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Crawley’s Tilgate Nature Centre to reopen on Monday

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The animals are getting ready to welcome visitors back to Tilgate Nature Centre!

Crawley Borough Council’s hugely-popular visitor attraction – located in beautiful Tilgate Park and home to more than 100 different species – will reopen on Monday (20 July) to visitors with pre-purchased tickets only.

All entry tickets must be pre-purchased via the online booking system at tilgatenaturecentre.co.uk

Tickets will be available to buy online a week in advance. Entry tickets will be sold with a 30-minute period for entry; there is no limit on the length of visits.

A new pricing structure has been put in place for the reopening, which includes a discount for Crawley residents. The new prices, which are valid until 31 March 2021, are:

·       £5 for Crawley adults and £4 for Crawley children

·       £6 for non-Crawley adults and £5 for non-Crawley children

·       All under twos are free

·       Family tickets for two adults and two children have a discount – Crawley family £16, non-Crawley family £20

·       Free winter Wednesdays, from the first Wednesday after October half-term and the last Wednesday before February half-term, will now be free for Crawley residents only.

Crawley Borough Council will begin trialling annual family season passes from April 2021.

Pre-purchased tickets will allow the council to limit the number of people in the Nature Centre to ensure that social distancing guidance is complied with to keep staff, visitors and animals safe.

A one-way system, additional hand sanitisers and increased cleaning frequency will all be in place, along with the handwashing facilities near the entrance and exit.

The shop, Discovery Room, Americas and Madagascar houses are shut.

Walk up entry will not be permitted until further notice. The Crawley resident discount is applied on the online booking system based on the customer address provided – visitors will need a myCrawley account or sign up to one when booking.

When the walk up option becomes available, visitors will be asked to provide proof of residency at the point of purchase.

Councillor Chris Mullins, Cabinet member for Wellbeing at Crawley Borough Council, said:

“Tilgate Nature Centre is a wonderful attraction for all the family so I’m delighted that we are now able to reopen it safely.

“Book now. I know the animals have missed you!”

For more details on the animals, a map and booking questions visit tilgatenaturecentre.co.uk For more information about Tilgate Park visit crawley.gov.uk/tilgatepark

Business

Crawley jobs at risk as DW Sports goes into administration

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Jobs at DW Sports in Crawley town centre are at risk along with 1,700 hundred jobs across the country as the company announced it is to wind down the business.

The sports website has also been closed with immediate effect.

According to reports closing down sales are due to begin at the remaining stores as the business comes to an end.

Fitness First, a sister company of DW is to continue to operate as a separate company and its 43 clubs are not to be affected by the news.

Chief executive Martin Long said:

“As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”

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

“This is terrible news for the staff of DW Sports; I sympathise with them and hope that they are able to secure other employment quickly. Our Employ Crawley service is currently providing free one-to-one employability and training support to jobseekers by phone, email and text.”

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