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Incredible news as Manor Royal now provides 25% of all Crawley jobs

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A new study reveals the growing importance of Manor Royal and its impact in terms of jobs, business and its contribution to the economy.

The Economic Impact Study, jointly commissioned by the Manor Royal BID and Crawley Borough Council, was conducted by leading economic and regeneration consultants, Lichfields, to assess how well the Business District is performing and what it needs to do to remain competitive.

The study revealed that since 2010, Manor Royal has grown in a number of important ways. It is now home to over 600 businesses and provides 25% of all Crawley jobs – a whopping 32,800 jobs in total. On top of that it contributes £34m in rates each, about a third of all rates generated by Crawley that includes Gatwick Airport, and provides over 9m square feet of commercial floorspace. Not bad for a place that accounts for less than 6% of Crawley’s overall landmass.   This shows a notable change from the last study when there was over 90 acres of land available for development and about 20% of all the buildings were empty.

Not bad for a place that accounts for less than 6% of Crawley’s overall landmass

The last study was carried out almost ten years ago and led to many changes, including the creation of the UK’s largest “industrial” Business Improvement District (BID) – the Manor Royal BID.  Since then the environment in which Manor Royal operates has been radically altered by large macro-economic events as well as changes closer to home. The study aimed to capture this and make recommendations for future improvements.

“This important study reinforces the vital role Manor Royal plays,” said Trevor Williams, Thales UK and Chairman of the Manor Royal BID.

“It is especially pleasing to see the contribution of the Manor Royal BID being highlighted both in terms of what has been achieved to date and the role it can play in its continued success.”

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Economic Regeneration, said:

“Here at Crawley Borough Council we know that Manor Royal plays a key part in Crawley’s economic growth and recent strong jobs growth performance – it’s great to see confirmation of how far we’ve come in ten years. It is critical to Crawley and its residents that Manor Royal Business District continues to prosper and grow, and we intend to work with the BID to help make this happen.”

The report also highlights a number of ways Manor Royal needs to improve looking ahead. This includes provision of facilities, wider promotion, enhancements to the public realm and continued efforts by the Manor Royal BID to represent and co-ordinate activities across the Business District.  The Manor Royal BID will look to work with Crawley Borough Council and other key partners to explore ways to act on the recommendations, but this will be dependent on the outcome of the BID Renewal Ballot in February when businesses will vote to decide whether to continue with the BID.

The report is available to view on the Manor Royal BID website here.

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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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