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New bank in Crawley launching with two day party (and you can bring your dog)

Metro Bank is officially unveiling its new store in Crawley on Friday, 2nd and Saturday, 3rd November.

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Metro Bank, Southampton [Image: Twitter, @Metro_Bank]

To mark the occasion, the bank is inviting businesses, residents and four-legged friends to a two-day grand opening party.

Celebrations will kick off from Friday morning, with freebies and entertainment, including stilt walkers, a DJ, free manicures, face painting and a dog show.

Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, will officially open the store, along with the bank’s hosts Local Director, Doug Howell and Store Manager, Nicky Ascenso.

Everyone is invited meet the team at 25 Queens Square, RH10 1HA.

Henry Smith, Member of Parliament for Crawley said:

“We welcome Metro Bank to the community and its new presence will be a great addition to Crawley’s town centre. The bank has chosen a very prominent location which will be convenient for local businesses and residents.”

Craig Donaldson, CEO at Metro Bank commented:

“I’m delighted we are now part of the Crawley community and introducing real choice into how people bank. Our new seven-day-a-week store, which is supported by state-of-the-art technology, will act as a central hub; hosting regular networking events for businesses, as well as charity and fun-family events for local residents throughout the year. Most importantly, the store will be supported by friendly colleagues, who are committed to ensuring customers receive the very best banking experience.”

Metro Bank Crawley will provide instant account opening, along with on-the-spot card printing, meaning customers can walk in without an appointment and walk out with a fully-functioning account.

What’s more, the store will have over 3,000 safe deposit boxes for people to store their valuables and coin counting facilities that are free to be used by customers and non-customers alike.

All Metro Bank stores are open from 8am to 8pm Monday to Fridays, 8am to 6pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sundays and bank holidays, 362 days a year.

Business

More business rates to be kept local and pay for gigabit broadband

A successful bid to keep more business rates in West Sussex, supported by Crawley Borough Council, will enable residents and businesses to access gigabit broadband.

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The bid, to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to keep 75 per cent of business rates collected in West Sussex – instead of the current 50 per cent – was one of 15 successful applications out of 35 nationwide. This means that there will be an additional £19.1m retained in the county annually from 2019/20. However, this will be spent on improving digital infrastructure as we are unable to use it to help with Crawley Borough Council’s financial challenges.

Councillor Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said:

“This is good news for the digital infrastructure of the county and, once complete, the ‘spine’ will enable residents and businesses to connect to a full fibre network.

“Crawley has the biggest economy in the county and must benefit from this successful bid. However, this money is not extra for individual local authorities and will have very little impact on our finances, which are getting more challenging every year. Much is made of announcements like this but it will have no impact whatsoever on council finance or the services we provide.”

A digital ‘spine’ will be created alongside railway lines, to avoid digging up roads. A full fibre network will be laid from which residents and businesses can access gigabit broadband.

The spine will accelerate investment in and deployment of further new digital infrastructure by reducing barriers to investment in full fibre access networks and new wireless technologies.

The network will run along the Arun Valley railway line, from Ford to Three Bridges, the Brighton Mainline from Three Bridges to Brighton, and a coastal route from Brighton to Ford.

Crawley is the economic powerhouse of West Sussex. The town occupies just two per cent of the land but collects around 35 per cent of the county’s business rates. The town generates more than £120m in business rates each year but keeps only £6m; 10 per cent goes to West Sussex County Council and the rest currently goes to central government for redistribution.

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