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Henry Smith: Time to renew the Manor Royal BID

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The Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID) has seen Crawley-based firms work together to create an enhanced working environment for members.

It was established in June 2013 following a vote by these companies and is governed by Manor Royal businesses themselves. It is managed by an independent not-for-profit company formed by members to manage and deliver the BID business plan, as well as creating a fund to improve the business district, and attracting additional investment.

On Friday 2nd February, voting opened to renew the Manor Royal BID for another five year term to 2023.

If successful, companies across the business district would reap the rewards of around £2.6 million of funds to be reinvested, as well as any additional investment secured by the BID team.

The BID’s commitment to improving the local area has been clear to see, alongside Crawley Borough and West Sussex County Councils and Sussex Police, developments have been made to roads, infrastructure, security and green spaces.

Manor Royal is home to the largest non-retail BID in the country. The BID has listened to feedback from local businesses on issues including broadband speeds and will strive for faster connectivity for better business functionality.

If renewed, the Manor Royal BID will seek continued improvement of roads and footpaths for employees and members of the public. Subsidised and free services such as Business Watch will be delivered, adding to recent developments in security, as well as investigating the potential of generating renewable energy.

In the five years to 2015 the number of Crawley businesses increased by more than 600 to 3,600, and since 2010 unemployment in Crawley has fallen by 59 per cent. Support for business initiatives such as the Manor Royal BID will continue to bolster employment and opportunity locally and help contribute to the drop in unemployment nationally, currently at its lowest rate since 1975.

Voting for the BID ends at 5pm on 1st March 2018 and I would welcome a positive result for the renewal of the Manor Royal Business Improvement District. If successful, I look forward to seeing the proposed developments strengthen local businesses for the benefit of the people of Crawley.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituenc

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Business

Nervous wait for Pizza Express in Crawley as firm prepares for debt talks with creditors

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Photo: Google Street View

Another major restaurant could be the latest victim of changing conditions on the high street.

The chain has reportedly hired in financial advisers ahead of talks with creditors over huge mounted debts.

The company reported a 11% fall in pre-tax profit in the second quarter of the year.

The Chinese owned company is reported to have huge debts that have amounted as the chain has struggled to cope with the changing habits of shoppers.

There are also rumours that the debt could be as much as £1.6m per restaurant.

Pizza Express is currently refusing to comment on what they call ‘speculation’ around their appointing of creditors.

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