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Funding boost for Crawley’s Manor Royal heat network

A project to supply low cost, environmentally sustainable heat energy to companies across the Manor Royal Business District has received a major funding boost.

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The Government’s Heat Networks Delivery Unit (HNDU) has awarded £103,600 to carry out initial feasibility work on a proposed heat network and cover project management costs.

The initial work, which is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, will focus on demonstrating whether the project is viable from a technical and financial perspective and ensuring that there is a sufficient, permanent demand for the heat across the business district.

Building a heat network is an efficient, cost effective and environmentally sustainable way of supplying energy across a wide area to heat buildings or water. The heat will be supplied from a central source to businesses that need it via a network of insulated pipes.

The heat source can be a dedicated supply to the heat network, such as a modern, efficient combined heat and power unit, or heat recovered from industry or the environment around the business district. The heat network will help businesses to reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. 

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “We want to put Manor Royal on the map as one of the greenest places to do business in the south east. We are delighted with this funding announcement because it will enable us to understand the opportunity for generating and sharing heat across the business district and, if the feasibility work goes well, build a really robust business case to deliver the project.”

The proposed heat network is part of the wider Re-Energise project to increase the amount of sustainable energy generated, shared and used by businesses across the district. This is a joint initiative between West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council and the Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID).

Steve Sawyer, Executive Director of the Manor Royal BID said:

“Operating a sustainable business is not just an environmental imperative, it’s an economic one. Through the Re-Energise project we have shown the potential for Manor Royal to achieve a rewarding low-carbon future. This new funding will help us explore new opportunities for sustainable growth.”

The Re-Energise project will lead to an increase in renewable energy generation and energy storage at Manor Royal and establishment of a local energy trading co-operative to enable companies to cost-effectively trade the energy they generate with neighbouring businesses.

Business

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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