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Crawley could lose Cineworld as firm draws up plans to temporarily close due to ‘unviable’ industry

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The cinema chain looks set to ‘temporarily’ close all of its UK sites, which would include the Crawley one, with a potential loss of over 5,000 jobs across the country.

Reports suggest the firm would look to close with an aim of reopening next year.

They also suggest that staff would be asked to accept redundancy with the potential of being asked to rejoin when the chain reopens.

A closure would see around 120 cinemas close across the UK.

The announcement of yet another delay to the latest Bond film looks to have been the final straw for the cinema chain who has seen a massive fall in profits for the first half of the year.

A closure would have a huge detrimental effect for Crawley, with the leisure site full of restaurants who rely heavily on the walk-in trade from cinemas goers.

But with Hollywood Bowl investing hundreds of thousands of pounds on a new ‘Walk of Fame’ feature it is hoped the site could generate enough trade to see its survival over the coming year.

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Crawley businesses take out over £90m in loans to survive COVID-19

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Statistics released by the Government have revealed the true extent of lending taken up by businesses across Crawley.

According to a release from the office of Crawley’s MP Henry SMith, businesses across Crawley have benefitted from £92,721,494 worth of loans since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

This includes 1,724 Bounce Back Loans worth £51,495,006 and 102 loans at a value of £41,226,488 through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme.

The number is part of the vast number that have been taken out throughout the whole of the south east of England, where a total of 175,946 Bounce Back Loans, worth £5,269,988,799, and 9,026 Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, worth £2,154,703,689, have been provided to support businesses across all sectors, protecting jobs and livelihoods.

Crawley MP Henry Smith said;

“This year has been hugely challenging for businesses in Crawley, but these latest figures demonstrate the scale of support that the Government has put in place to protect livelihoods and businesses.

“Never has the Government’s agenda to level up the whole county been so important. I’ll continue to focus on supporting hardworking families across Crawley.”

With cases still rising and worries that more areas across the country may enter tighter restricttions, the Chancellor has also announced that the Government’s Job Support Scheme will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions, alongside increasing the cash grants to businesses in England required to shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs – worth up to £3,000 per month.

So far, the Government has provided over £200 billion throughout its economic response to coronavirus to support jobs and businesses in the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented;

“Our support for businesses and workers has provided a lifeline to employers up and down the country, supporting people to stay in jobs and protecting livelihoods. “We will build on this as we move to the next stage of our recovery through the Winter Economy Plan, which will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the months ahead.”

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