Crawley Borough Council and partners have embarked on a programme to regenerate the town centre – breathing new life into key locations in order to realise the area’s full potential as a fantastic place to visit, live, work and do business.

A large new development including Turtle Bay, Morrisons, Travelodge and Creams Cafe opened to the northwest of the retail centre in 2014; £3.2 million of improvements to Queens Square, the heart of the town centre, were completed in 2017 and a further £2.2 million is committed to improving the adjoining Queensway, set to open in 2019.

Impressively for a fairly compact town centre, this is just the tip of the iceberg – a range of developments are in the pipeline including a new train station, business space and high-quality accommodation, along with major improvement plans to public space and road networks. Helping to bring our ambitions to fruition is £18m of capital secured from the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership, with further funding promises on the horizon; this will unlock new jobs and homes and better connect the town centre with key Crawley locations including Gatwick Airport, Manor Royal and Three Bridges.

Crawley town centre already sees more than 200,000 visitors a week, has a catchment dominated by the most affluent communities, has a developing knowledge-based economy, a growing retail catchment and an increasing number of town centre residential developments – to top it off, trade is good and getting even better.

At the heart of this programme is our work with stakeholders, ensuring everyone sees the benefit of a regenerated Crawley town centre. Crawley Borough Council and partners are committed to embracing the sustainable regeneration of the town centre as a prime retail, leisure, business and residential location.

Our ambition for Crawley town centre

Our objectives

  1. Excellent public realm
  2. Vibrant community heart for Crawley and the
  3. Gatwick Diamond
  4. Diverse retail and business offer
  5. High quality town centre with a rich mix of uses
  6. Dynamic business growth

Regeneration in action

Seven key themes will help us transform the town centre and bring our vision to life:

  1. Investing in revitalised public realm, highways and infrastructure
  2. Bringing forward key town centre opportunity sites
  3. Creating the conditions for new high grade business space
  4. Developing town centre neighbourhood amenities
  5. Governance, engagement and co-ordination
  6. Marketing, branding and inward investment
  7. Complementary policy

Crawley - a town of opportunities

Crawley already has a thriving business presence and a great retail and leisure offer but it still has a lot more to give. Just some of the existing town centre retailers and businesses include:


  • ASB Law
  • ASSI (Air Safety Support International)
  • RSM
  • DMH Stallard
  • Grant Thornton
  • Irwin Mitchell
  • PwC
  • Rapidata
  • RBS
  • Regus
  • Theradex
  • Travelopia


  • Debenhams
  • Decathlon
  • Hotel Chocolat
  • iStore
  • M&S
  • Monsoon/Accessorise
  • Next
  • Pret a Manger
  • Primark
  • Superdry
  • Topshop / Topman
  • Turtle Bay
  • Wildwood

Along with a diverse retail offer which continues to grow, a steady number of town centre residential properties are opening which is set to see a town centre neighbourhood develop soon. This will help to create a vibrant mixed-use location open after normal shopping hours desired by retailers and property owners alike.

Leisure options are excellent in the town with a large leisure park home to top names like Hollywood Bowl, Cineworld and Nuffield Health, along with a wide range of restaurants.

Supporting the vibrancy and neighbourhood facilities is Crawley College; recently merged with the OFSTED outstanding Chichester College group, the facility offers eduction opportunities to thousands of students each year.

Key strategic opportunity sites include:

  • Crawley Station
  • Telford Place
  • County Buildings
  • Land north of the Boulevard
  • The Broadway and Crosskeys
  • Town Hall

There’s still room for business to grow and we’re looking to create more space to enable a diverse range of businesses to both start and develop.

Recent years and months has seen a host of successful new openings and moves into the town centre like Grant Thornton, Decathlon, Travelodge, Morrissons, Turtle Bay, Starbucks, not to mention a good range of independents.

Progress so far

Thanks to the support of our partners and Crawley Borough Council’s commitment to the Town Centre Regeneration Programme, a lot of work has taken place since the first edition was created in 2015.

Queens Square: This £3.2 million joint investment in the public space at the heart of the town centre is now complete.

Crawley Museum: One of the town centre’s oldest buildings has now been converted to house the town’s museum.

Queensway and The Pavement: £2.2 million of joint funding to improve the public space in the streets adjoining Queens Square. Design partners appointed; design consultation complete; planning application submitted; work set to start in 2018.

Station Gateway: Outline planning approved for a large residential-led mixed-use development including a new train station. Work set to start in 2018.

Town Hall: Demolition and redevelopment of existing site, creating a mixed-use development including a new civic hall, residential and office space. Work set to start in 2018 subject to planning.

Place branding project: A new town brand has been developed and agreed by the Town Centre Partnership following research and consultation. The brand supports a sense of place and identity and can be used by all stakeholders. Its implementation began in autumn 2017.

Signage and wayfinding: New town centre signage has been developed in line with the new place branding design. Implementation has started following analysis of existing signage and current needs.

Local Enterprise Partnership funding: Successful bid to the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership for £14.6 million helps pay for a number of large scale improvements including public realm and road infrastructure, sustainable transport and business space acquisitions.

