Key opportunities for development and economic growth in Crawley have been identified in a new report.
Crawley Borough Council, with West Sussex County and Crawley College, commissioned the One Public Estate Partnership report to explore development across six town centre sites which are currently ‘under-utilised’.
One Public Estate is a national programme that brings public sector organisations together to look at the use of land and buildings with the aim of improving public services and supporting economic growth.
A council spokesman said: “Crawley is already a significant economic hub, due to its good transport connectivity, proximity to London, Gatwick Airport and the presence of Manor Royal, which is one of the South East’s largest mixed activity business districts.”
However, the report identified the following sites as areas with significant potential:
1- Queens Square
2 - Station Gateway
3 - Telford Place
4 - Crawley College
5 - County Buildings
6 - Town Hall
7 - Car park adjacent to Town Hall
Each development site has been examined for their most suitable use, including a small quantity of commercial and business spaces at Station Gateway and Queens Square.
The spokesman said: “Plans for the redevelopment of the Town Hall, along with Telford Place and Station Gateway have already progressed significantly. Offering more than 90,000 square feet of business and commercial spaces alongside residential properties.”
The report identified the County Buildings (adjacent to the Town Hall), as an ‘exciting development site’, with potential for commercial spaces designed to offer workspace for a range of different businesses alongside more residential properties.
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, said: “With three million square feet of office space currently in the pipeline to be developed and more identified, the town centre potential as a place for economic growth across a number of industries is significant and exciting.
“The report has been pivotal in identifying areas of development that can be brought forwards quickly such as Queens Square and Telford Place.”
Councillor Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, added: “This is an example of how the Growth Deals signed with every district and borough council in West Sussex and our One Public Estate Programme (OPE) are having a positive impact in helping to achieve economic growth across West Sussex.
“Collaborative working through OPE helps to secure resources and investment to boost the local economy, helping both residents and businesses to prosper and benefit from planned improvements. It puts a real focus on economic growth and development countywide.”
Julie Kapsalis, group managing director (commercial) for the Chichester College Group, said: “Crawley College is very pleased to be part of this work. We are absolutely committed to developing the offer at our campus in Crawley to ensure that we can train people in the skills required by the local economy.
“We want to attract more students and learners to access our training and facilities. We welcome the joined up approach between partners and a focus on collaboration to ensure the most effective outcomes for Crawley, its businesses and residents.”