Published: 07 August 2021

From: Economy

Residents, businesses and stakeholders are being asked for their views on the draft Crawley Economic Recovery Plan.

The plan provides a clear vision for Crawley’s future socio-economic prosperity, a clear path for recovery from the pandemic and a marker to Crawley’s formidable reputation for economic productivity.

It’s the overarching strategic plan for all of our existing delivery programmes:

  • Town Centre Regeneration Programme
  • Crawley Growth Programme
  • Towns Fund
  • Employment and Skills Programme.

The plan highlights new schemes proposed for delivery, and a number which are already being taken forward thanks to government funding secured by the council and partners from the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce.

Crawley Borough Council wants to hear what residents, businesses and stakeholders think about the draft plan. The consultation is now live and will run until 10 September.

The final plan will be adopted following the public consultation and consideration by the council’s Cabinet.

The proposed strategic priorities of the plan are:

  • A diverse and resilient economy – renew Crawley as an attractive, abundant, diverse economic powerhouse, founded on "green growth" and digital innovation
  • Green transformation – establish Crawley at the forefront of "green growth" and as a place where green technology businesses thrive
  • Town centre renewal – secure a vibrant neighbourhood and sustainable economic future for the town centre via significant qualitative investment
  • Skills for the future – to significantly improve overall social mobility among Crawley residents, creating powerful and effective skills pathways
  • Connected Crawley – to enhance a “green” economic future for Crawley by delivering low carbon transport and hyper digital connectivity.

The Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce brings together the council, senior business and voluntary sector representatives, Crawley’s MP, a government representative, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and West Sussex County Council.

The Taskforce will steer development of the plan, in response to the true impact of the crisis and will work together to unlock and harness further public and private investment to the maximum benefit of Crawley’s community.

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the town’s economy. The devastating effects have included:

  • A major collapse in Gatwick Airport passenger numbers – nearly four million per month (2019) to 850,000 per month (2020) – has resulted in more than 16,000 fewer jobs at the airport – nearly 68 per cent of the workforce
  • As many as 25,800 Crawley residents have been furloughed during the past year; this is 41% of the eligible local workforce
  • The unemployment claimant count in Crawley has almost trebled from 2.8 per cent to 7.8 per cent
  • The youth unemployment claimant count is almost 12.2 per cent, which is nearly 1,400 young people

Economic recovery is a key priority for the council and this plan demonstrates our commitment to getting the town back on its feet. Please take the time to give us your views on the plan.

Councillor Peter Smith

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development

Crawley Borough Council

It is important that our plans for the local economy reflect as far as possible the needs of our communities, and underpin a sustainable recovery to the benefit of residents and stakeholders. To help us, it is important that we hear a wide range of feedback and comments, and I would encourage all to make their views known.

Chris Maidment


Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce and Town Deal Board