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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.

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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.”

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One year, two friends and a growing agency. The future of recruitment has arrived in Crawley

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A year ago two friends were chatting, as friends tend to do, about life and work and in particular about whether they should go into business together. That dream scenario most people think about but very few actually decide to undertake.

Only a couple of months after that first conversation, the same two friends were registering a company name, handing their notice in to their bosses and looking ahead to starting the scary journey of company ownership.

That was back in 2018. Now, in January 2020, their company has just completed an exceptionally successful first year of trading and they are beginning the new year with larger offices, new staff and a client roster that is growing exponentially.

This is the world that Daniel James and Tommy Durville have created and it is an ambitious, enthusiastic and highly motivated one that you cannot help but want to be a part of.

Recruitment agencies can have a stigma in the same way that estate agents do. Images of Rolex dangling, Armani wearing youngsters whos only interest is meeting a target that will allow them to impress whoever is next on their radar.

Ok, this is an extreme but be under no illusion the stigma is there, which is why it is not just refreshing to find a new approach to this industry but it is a huge relief.

Recruitment agencies, particularly ones that specialise in specific areas need to have dedicated staff that not only have a list of potential candidates available to them, but who actually understand what these candidates are capable of, not just a quick over view of their CV.

In turn they also need to do something that many companies have complained about for years when it comes to using an agency, they need to listen to their clients needs.

This is where Daniel and Tommy have done something that really is shaking the industry by its Hugo Boss lapels.

Onero is these two ambitious friends agency that doesn’t just ‘try’ to be different, it’s whole aim is to ‘always’ be.

Named after the latin word that signifies ownership and means to ‘take away a burden’, Onero has set itself apart from other agencies by doing something very simple yet exceptionally effective. They dedicate time.

To Onero it is not about sending out mass quantities of CV’s to a client looking to fullfil a particular role. It is about sending only a few, but knowing that every single one is a potential new employee.

How is this done? With time. With research. With listening. With real passion to fulfill the needs of a client who knows exactly what they are looking for and is desperate to find the right person.

Remember, recruitment agencies are not cheap. But there is a reason a company will use one and not try themselves.

The two guys proudly recant a recent case where a client asked them to find someone for a particular role. The company had already found six candidates themselves so Onero was under pressure.

Daniel and Tommy decided to send just one person up against the other six.

Who got the role? Of course, Onero’s!

Daniel explains:

“We are not going to work by stats and figures. I mean, lots of companies will send CV after CV hoping that by the sheer numbers one will be right. What’s the point in that? It’s wasting everyones time. We research, we listen and understand what is needed and by doing all that we find the right people so that the only problem our clients will have is a choice of who to employ.”

It is this transparancy that has seen the first year of Onero be a success and allow them to move into larger officers in Manor Royal, Crawley, as well as take on new staff to maintain their growing roster.

The two owners, who once dreamed of being a pilot and a dentist, have a new vision. Specialising within the engineering and technological sectors these friends, now colleagues, have started Onero with an ambition and ethic that is second to none and one that is outshining others and for good reason.

This is how agencies should be and after the success of year one, it is with baited breath that we all watch what year two will bring.

You can find out more about Onero at their website by clicking here or going to www.onero.co.uk

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