Major improvement work to ‘breathe new life’ into heart of Crawley begins

Work has started on a £8.85million scheme to’ breathe new life’ into the heart of Crawley and support economic growth.

Thursday, 1st July 2021, 11:42 am

Key stakeholders visited the Eastern Gateway project on Tuesday (June 29) to see construction begin on a project to improve town centre connectivity and public spaces as well as supporting development opportunities at the Town Hall, County Buildings, Telford Place and Crawley College.

The scheme covers the eastern half of The Boulevard, Exchange Road, the southern end of Northgate Avenue, College Road (including the roundabout), Southgate Avenue up to and including the junction with Station Way.

It will also complement proposals for the Station Gateway scheme and enhance pedestrian and cycle access in the area.

Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council cabinet’s representative on the Crawley Growth Programme, was one of those who took part in the visit on Tuesday.

He said: “This is a really exciting milestone moment in this Crawley Growth Programme project. It’s great to see that construction is underway after all the hard work that has gone into developing the scheme which will help breathe new life into the heart of Crawley.”

Peter Smith, cabinet member for planning and economic development at Crawley Borough Council, added: “The Eastern Gateway scheme will bring about another major improvement to our town centre. This Crawley Growth Programme scheme will create improved public spaces, better pedestrian and cycle routes without impacting other vehicle traffic and upgraded connectivity for residents, visitors and businesses, while enhancing the attractiveness of town centre sites earmarked for major developments.”

Jonathan Sharrock, chief executive at Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “Crawley needs a bold approach to become a national hub for innovation and diversify its economy.

ome of the key stakeholders visit College Road, Crawley, as construction of the Eastern Gateway scheme starts. From left, Marie Ovenden, Growth Programme Delivery Manager, West Sussex County Council, Colin Bexley, Project Manager for principal contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, Clem Smith, Head of Economy and Planning, Crawley Borough Council, Ayad Hassan, Associate with design consultants WSP, and Bob Lanzer, West Sussex County Council Cabinet representative on the Crawley Growth Programme

“The Eastern Gateway project will help to achieve our vision of growing and evolving one of the UK’s most Covid-19 impacted towns into a more economically dynamic and sustainable place. We are excited to see progress with the scheme in the near future.”

Colin Bexley, project manager for principal contractor VolkerFitzpatrick, said: “We have been involved with this project from the initial design and planning stages and are delighted to now be starting the construction phase of the works.

“We are looking forward to continuing to build our relationships with West Sussex County Council, Crawley Brough Council and local stakeholders, whilst delivering the long-awaited upgrade to the outskirts of the town centre.”

Residents and businesses can get an insight into the project with this fly-through visualisation at https://youtu.be/hTtFtk9QN94

A still of the virtual fly-through

There’s also more information on the project page online.

The Crawley Growth Programme is being delivered by a major partnership of public and private organisations, including the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, West Sussex County Council, Crawley Borough Council, Metrobus, Gatwick Airport Limited and Manor Royal Business Improvement District (BID) Company.