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Have your say on economic recovery plan

17 March 2021

Residents and stakeholders will be able to give their views on the draft Crawley Economic Recovery Plan later this year.

The plan outlines a vision for Crawley’s future prosperity and recovery from the pandemic. Crawley Borough Council’s Cabinet agreed that the plan will be subject to a six-week public consultation from May at its meeting last night (Wednesday 10 March).

The draft Economic Recovery Plan is designed to provide 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. The Plan highlights schemes proposed for delivery, a number of which can already be taken forward thanks to government funding secured by the council and partners from the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce.

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 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 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 7,000 redundancies at the airport – nearly 33 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 more than trebled from 2.4 per cent to 8.3 per cent
  • The youth unemployment claimant count is almost 13 per cent, which is nearly 1,000 young people.

The pandemic has had a huge impact on the local economy and unemployment levels in Crawley. We are committed, along with our public and private sector partners, to take the action necessary to get us on the road to recovery and are calling on the government to offer Crawley the support that it needs at this time. I’d urge everyone to view the plan and give us their views when the consultation starts.

Councillor Peter Smith

Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development

I sense a real desire from all parties to support the council’s plans for a recovery of the local economy, and you should see an impact whether you are a resident or visitor, an employer or employee, a learner or a place of learning within the town. It shows Crawley coming together to benefit all.

Chris Maidment

Chair of the Crawley Economic Recovery Taskforce and Town Deal Board

The draft plan is available to view on the Crawley Borough Council website.

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

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