Executive summary

In 2014 Crawley Borough Council (CBC) and West Sussex County Council (WSCC) (the Authorities) created the Crawley Growth Board to oversee the preparation of a number of economic development and growth initiatives, in accordance with Crawley’s new adopted Local Plan.

The two authorities have since drawn up and launched together the Crawley Place Plan, which sets out the strategic priorities for Crawley's growth programme. They have also secured £1.5 million of Local Growth Fund from the Local Enterprise Partnership to invest in the Queens Square Regeneration scheme, the first phase of Crawley's Town Centre Regeneration programme.

This first Growth Deal for Crawley represents a mutual commitment by Crawley Borough Council and West Sussex County Council to consolidate our existing partnership working for growth and to also engage in closer co-operation to build and deliver a Growth, Regeneration and Investment Programme, which implements the strategic priorities set out in the Crawley Place Plan. This commitment includes a shared desire to combine and align resources to invest in regeneration initiatives, which strengthen the conditions for sustainable growth and unlock opportunities for new homes, jobs and employment space.

Our shared commitment as a partnership is also to ensure that growth and regeneration improves the quality of the living environment and that growth harnesses clear benefits for local residents and businesses, bringing both local economic benefits and improvements to quality of life.

In practical terms this means that the two authorities will:

  1. Focus their combined efforts on the preparation and delivery of a Growth, Regeneration and Investment Programme for Crawley, which responds to the priority growth schemes set out in the Crawley Place Plan and where both authorities agree shared objectives and accountability.
  2. Agree clear and coherent ways of working together, which will; A) Reduce bureaucracy and ensure scheme delivery as a priority; B) Improve communication, co-operation and efficiency; C) Enable the best quality outcomes possible for local residents and businesses.
  3. Seek the alignment and combination of respective capital programme funding to unlock private sector investment and third party regeneration funds which will be invested in stimulating sustainable homes and jobs growth - key outcomes for the Growth, Regeneration and Investment Programme.

With the common aim of securing the future prosperity of the Crawley area, this Growth Deal lays the foundations of how the two authorities will work together in closer partnership; enabling them to realise delivery of the priority growth schemes set out in the Crawley Place Plan.

West Sussex County Council will assign an appropriate Officer (currently the Crawley Growth Lead) to support the management of the overall Growth programme. This officer will ensure the deal’s principles, governance framework and priorities are followed, providing regular progress update reports to the Crawley Growth Board and maintaining the close working relationship that we share as partnering authorities.

The Growth Lead will also ensure that the correct governance procedures are followed, overseeing reporting mechanisms and highlighting agreed officer and team accountabilities to ensure that individual projects and priorities are maintaining progress.

The Crawley Borough Council Economic Regeneration Manager will act as the Lead officer for the Borough Council; ensuring that the deals principles and priorities are followed and that Crawley Borough Council led growth and regeneration projects are progressed in tandem with the county Council. The West Sussex Growth Lead and Crawley Borough Council Economic Regeneration Manager will ensure that overall accountabilities will also be clearly defined alongside any matters that require approvals not within delegated powers and responsibilities


The County Council is committed to developing new and closer working partnerships and relationships with district and borough councils to create the conditions for economic growth and maximise the funding available to deliver it.

Recognising the changing national environment and the emerging local strategies for growth (the government's forthcoming regional industrial strategies, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Strategic Plan, and the Growth Deal), the County Council is developing a series of bespoke deals with individual District and Borough councils, which build on the Place Plans.

This Crawley Growth Deal presents the shared CBC and WSCC priorities for economic growth, by identifying priority projects from the Crawley Place Plan which WSCC will work together with CBC to deliver as part of a Crawley Growth, Regeneration and Investment Programme.

It is the County Council’s intention for Crawley’s Growth Deal to effectively summarise the economic growth priorities for the Borough, which will then be supported and overseen by the Growth Lead within the partnership. The Growth Lead will then oversee the County’s roles and input into the priorities reporting directly to the Growth Board. The Growth Deal will therefore inform the County Council’s commissioning strategy going forward.

Devolution and changes to local government finance and governance (for example business rates and Combined Authorities) that will take place over the course of this parliament, will strongly influence how this Deal evolves over the next few years, and the principles set out in this Deal will be the foundation of how we intend to work together to align our collective resources in order to secure the future prosperity of the Crawley Area.


