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Watch Coast to Capital Launch Gatwick 360 – its Ambitious Manifesto for the Area

Watch the promo video for Coast to Capital’s new Strategic Economic Plan, Gatwick 360°.

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Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) launched its new Strategic Economic Plan at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) last month.

The plan – Gatwick 360˚ – sets out the scope for economic growth in an area which is hugely important for the national economy and has Gatwick Airport at its heart.

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Following this event a promotional video has now been unveiled which shares the key messages from the strategy and showcases the launch. The AGM was held in public providing full transparency to the public and all of Coast to Capital’s stakeholders and partners.

Coast to Capital’s vision by 2030 is for the towns and cities in the Coast to Capital area to be known around the world as fantastic places to live, to grow and succeed and for the area to become the most dynamic non-city region in England, centred around a highly successful Gatwick Airport.

The strategy sets out eight priorities to grow the area’s economy which include specific actions on urban centres, business infrastructure, sustainable growth, skills, innovation, digital networks, transport and identity. The publication of the strategy is the first step in the LEP’s plan to negotiate a strong Local Industrial Strategy with Government and attract significant investment for the region.

Tim Wates, Coast to Capital Chairman said:

“The Prime Minister has confirmed LEPs as vehicles for local growth. On the back of our significant achievements to date this bold strategy will bring wealth to all our towns and cities in an area which has Gatwick Airport at the beating heart of its economy. We stand ready to make the case for investment to Government in order to scale up our contribution to the UK economy.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Coast to Capital Chief Executive said:

“I am delighted to be launching our new strategy today, the culmination of over a year’s worth of evidence gathering, analysis and stakeholder engagement. Our strategy sets out exciting and practical plans for growing our economy over the next decade, and we are now leading work with our partners to deliver them.”

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport Ltd Chief Executive said:

“It’s great to see Gatwick’s vital role at the heart of the region recognised in this ambitious strategy. The Growth Corridor from London to Brighton has many strategic advantages, not least the global connectivity and ongoing investment provided by Gatwick, and I fully support Coast to Capital’s vision for the future.”

The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:

“Thank you for all the hard work that you have put into making this area of the country one of the most successful. The breadth of activity in such a relatively small geographical area is truly outstanding. From the industrious businesses surrounding Gatwick airport and Crawley, to the beauty of the South Downs, and the creative and tech industries, this really is an area that has everything. The work that you co-ordinate is hugely appreciated. It is the bringing together of these strengths that reinforces the success you enjoy.” 

Councillor Garry Wall, Chairman of Greater Brighton, said:

“We welcome today’s publication of the Coast to Capital Strategic Economic Plan which has the potential to deliver great benefits to the nearly one million residents of the Greater Brighton region. Greater Brighton knows full well the importance of Gatwick Airport to the region which is why we are delighted to have them as members of our board. We look forward to working with partners from across local authorities, business, universities and further education, to deliver on some of the aims within this ambitious strategy.”

Councillor Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said:

“I’m delighted to support this progressive and very welcome manifesto. Coast to Capital’s integral role in the development of the Newhaven Enterprise Zone and wider contribution to other important local projects has been invaluable. We share the same ambition, standing shoulder to shoulder together in a drive to create and nurture the future prosperity of the Lewes district.”

Councillor Louise Goldsmith, Leader of West Sussex County Council said:

“The SEP dovetails with our West Sussex Economic Growth Plan: this ambitious plan will ensure that West Sussex continues to have a growing economy, that our towns flourish and that the county remains a prosperous place.”

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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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