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Henry Smith: Time to renew the Manor Royal BID

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The Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID) has seen Crawley-based firms work together to create an enhanced working environment for members.

It was established in June 2013 following a vote by these companies and is governed by Manor Royal businesses themselves. It is managed by an independent not-for-profit company formed by members to manage and deliver the BID business plan, as well as creating a fund to improve the business district, and attracting additional investment.

On Friday 2nd February, voting opened to renew the Manor Royal BID for another five year term to 2023.

If successful, companies across the business district would reap the rewards of around £2.6 million of funds to be reinvested, as well as any additional investment secured by the BID team.

The BID’s commitment to improving the local area has been clear to see, alongside Crawley Borough and West Sussex County Councils and Sussex Police, developments have been made to roads, infrastructure, security and green spaces.

Manor Royal is home to the largest non-retail BID in the country. The BID has listened to feedback from local businesses on issues including broadband speeds and will strive for faster connectivity for better business functionality.

If renewed, the Manor Royal BID will seek continued improvement of roads and footpaths for employees and members of the public. Subsidised and free services such as Business Watch will be delivered, adding to recent developments in security, as well as investigating the potential of generating renewable energy.

In the five years to 2015 the number of Crawley businesses increased by more than 600 to 3,600, and since 2010 unemployment in Crawley has fallen by 59 per cent. Support for business initiatives such as the Manor Royal BID will continue to bolster employment and opportunity locally and help contribute to the drop in unemployment nationally, currently at its lowest rate since 1975.

Voting for the BID ends at 5pm on 1st March 2018 and I would welcome a positive result for the renewal of the Manor Royal Business Improvement District. If successful, I look forward to seeing the proposed developments strengthen local businesses for the benefit of the people of Crawley.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituenc

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Business

Gatwick records busiest ever September

Gatwick’s passenger numbers reached 4.5 million, a 0.3% increase on September last year.

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Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate joined Sir Richard Branson last week to welcome the world's first commercial flight to use fuel made from recycled waste carbon gases.

London Gatwick has recorded the busiest September in its history, with 4.5 million passengers travelling through in what was also a successful month for the airport’s ongoing sustainability programme.

As the Carbon Trust named Gatwick the UK airport with the biggest combined reduction of operational carbon, water and non-recycled waste last year, total passenger numbers grew by 14,800 – a +0.3% increase – compared with September 2017.

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North Atlantic routes saw high growth rates, +20.5% overall – with Denver, Boston and Fort Lauderdale proving particularly popular, up +215.4%, +71.3% and +47.9% respectively.

Gatwick’s long-haul network continues to go from strength to strength, growing by +18.1% in September. This is having a direct impact on the airport’s cargo growth, with tonnage +17.4% year-on-year.

Other long-haul routes with noticeably strong growth in September included Kigali, Rwanda – which grew by +51.5%, around a year and a half after its initial launch by RwandAir – and Hong Kong, with passenger numbers up +4.2%.

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In terms of short-haul routes, Vienna continues to surge, up +130.1% in September, thanks to a new Level service launched earlier this year. Edinburgh was the domestic route with the highest growth rate, rising by +5.9% year-on-year.

Gatwick also recently celebrated a UK aviation milestone with Virgin Atlantic, welcoming the world’s first commercial flight to use next generation fuel made from recycled waste carbon gases.

Stewart Wingate, CEO, London Gatwick said:

“Sustainable growth remains a top priority at Gatwick. It’s therefore encouraging to achieve another month of healthy growth in passenger numbers, while at the same time being recognised for our commitment to reducing carbon, water and non-recycled waste on-site.

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“Ensuring Gatwick has the capacity to grow sustainably in the decades to come is the key to a prosperous future for the South East and the UK as a whole.

“With our long-haul network thriving, we’re in a strong position to support a post-Brexit Britain, when long-haul connections to countries like China will be more important than ever before.”

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