
The Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce brings together the council, senior business and voluntary sector representatives, Crawley’s MP, a government representative, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and West Sussex County Council.
The Taskforce has already endorsed the draft plan and will steer its development, in response to the true impact of the crisis and will work together to unlock and harness further public and private investment to the maximum benefit of Crawley’s community.
Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the town’s economy. The devastating effects have included:
- A major collapse in Gatwick Airport passenger numbers – nearly four million per month (2019) to 850,000 per month (2020) – has resulted in more than 16,000 fewer jobs at the airport – nearly 68 per cent of the workforce there
- As many as 25,800 Crawley residents have been furloughed during the past year; this is 41 per cent of the eligible local workforce
- The unemployment claimant count in Crawley more than trebled from 2.8 per cent to 8.9 per cent at its peak in February and March 2021
- The youth unemployment claimant count reached nearly 14 per cent, which is over 1,000 young people.
Economic recovery and prosperity are key priorities for the council and this plan demonstrates our commitment to getting the town back on its feet and people back into work as quickly as possible. We would ask residents and businesses to please take the time to give us your views on the plan.
Cllr Peter Smith
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development
Crawley Borough Council
It is important that our plans for the local economy reflect as far as possible the needs of our communities, and underpin a sustainable recovery to the benefit of residents and stakeholders. To help us, it is important that we hear a wide range of feedback and comments, and I would encourage all to make their views known.
Chair of the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce and Town Deal Board
To have your say on the plan, visit our consultation page.