The focus of the Growth Deal is the development and delivery of priorities identified in the Crawley Place Plan and in particular the alignment of resources and investment to progress the Place Plan priorities over the next five years. There will be other statutory processes (including Planning), programmes and projects, that are not covered by this Growth Deal, where the County and the Borough will work together to achieve the most effective outcomes for communities. The principles established in this Growth Deal may be helpful in developing working practices in these areas in the future.

The priorities, ways of working and governance structures highlighted in the Growth Deal do not remove, or alter, either authorities statutory duties and do not suggest or represent any pre-determination with respect to planning issues - the statutory planning process will be progressed as required for all proposals identified in the Growth Deal.

This Growth Deal will be reviewed initially after six months, and then annually, by the Growth Board with any proposed amendments being reported and agreed with the Leaders.

The responsible officers at each authority will monitor the Growth Deal Action Plan (appendix 1) and ensure timely reports are made to the Growth Board.

Putting the Crawley Growth Deal into practice

The rest of this Growth Deal document is divided into three distinct sections:

  1. The Growth Deal Delivery Priority Schemes – this provides a list of the economic and regeneration priorities, which the Partnership feel could benefit the local area and where both Councils are prepared to engage in close partnership working to facilitate their delivery. These priority schemes will form the Crawley Growth, Regeneration and Investment programme.
  2. An Overview of Better Ways of Working Together – this provides a clear set of priorities which define in practical and procedural terms how the two authorities will work together better and more closely as a partnership going forward as part of this Growth Deal.
  3. Governance Structures for the Growth Deal – this provides a clear framework for the process of decision making and accountabilities, which will underpin the preparation and delivery of the Crawley Growth, Regeneration and Investment Programme.

An Action Plan is included as Appendix A. This document identifies key steps required to progress Plan priorities through to delivery. Progress against the Action Plan will be monitored and reported to the Crawley Growth Board by the Growth Lead.

The Action Plan is a working document and will be progressed within the context of the approaches set out in this Growth Deal. The Action Plan identifies key decision points - projects will only be progressed beyond key decision points when the appropriate governance processes have been completed within each authority. It is, of course possible, that at a key decision point it is identified that a project will not progress further, if this is the case the Growth Board will be informed.

The Crawley Growth Deal delivery - priority schemes

The Crawley Growth Deal priorities, as per the Crawley Place Plan:

  • Crawley Town Centre – developing a dynamic business growth hub with a bold and vibrant community heart for Crawley and the Gatwick Diamond, where a rich mix of uses and high quality town centre living contribute to a diverse retail offer, excellent public realm and a thriving economy. Balanced and sustainable growth in town centre homes, jobs and Gross Value Added (GVA) will not happen without interventions to regenerate key opportunity sites and to unlock major public-private sector investment in high quality public realm and 21st century highways and sustainable transport infrastructure. Priorities include:
    • Town Centre Public Realm Transformation phase 1 – Queens Square
    • Town Centre Public Realm transformation phase 2 – Queensway
    • Station Gateway Regeneration scheme
    • Eastern Commercial Gateway regeneration programme - featuring the mixed-use regeneration of Telford Place (CBC lead) and County Buildings (WSCC lead) to unlock affordable housing and new commercial space to attract more jobs and businesses into the town centre
    • Further town centre opportunity sites identified in the Local Plan
    • Site acquisition to ensure the right balance between commercial and residential development is maintained
  • The Manor Royal Business Improvement Programme (BID) - to support Manor Royal to continue to provide a diverse range of jobs for local people. Growing Manor Royal sustainably in tandem with the Town Centre, creating a place where there is high GVA (wealth) produced and where there are jobs that local people have the skills to access. Priorities include:
    • Developing increased opportunities for start- up and growing businesses
    • Developing amenities to serve the Manor Royal business community
    • Improve sustainable access
    • Improve key transport interchanges - tackle highway bottlenecks
    • Improve the public realm
    • Improve digital information
    • Maximise new business and job opportunities
    • Align plans and resources across key partners – CBC, WSCC and Manor Royal BID
  • The Crawley Employment and Skills Plan – Joint working to unlock delivery of the following four schemes, which will enable local residents to access higher skills levels and better quality employment opportunities:
    • Town Centre skills academy
    • Gatwick skills laboratory
    • Employ Crawley
    • Young workers scheme
  • Working with Gatwick Airport - Gatwick Airport is one of the greatest economic assets in the county. We will work closely with Gatwick Airport Limited to develop the strategic advantage of Gatwick Airport to support the creation of new and improved economic assets in Manor Royal and the wider Crawley area. The focus will be on developing businesses that can open up opportunities in the global market and to realise the potential for Gatwick Airport to drive smart and sustainable growth. Our ambition is to support the growth of the airport to a throughput of 45 million passengers per annum (mppa) based on the current single runway and two terminals. Priorities include:
    • Gatwick station upgrade
    • Gatwick skills laboratory
  • Ensure that investment programmes are aligned
  • Working together on the Three bridges station project-joint working to bring forward plans to redevelop the forecourt areas and associated access

