More than 200 businesspeople gather at Crawley networking event


More than 200 business people from Manor Royal companies gathered for an annual networking event.

Representatives from 100 firms attended the Manor Royal Business Improvement District’s (MRBID) ‘Know Your Neighbour’ event at the Sandman Signature Hotel on Thursday (March 13).

Steve Sawyer, MRBID executive director, said: “The real benefit of having them in a small geographical area is to build a sense of community.

“What came out of yesterday was this very strong sense of pride in Manor Royal, that we are in this together.

“That’s really important because when that starts to happen there’s so much more you can do.”

Businesspeople, from small independents to giants like Virgin Atlantic, gave two-minute presentations about the services they can provide each other at the gathering.

Mr Sawyer said: “It was a big success.

“We were bursting at the seams to find places for everybody for businesses who wanted to be there.”

MRBID board members revealed plans to improve the business estate’s appearance and infrastructure over the next five years.

Mr Sawyer said MRBID was considering placing public art, lamppost banners and landscaping works at one of the estate’s entrances.

He said: “We are looking at the whole estate on how we can make it more like a prestigious modern business park.”

Gatwick Airport expansion was also on the agenda at the gathering.

Mr Sawyer said: “Expansion affects Manor Royal of course.

“Gatwick are quite keen to look at find local suppliers that they might be able to use.

“There’s an opportunity here for us to make them more aware of what they can get from Manor Royal.”

He added: “Broadly we are supportive [of expansion], it can bring to the local economy but there are still some questions that have to be answered about the disruption to businesses.The effect on infrastructure is very important.”

Bob Burgess, the Mayor of Crawley, opened the event.