Town Centre Professional Services Forum: New forum set up in March 2017 with the aim of making a demonstrable difference to the town centre’s day and night economy and local skills and employment. Meeting monthly working through a clear set of objectives.

Historic High Street Forum: Forum of High Street businesses tasked with improving the environment and footfall in the High Street conservation area which benefits existing and new businesses. Meeting monthly since May.

Investor relations and inward investment: New Crawley business guide published and a range of inward investment marketing and events already delivered. Contractor appointed to assist in delivery of further work. Inward investment prospectus and video being developed.

Employment and Skills Plan: Launched to improve the prospects and opportunities for Crawley residents in 2016, this programme of work has seen some significant progress including the Employ Crawley Hub.

Investing in revitalised public spaces

Joint partners, Crawley Borough Council (CBC) and West Sussex County Council (WSCC), have been successful in securing £14.6m of funding from the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The funding will support the joint WSCC and CBC Crawley Growth Programme to deliver a range of public space, infrastructure and highways improvements, along with a potential property aquisition for modern business space. The work will be carried out over the next four to five years.

Queens Square – 2015 to 2017: A £3.2 million project jointly funded by WSCC and the LEP. Construction work to regenerate the heart of the town centre began in 2016 and included high-quality granite paving, greatly improved lighting, granite seating/planters and a central, lit water feature. The project is now complete and is already acting as a catalyst for wider investment, attracting the likes of Decathlon and a quality seasonal ice rink, as well as improvements to some exteriors of privately owned buildings in the square.

Queensway and The Pavement – 2017 to 2019: A £2.2 million project jointly funded by CBC and WSCC. Funding for the project has been secured and a planning decision is expected in early 2018. If successful, construction will begin during 2018 and will greatly improve the paving, lighting and general environment in two streets connecting to Queens Square. Plans aim to open up the adjacent Memorial Gardens creating good sight-lines and attractive space, as well as building for use as a market location. Work is set to be complete in 2019, subject to planning.

Station Gateway, including Friary Way and the bus station – 2018 to 2021 or 2022: Integrated highways and public space improvement scheme also supporting major redevelopment of Overline House and Crawley train station. The £5.5 million project, jointly funded by CBC, WSCC, LEP, Arora and Metrobus will include greatly improved cycle and pedestrian access between Crawley train station, bus station, County Mall and The Broadway. It includes reducing the dominance of the car, improving bus and traffic flows and softening the landscape.

Eastern Gateway – 2018 to 2021: An £8.3 million project to improve the public space, connectivity and reduce the existing severance of the town created by large roads. Work will soften the landscape and reduce the dominance of the car, creating a pleasant environment and supporting key development opportunities at the Town Hall, County Buildings, Telford Place and Crawley College.

Sustainable transport improvements – 2017 to 2021: Funded by CBC, WSCC, LEP, Arora and Metrobus, the project will support sustainable living in the town centre, reducing the need for a car and associated parking spaces as well as improving the environment and urban living conditions. Work includes a new bus station, enhanced bus stops, new low emission buses and enhanced bus routes.

Improving walking and cycling – 2017 to 2019: Working with Transport Initiative, WSCC and CBC have identified key cycle priorities in the town centre. £1.1 million drawn down from the Crawley Growth Fund will help to improve connectivity by removing physical barriers and improving crossing facilities at locations where a need has been identified.

The Broadway and Crosskeys – undetermined: There is potential for public space improvements subject to developable sites coming forward in the area. Drawing on other funding sources may also be an option here.

Opportunity sites – seizing the moment

There are a number of key town centre sites either in the pipeline or still representing opportunities. As town centre living continues to grow, all sites are of mixed use.

Station Gateway: Outline planning has been approved for this large-scale redevelopment of Overline House and adjoining car parks. The Arora Group Ltd hope to commence work in 2018, creating 308 high-quality apartments, a brand new train station, station plaza and car parking, along with retail space and flexible business space. Current timelines for this complex build estimate completion in 2021. The scheme is set to be complemented by public realm and highways improvements.

Town Hall: Crawley Borough Council (CBC) and developers Westrock propose a significant development including demolishing the existing Town Hall and two storey car park and replacing it with a mixed use development, new Town Hall with up to five storeys of grade A office space above, new public square, public realm improvements, commercial units and infrastructure for a district heat network. The Planning application will be submitted shortly and current timescales indicate construction between 2018 and 2022 over two phases.

Telford Place: Purchased by Crawley Borough Council in 2015, this is a key gateway into the town centre. The 1.9 acre site is designated for a residential-led mixed use development comprising between 180 and 300 apartments with an active ground floor frontage. CBC is exploring options with potential developer partners.

County Buildings: Crawley Borough Council is working closely with owners, West Sussex County Council (WSCC), to find partners with the aim of delivering a mixed-use development at this key town centre site. Its location makes it prime for high-grade commercial use along with residential. Currently segregated from the town centre by the busy Northgate Avenue roundabout, highways and public space improvement plans aim to reduce the dominance of the car and soften the landscape.

