Productivity and innovation boost Crawley economy

25 January 2016

Crawley is one of the most productive and innovative places in the UK, according to an influential report.

The Centre for Cities 2016 report, which compares economic statistics across 63 cities and large towns in the UK, underlines the town’s status as a great place to do business.

Crawley has excellent transport links, skilled workforce and large economically-active areas like the Manor Royal Business District – all reasons why Crawley is a great place to do business.

The report has found that Crawley:

  • Has 86.7 per cent of postcodes with access to superfast broadband – the third highest in the UK
  • Has the sixth highest number of patents granted per 100,000 people
  • Has the highest proportion of private sector jobs in the UK (75,300 private sector jobs, only 10,100 public sector). This is a ratio of 7.5 and the UK average is 2.8
  • Workers are paid the second highest weekly wages (after London) with an average of £641 per week in 2015 (up from £614 in 2014)
  • Has the sixth highest house price growth – 8.9 per cent from 2014 to 2015 (£240,100 to £261,500).
  • Is the 10th most productive city, with an average gross value added (GVA) of £57,200 per worker. GVA measures the contribution to the economy of each individual
  • Has the 10th lowest Jobseekers’ Allowance claimant count – 1.2 per cent in November 2015 (down from 1.3 per cent in November 2014. 

Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council, said: “Crawley is a major regional business hub and this report helps to enhance the town’s standing as a centre of productivity and innovation, both of which help drive long-term economic growth.

“It validates what we have been doing to support our economy, attract investment and promote our key employment areas. It’s fantastic to get this recognition from independent industry experts.”

The report also found that just 22.7 per cent of Crawley residents have high level (NVQ4 and above) qualifications, which ranks the town 60 out of 63.

Councillor Smith added: “Low unemployment and high wages are positive statistics but the best paid jobs tend to be held by people who do not live in Crawley.

“We want to see these jobs held by Crawley people which is why we’re working hard to upskill residents so they are able to benefit from the growing local economy.”

Steve Sawyer, Executive Director of Manor Royal Business District, said: “The report underlines the strength of Crawley’s highly productive and dynamic private sector driven economy. It provides many reasons to feel proud of our town and to celebrate it.

“However, we can’t be complacent. We had to work hard to ensure Manor Royal was enabled for superfast broadband and low job creation, issues of housing affordability and low numbers of highly qualified residents point to real opportunities to ensure Crawley continues to thrive for the benefit of local people and many others that depend on it.” 

Centre for Cities focuses on the UK’s 63 largest towns and cities for its reports. The report can be found at www.centreforcities.org

For more information on Crawley’s economy visitwww.crawley.gov.uk/business

 
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