Crawley was announced as one of just 34 UK towns to benefit from a bespoke plan this year, aiming to create a prosperous future for the town centre. Crawley is now one of 67 chosen over the last two years, following an application developed by Boots and the council and enthusiastically endorsed by the Town Centre Partnership.
Recognising the individuality of each town, the programme aims to increase town centre footfall by 10 per cent, reduce vacant properties by 20 per cent and stimulate the creation of new jobs.
Support to achieve the aims includes access to skills and expertise and dedicated high street champions from supporting businesses, working with Crawley Borough Council and other local partners to devise an action plan to deal with specific challenges facing Crawley.
Cllr Peter Lamb, Leader of Crawley Borough Council, said: “This is fantastic news which couldn’t be more timely. Regenerating the town centre through working with public and private sector partners is one of our top priorities.
“Crawley has so much to offer and we’re working on ways to harness its full potential – there’s a way to go yet but our aim is to become a regional centre with a bold and vibrant heart for Crawley and the Gatwick Diamond.
“We want to see a rich mix of uses and quality town centre living contribute to a diverse retail offer, excellent public spaces, culture and thriving evening economy. £3m of investment from us and West Sussex County Council to regenerate Queens Square next year is an excellent start to town centre transformation and will be a big plus for this programme.”
Commenting on the programme’s expansion, Robin Foale, Managing Director, Santander Business Banking, and chair of the Healthy High Streets programme added: “Congratulations to Crawley on being chosen to be part of the Healthy High Streets programme. This is a great opportunity to work with the business partners and the local High Street Champions to transform the town and create a thriving, vibrant centre for the local community.”
Peter Ross, Chair of the TCP, said: “We’re delighted with this news – our aim as a partnership of both private and public organisations is to support and encourage a thriving mixed-use town centre. This commitment from some of the biggest retailers will go a long way to helping us achieve this.”
To find out more about Business in the Community’s high streets work visit www.bitc.org.uk/healthyhighstreets