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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

What to expect when Primark reopens in Crawley in two weeks

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Primark is working re-open their stores on the 15th june and the store has been working hard to ensure their employee and customer safety is their highest priority.

So what can customers expect to find implemented when they reopen?

Social distancing:

There will be a limit on the number of customers allowed in store at any one time to allow for the appropriate distance in between customers and employees, following government guidelines.

There will be clear signage and floor decals, as well as dedicated employees and additional security staff, to guide customers through the store in a way that limits contact with others.

Every second till will be closed to allow more space between customers and between employees.

The store will temporarily close off fitting rooms and customer toilets.

Personal protection for employees and customers:

Hand sanitiser stations will be made available at the entrance and on the shop floor and back of house for employee and customer use. Face masks and gloves will be made available to all Primark employees.

Perspex screens have been installed on tills to protect customers and employees.

Increased in-store cleaning:

The frequency and rigour of store cleaning will increase, particularly around high frequency touchpoints such as tills, escalators, lifts, and employee areas in back of house.

A basket cleaning system is also being introduced.

Primark CEO, Paul Marchant, said:

“As we re-open our stores in England, nothing matters more than the health and wellbeing of our colleagues and customers.

“We have really missed our customers and we are delighted to be back on 15 June and able to provide them with the quality, affordable products they love from Primark.

“We know that life for our customers is going to look different for a while. We want our stores to be safe and reassuring places to shop and work. While it might take a little longer to get into our stores, once inside, customers will find all their favourite Primark products and we have worked hard to make sure that clear signage and extra help will be there to guide them through the changes we have made to allow for social distancing.

“We will adopt all government safety advice as a minimum in our stores and have benefited from our experience in the other markets in Europe where we have already opened successfully. As we open, we will continue to look at best practice across the retail sector and amend our measures appropriately.

“I would like to thank all of our colleagues and partners for the commitment, strength and resilience they have shown through these challenging times.”

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