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Ikea shuns Crawley

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The retail giant has today announced plans that they aim to open a new store in Sussex, nearly 30 miles away from Crawley.

There was talk five years ago about the retailer looking for sites within Sussex and rumours began to mount that Crawley was a possibility.

Only last year more rumours surfaced over the possibility that the Swedish firm could move to land owned by Brighton & Hove Albion.

Now there are no more rumours as draft proposals will be on display at a public exhibition tomorrow, 27th Jan.

The New Monks Farm Development will in addition to the store include hundreds of new homes, a park and even a school.

The area will also be given a new junction on the A27 to allow for the increase in traffic.

Real Estate Manager for IKEA, Tim Farlam,  was reported as commenting that the site was ‘a great opportunity’ and welcomed comments and views from the local community.

But already there is a very different reaction to the news here.

Henry Smith MP said:

“I think it’s a missed opportunity for ikea not to come to Crawley.

Crawley is the natural business and retail hub and it’s unfortunate that ikea didn’t see the opportunity.”

A comment which seems to resonate exactly with residents feelings.

Responding to the news a local resident Ms Davis from West Green said:

“I don’t understand why they would choose an area so remote.  I will still find it easier to use the one in Croydon rather than have to cope with local traffic and smaller roads.  The A27 already can be awful with too much traffic, now with this it will be unbearable.”

Councillor Peter Smith also expressed his disappointment,

“We are very disappointed that Ikea hasn’t chosen Crawley.

Crawley is the ideal location in the center of the Gatwick Diamond with excellent transport connections and we are disappointed that they didn’t contact the council as the current Labour administration is very business friendly and would have tried to help them come here.”

 

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Business

Crawley business wins prestigious Queen’s Enterprise Award

Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the announcement that Inspiration Healthcare Group in Crawley has received an award for international trade, as part of more than 200 businesses having been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

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Those businesses were selected for their entrepreneurship, and local company Inspiration Healthcare Group is an example of Crawley’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Henry said;

“I’m delighted that Inspiration Healthcare Group has been recognised by the Queen with such a prestigious award.

“This is just one example of a company in Crawley making a huge contribution not just to our local area, but as an innovative and talented business to our growing economy.

“It’s right that the Government are working hard to create the best possible environment to start and grow businesses, and I’m delighted that we’re seeing recognition for existing firms here in Crawley.”

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, commented;

“We know that the UK is the best place to start and grow a business, which we will build on through our modern Industrial Strategy. These awards recognise great British success stories that are the face of this achievement, and I’m proud that so many small businesses are being celebrated by receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.”

Three quarters of this year’s winners are small and medium sized businesses, demonstrating that the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

In addition to existing Government support; through the modern Industrial Strategy enhanced backing will be provided, including:

  • Investing £7 billion through the modern Industrial Strategy in new public funding for research and innovation – the largest ever increase.
  • Helping small businesses access the finance they need – since it was established, the British Business Bank has provided support worth £5.9 billion of finance to over 82,000 smaller businesses across the country.
  • Providing small businesses with £200 million to grow and scale-up their operations.
  • Providing a £31 million package of support for small businesses helping them to grow and reach their full potential.
  • Legislating to make it easier for small businesses to access invoice finance, providing a £1 billion long-term boost to the economy.
  • Cutting business rates for small retailers by a third for two years – saving 90 per cent of all shops, pubs and restaurants up to £8,000.

The winners will receive these prestigious awards at a Buckingham Palace reception, where their contribution to the UK economy will be celebrated. These awards recognise businesses for their contribution in four categories, with winners including:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • Six Sustainable Development winners
  • Five Promoting Opportunity winners

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