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Crawley manages to keep town centre vacancy rate below national average

It may only be less than 1% but the fact is that Crawley has new shops arriving in the town centre.



Cllr Smith and Cllr Lanzer at the newly opened Queensway.

The state of the High Street has been of national interest ever since the internet began to take over from high street store sales many years ago.

But none more so than in Crawley where rents and rates have affected so many of the small businesses and units have fallen empty.

So it is good to hear that whilst nationally the vacancy rate is at a scary high, Crawley is managing to stay under it…just.

The national rate is currently 11.6% whilst Crawley is at 10.8% but this could be about to improve even more.

With the town centre regeneration well under way and works around and leading up to the Queens Sq now complete there is talk of new energy in the form of new retailers coming to the town.

Recently Cards Direct opened a branch and even Citea moved into County Mall.

But is the £2.2million regeneration scheme that was funded by the Crawley and West Sussex Council and by Coast To Capital Local Enterprise Partnership going to really be enough to revitalise an area that is encountering a national problem?

Footfall will only return if there are places for people to visit and it is the demand for new retailers that Crawley is craving.

Crime has always been of concern to the town centre retailers and as part of efforts to reduce anti-social behaviour and increase visibility in the town centre, dominant hedging was removed from the edge of Memorial Gardens opposite the existing retail units. The entrance to Memorial Gardens was also opened up, with benches installed alongside new flowerbeds.

It is now hoped that with this new look and feel in the town centre that new investment will be encouraged bringing with it new jobs.

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“I am thrilled this project is now finished. The redeveloped area compliments the look and feel of Queens Square and opens up our town centre, showing off our fantastic retail and leisure offer as well as our beautiful Memorial Gardens.”

Bob Lanzer, county council Cabinet Member for the Economy, said:

“The completion of the Queensway scheme is a key milestone within the Crawley Growth Programme.

“The scheme complements Queens Square and has made the whole area an even more attractive place to shop and spend leisure time. I am delighted that the Crawley Growth Programme continues to invigorate the town centre.”


What to expect when Primark reopens in Crawley in two weeks



Primark is working re-open their stores on the 15th june and the store has been working hard to ensure their employee and customer safety is their highest priority.

So what can customers expect to find implemented when they reopen?

Social distancing:

There will be a limit on the number of customers allowed in store at any one time to allow for the appropriate distance in between customers and employees, following government guidelines.

There will be clear signage and floor decals, as well as dedicated employees and additional security staff, to guide customers through the store in a way that limits contact with others.

Every second till will be closed to allow more space between customers and between employees.

The store will temporarily close off fitting rooms and customer toilets.

Personal protection for employees and customers:

Hand sanitiser stations will be made available at the entrance and on the shop floor and back of house for employee and customer use. Face masks and gloves will be made available to all Primark employees.

Perspex screens have been installed on tills to protect customers and employees.

Increased in-store cleaning:

The frequency and rigour of store cleaning will increase, particularly around high frequency touchpoints such as tills, escalators, lifts, and employee areas in back of house.

A basket cleaning system is also being introduced.

Primark CEO, Paul Marchant, said:

“As we re-open our stores in England, nothing matters more than the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers.

“We have really missed our customers and we are delighted to be back on 15 June and able to provide them with the quality, affordable products they love from Primark.

“We know that life for our customers is going to look different for a while. We want our stores to be safe and reassuring places to shop and work. While it might take a little longer to get into our stores, once inside, customers will find all their favourite Primark products and we have worked hard to make sure that clear signage and extra help will be there to guide them through the changes we have made to allow for social distancing.

“We will adopt all government safety advice as a minimum in our stores and have benefited from our experience in the other markets in Europe where we have already opened successfully. As we open, we will continue to look at best practice across the retail sector and amend our measures appropriately.

“I would like to thank all of our colleagues and partners for the commitment, strength and resilience they have shown through these challenging times.”

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