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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

Over £2m given to Crawley Council for discretionary business grants

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Eligible Crawley businesses can now apply for discretionary business grants.

The government has given the council £2,248,180 in Additional Restrictions Grant, which is given to businesses that have been affected by the lockdown but are not legally required to close.

This funding lasts until March 2022 and is based on £20 per person in Crawley rather than the number of businesses in the town.

Eligible businesses are those who:

  • Are not entitled to Local Restriction Support Grants, and
  • Were open and trading the day before national restrictions were imposed (Wednesday 4 November), and
  • Are now required to close under national restrictions or, while not legally forced to close, are severely impacted by the restrictions.

Applications for the Additional Restrictions Grant can now be made at grantapproval.co.uk

There are different types of grants based on the rateable value of property/property costs or business type.

Businesses can check if they’re eligible for the Additional Restrictions Grant by visiting gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant

There is further guidance and a copy of the West Sussex countywide policy on the council’s website. The scheme will close on Sunday 13 December and the aim is to make payments as soon as possible after that.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of the Council, said:

“While we haven’t been allocated enough funding to help every local business, we will do everything we can to support as many Crawley businesses as possible.

“If you need support please get in touch via the council’s dedicated webpage.”

Applications for the Local Restriction Support Grant opened on 17 November. Businesses forced to close by the second lockdown can apply for this grant at grantapproval.co.uk For more details on help available for businesses visit crawley.gov.uk/emergency/coronavirus-information/businesses-and-employers

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