Published: 03 February 2022
From: Business and economy
The new Crawley Innovation Centre has been given the green light and is set to bring a much-needed economic, innovation and technological boost to Crawley.
The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Board has approved (subject to contract) £8.4 million funding ear-marked from the government’s “Getting Building Fund” to enable the Centre’s design, build and launch in the Manor Royal Business District by the end of 2023.
The project is a major priority in Crawley’s Economic Recovery Plan 2022-2037 and it is also closely aligned to the Coast to Capital plan to Build Back Smarter, Stronger and Greener.
The aim is for the centre in the first instance to help create over 200 new jobs and benefit directly up to 40 local businesses. In the longer term, the aim is to help attract significant new manufacturing business investment into Crawley, including at new industrial space in Manor Royal.
The centre will be a major technological innovation asset to support Crawley’s existing advanced engineering businesses in Manor Royal and to enable growth in new and emerging business sectors such as clean energy and quantum technologies. It will provide vital “grow-on” space which will enable hi-tech small businesses (SMEs) to “scale up”, prototype and demonstrate new technologies in clean energy, quantum tech and transportation tech.
The centre will help boost innovation and research and development output in Crawley and the Gatwick Diamond as well as unlock manufacturing jobs and attract business investment.
Additionally, the centre will expand the capacity of Crawley’s clean / green energy business cluster, which is vital as Crawley looks to meet its carbon reduction targets in the coming years.
The centre will also attract new high value jobs and business investment to boost Crawley’s recovery and the Gatwick Diamond.
The centre will actively engage with Crawley College and the Universities of Brighton, Chichester and Sussex on opportunities for local workforce tech apprenticeships and skills, SME research and development and business support, and for the centre to accommodate hi-tech academic “spin out” enterprises.
We are delighted that the Crawley Innovation Centre has been given the green light. It will bring a much-needed boost to the Crawley economy, helping to create new jobs in existing and new local businesses, as well as encouraging diversification in our local economy. Importantly, it will also focus on investment in skills and the environment enabling Crawley businesses to be part of the much needed climate change solutions.
Councillor Peter Smith
Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development
Crawley Borough Council
The innovation centre project will bring together major innovation-led businesses, building on the existing strengths of Crawley-based technology industries, providing a once in a lifetime opportunity to attract more high value businesses into the area and cement our status as a leading part of the country driving innovation and trade. We look forward to working closely with partners on the next stage of the project.
Coast to Capital
The Crawley Innovation Centre project will also be seeking to secure £2.5 million of funding from the Crawley Towns Fund programme to invest in the operational establishment of the centre – this business case is subject to approval by Crawley Borough Council and to endorsement by the Crawley Town Deal Board.
Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership
- Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership provides leadership, investment and business support to increase productivity and generate sustainable and inclusive growth
- It covers a diverse and vibrant area which includes East Surrey, West Sussex and Greater Brighton.
- In the six years since Coast to Capital was formed, it has successfully invested more than £300 million of public money in local infrastructure.
- Read the Coast to Capital ‘Our Build Back Stronger, Smarter, Greener’ plan
Getting Building Fund
On 4 August 2020, the government confirmed the list of over 300 successful projects which will receive a share of £900 million from the Getting Building Fund.
The Getting Building Fund is investing in shovel-ready infrastructure projects to create jobs and support economic recovery across the country. Projects funded include:
- regeneration of town and city centres
- green infrastructure and clean energy
- transport and digital connectivity improvements
- unlocking of housing and business sites
- support for SMEs and learners
The successful projects (over 300) are expected to deliver up to 85,000 jobs, over 1,500,000 sqm of commercial floor space, unlocking 45,000 homes, almost 1,000,000 sqm of public realm or green space improved or created, over 50,000 new learners assisted, and 65 million kgs of CO2 emissions saved.
All projects have been selected by Local Enterprise Partnerships and Mayoral Combined Authorities in each area and endorsed by the Housing Secretary.
Crawley Economic Recovery Plan
The Crawley Innovation Centre project is identified as a priority scheme within Crawley’s Economic Recovery Plan, which was adopted by the council in November 2021.