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Crawley Council prepares town centre for shops reopening

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Following the government’s announcement that non-essential retail can reopen on Monday (15 June), the council is attempting to make the town safe for the return of shoppers.

The council will be installing signage and floor vinyls across the town centre to remind visitors to:

·       Follow social distancing guidelines

·       Pay by contactless where possible

·       Follow directional signage

·       Wear face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible

·       Be considerate and give way where paths are narrow.

Retailers will be responsible for their own signage and queuing systems within and outside their shops. To control the spread of infection, it is vital for businesses that choose to open to follow strict social distancing and hygiene measures.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:
“Ultimately, there is no action the council can take which will guarantee people’s safety.

“The only thing which will limit the spread of Covid-19 is for everyone to keep their time spent away from home to an absolute minimum and maintain social distancing when away from home at all times.”

The council will continue to assess how the government’s lockdown policies impact upon local business over the coming weeks and months, providing support where possible.

To date, the council has paid out £11.91m to 822 businesses in Small Business Grants and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants and is open to applications for Discretionary Business Grants from micro and small businesses until Sunday evening (14 June).

For more information and to apply for a Discretionary Business Grant visit https://bit.ly/cbcdiscretionarygrant

For information on how coronavirus is affecting council services visit crawley.gov.uk/coronavirus

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BREAKING NEWS: Sainsbury’s to close Crawley town centre store

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It has been an historic part of the town centre for decades, but now the supermarket on Queensway is to close its doors with the potential loss of jobs.

Image: Google Street View

Sainsbury’s says it has made the difficult decision after announcing it would close up to 15 supermarkets a year ago, pre-covid.

Sources close to the Crawley supermarket say that staff began finding out the news yesterday.

The supermarket said they would work with their staff at the site to try to find alternative roles within the firm.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson speaking to Crawley News 24 said,

“We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Crawley store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury’s for those affected.

“Customers can continue to shop with us online and at our nearby stores. For example, our West Green store is a short drive away.”

Whilst a date for the closure has not been announced, some sources say it could be as soon as January ’21.

Cllr Peter Smith Cabinet member for Planning and Economic said:

“I am sorry for the staff that will lose their jobs at this difficult time when most supermarkets are reporting improving profits.

We have had enquiries from other supermarkets looking for suitable sites who may recognise that there will shortly be an additional 2500 residential homes just a short walk away from this prestigious location. We will be doing all we can to help find a quality occupier as soon as we can.”

Crawley Councillor Francis Guidera said:

“It is tremendously saddening to read that one of the original major shops in the town centre is closing. A lot of housing provision is currently being created in the town centre area and there is an increasing, not decreasing need for food retailers in the town centre.

We haven’t even begun to knock down the administrative offices of the town hall which will be replaced by a huge apartment block, and they are still building the first apartment block on the former council car park as I type this! I genuinely hope that another food retailer grabs the huge opportunity to take on that store.”

The news comes just one after one of the most iconic town centre independent store, P&J Sweets also announced they were to close.

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