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New-style solar panels give The Hawth cleaner energy



More than 180 solar panels have been installed at The Hawth.

As part of the council’s ongoing programme of installations of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, the theatre and arts centre is now home to 182 panels.

The system provides 47 kilowatt peak (kWp). The installation is generating about 51,000 kWh of electricity at a saving to the council of £6,200 and more than 23,000kg of CO2 each year.

The cost to the council was £57,000, giving the system a payback period of around 9.2 years.

The roof at The Hawth meant it wasn’t possible to install the panels on the roof surface. Instead, an in-roof system where the roof tiles are replaced by the solar panels installed on a mounting plate has been used. This system is common across continental Europe but has only recently been introduced to the UK.

This is the tenth Crawley Borough Council building to benefit from solar panels after Metcalf Way Vehicle Depot, the Town Hall, K2 Crawley, Metcalf Way Depot, Bewbush Centre, Maidenbower Community Centre, Maidenbower Pavilion, Millpond Adventure Playground and Waterlea Adventure Playground. In total, the panels on these buildings are expected to reduce the council’s energy bills by around £96,000 each year and save 260,000kg of carbon.

K2 Crawley has 1,200 solar panels, the Town Hall has 194, the vehicle depot has 115, the depot has 270, Bewbush has 70, Maidenbower Community Centre has 200, Maidenbower Pavilion has eight, Millpond has 28 and Waterlea has 32 panels.

This initiative is part of the goal to be a zero carbon council and town by 2050 and the council is currently identifying additional opportunities for solar panel systems on its operational buildings.

The next council building to benefit from solar panels will be Ifield Drive Community Centre, where 40 panels will be installed.

Councillor Geraint Thomas, Cabinet member for Environmental Services and Sustainability, said: “We now have almost 2,400 solar panels on our buildings. Every single one benefits both taxpayers and the environment thanks to the substantial financial and carbon savings they provide.

“We are also embracing relatively new technology to ensure that as many of our buildings as possible can benefit from cheaper, cleaner energy.”

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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.



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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