The previous Conservative Administration at Crawley Borough Council had aspiration and vision for Crawley, including for our town centre.
We delivered the new development on the old Sussex House site with a New Morrisions, Travelodge and Turtle Bay, which vastly improved this corner of the town centre.
We also proposed to revitalise Queens Square in a joint project with West Sussex County Council and we managed to secure the funding with both Councils contributing £1.5 million each. This is a great example of partnership working and I am pleased that the Labour Administration at Crawley Council has agreed to continue with our excellent project that will vastly improve Queens Square.
The scheme is set to redefine the square as the heart of the town centre, creating a high quality, inviting, distinctive and enjoyable public space which will encourage more people to make good use of the area. We are keen to halt and reverse the decline of Queens Square and it is hoped to encourage new and existing building owners and businesses to invest in the area and encourage wider regeneration.
The week, formal approval will be given and work is set to start early next year with the scheme expected to be completed by mid-2016. The public consultation in November showed that a curved concept was the preferred design of Crawley residents. The sunken area will be removed which will make the square level. There will be attractive planting, seating, lighting, water jets as well as a large and flexible space for future events and activities.
The design will encourage movement to the centre of the square by creating an interesting focal point that invites people in and emphasises the curves of the planters to guide people across the square. The landscaping will be designed to provide contrast against the strong rectangular shape of the square and soften the starkness of surrounding buildings. This is a well thought-out scheme and I am confident it is going to prove very popular once completed. Creating a thriving and attractive town centre for Crawley remains a priority for me and my team.