Better ways of working together - a nine point plan

  1. The consolidation of a Borough Council – County Council Programme Delivery Team – comprising officers from the County Council’s Growth Area Team, Property Team, Highways and Transportation Team and Capital programme team alongside officers form the Borough Council’s Economic Development and Regeneration and Forward Planning teams. The Delivery Team is accountable to the Crawley Growth Board and is underpinned by a strong commitment in terms of officer time to monitor and enable delivery of Crawley’s priority regeneration schemes as defined in this Growth Deal.
  2. A joint commitment by the Borough Council and County Council to ensure the necessary officer time and expertise for the close co-operation and intensive team working required to produce a comprehensive business case to be submitted to the LEP. This will seek to draw down Local Growth Fund resources from the Crawley Area Transport Package to invest in highways, public realm and landscaping improvements in Manor Royal, at Station Gateway and the town centre Eastern Commercial Gateway, which will unlock new jobs, employment space and homes on key regeneration site
  3. A common and agreed approach, which is clear and robust to the governance, allocation and prioritisation of Community Infrastructure Levy, to enable social and physical infrastructure improvements in Crawley.
  4.  A commitment to partnership working and co-operation to strengthen the quality of public service delivery at properties owned by the two Councils, achieving service colocation where and if appropriate and identifying ways of generating revenues and enabling land and property where appropriate to be regenerated to accommodate new commercial space, jobs and homes, in accordance with the government’s “One Public Estate” initiative.
  5. An ongoing process of reciprocal consultation on strategic planning applications and other strategic planning matters that impact on both authorities that fall within the Borough of Crawley.
  6. A co-ordinated approach to enhanced street maintenance and to public realm improvements, particularly in the Manor Royal business district and in Crawley Town Centre, significantly strengthening the quality of the business and living environments in order to attract business and private sector investment through new commercial space.
  7.  Jointly identifying ways to unlock delivery of high quality commercial space for business and jobs growth in addition to the new housing required to meet the needs of current and future residents, closely aligning commissioning plans to resource supporting infrastructure.
  8. Both authorities will agree on common and appropriate project management and quality management systems, supporting the various project boards and working groups. This includes non-technical summary notes and action logs to record the necessary sequencing of actions, informing programmes that require key review and decision phases such as design feasibility, viability and legal.
  9. A commitment to resolve any areas of dispute through escalation to the Growth Board if required.

Governance structures for the growth deal

The Crawley Growth Board was set up in 2014 and is attended by senior officer representation from both authorities; the Board meets monthly in order to:

  1. Provide strategic leadership and direction in support of Crawley's sustainable growth
  2. Examine new growth and regeneration scheme proposals, determining whether they are recommended to CBC or WSCC members for approval
  3. Monitor “live” regeneration delivery schemes, considering progress made and if required agreeing to remedial action to enhance delivery

The Crawley Programme Delivery Team will comprise growth and regeneration officer leads from CBC and WSCC whose role will be to oversee the operational delivery of the Crawley Growth Regeneration and Investment Programme (GRIP). The Team will meet on a monthly basis in order to:

  1. Consider the progress of projects across the programme, reporting to the Growth Board on overall progress;
  2. Provide direction and extra impetus for individual project schemes
  3. Be apprised of issues and obstacles affecting project delivery, agreeing remedial action to boost progress where appropriate.

The delivery team will ensure that project steering groups and boards have the correct combination of officer input and expertise in key disciplines such as regeneration, planning, highways, transport planning and growth. The Delivery Team will also ensure the involvement of key third party stakeholders (e.g. the Manor Royal BID for Manor Royal schemes).

Individual project steering groups will be chaired by an officer project lead from either CBC or WSCC and a senior officer from one of the authorities will be nominated as Project Sponsor, as appropriate. The steering group will include officer representatives from the relevant functions across the two authorities. The project leads will be expected to report on progress to the delivery team.

Issued by: Marie Ovenden

Approved by:
Louise Goldsmith (West Sussex County Council) and
Peter Lamb (Crawley Borough Council)