The Broadway and Cross Keys: Currently under multiple ownership including one site with outline planning permission for ground floor retail units and 78 apartments at 15 to 29 The Broadway. The planning vision is to establish vibrancy in this part of town through the activation of unused areas, increased permeability to the historic High Street and the strengthening of perimeter sites including active edges on all sides of developments. This area can be viewed in a wider context to create the interest and intrigue desired by Crawley Borough Council.

Southern Counties: Construction is underway by Crest Nicholson for 218 flats and basement parking. Crawley Borough Council will purchase up to 87 units to secure much-needed affordable housing in the town centre, providing a sustainable living environment for Crawley people.

Great space for great business

Business Networking Hub: Working with stakeholders, we aim to provide a prominent venue for businesses and local entrepreneurs to hot-desk, meet and to do business. Its location will maximise its usage by business people on the move. The granted Station Gateway site comprises a small hub space in a prime location at Crawley railway station. Other suitable sites will continue to be considered/encouraged for this use.

  • Live-work space: Aiming to attract professionals keen to access office space close to home in order to reduce costs and improve work/life balance
  • Small business space: The council is working with West Sussex County Council to identify suitable locations for high-grade small business space
  • Innovation centre and incubation space: The council is exploring options for bringing forward a business innovation centre to nurture and encourage business growth, innovation and enterprise. It is also considered that an innovation centre would help stimulate a local and innovative supply chain that will enhance the vibrancy of Crawley’s unique business community
  • Upgrade of retail space: Creating and improving relationships with property owners will help to encourage building upgrades. Enforcement powers will be considered where properties are of a poor quality and owners are not willing to make the necessary improvements

Supporting a town centre neighbourhood

As the way we live continues to change and the need to find more space for housing while reducing our impact on the environment, town centres can provide an excellent solution for a more sustainable living environment. Encompassing good quality living, a wealth of facilities and jobs and excellent sustainable transport options which reduce car use and the need for parking. Sustainable developments are required within the town centre which are defined as ‘development that meets the social, economic and environmental needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future.’

New town centre based museum: A combination of Heritage Lottery fund and Crawley Borough Council capital funds have enabled the conversion of The Tree, one of the oldest buildings in the town centre into Crawley’s new museum.

Memorial Gardens: Ensure this flagship town centre park is used to its full potential. This will be assisted by the redevelopment of Queensway which opens up the entrance of the park providing clearer lines of sight. The relocation of the bandstand to Memorial Gardens will also support this aim.

Crawley market: Crawley’s existing market has been moved from Queens Square to The Broadway and Haslett Avenue. Proposed work on Queensway and The Pavement includes specifically designed market space to enable a quality market to grow and thrive.

GP Surgery or National Health Service (NHS) Clinic or dentist services: Officers will review these services with health sector colleagues to determine if additional provision is required, both as amenities for the new neighbourhood and to attract footfall.

Employ Crawley hub: A flagship project within Crawley Council’s Employment and Skills Programme, Employ Crawley is an exciting new venture launched in Autumn 2017 in collaboration with West Sussex County Council and a range of partners. The partnership hub based at Crawley Library, offers a range of services provided by the public and private sector to help local people get the right jobs and local employers get the right people.

Helping Crawley College to expand its town centre role: Officers will work closely with the college to develop more town centre initiatives. These could include apprenticeships benefiting both young people and town centre businesses; ‘skills academies’ on town centre regeneration sites allowing the college to train local people in construction skills to access on-site construction jobs and apprenticeships; plus engaging students to support the design of town centre public realm improvements.

Improving public toilet provision: Along with reviewing existing provision to ensure modern facilities are provided in the right location, an innovative new provision was opened in the shopping mall courtesy of County Mall and Standard Life. The Ryan Box Changing Place opened in June 2017 offering hoist assisted facilities and an adult sized changing bench to provide a safe, hygienic and dignified experience for people with disabilities. There will be further investment in public toilet provision as an integral part of town centre regeneration schemes going forward

Town Centre maintenance and cleaning: The council will provide a robust town centre maintenance and cleaning programme to ensure the quality of public spaces is kept to a high standard. This includes the purchase of a new wet cleaning vehicle to ensure the new granite paving in Queens Square is well maintained.

Health, safety and wellbeing: Crawley council and its partners are striving to create a town centre which is safe and has a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of residents and visitors. This includes investing in culture, public art and performance; working with partners to deliver safe and healthy homes and working with food retailers and caterers to promote healthy, safe food through schemes like Eat Out Eat Well.

Governance, engagement and co-ordination

Engagement and partnership with town centre site owners/landlords: The council is strengthening relationships with town centre site owners and landlords in order to work together to attract new retailers, to develop a common vision for town centre regeneration and to establish co-operation and partnership in regeneration delivery.

Town Centre Partnership (TCP) Board: The Partnership is being strengthened by broadening its representation across retailers, restaurants, non-retail employers and property agents. The board will assist in the development of a number of key sub-groups representing specific town centre interests. The TCP Board, together with sub-groups, will support delivery of the Town Centre Regeneration Programme, contributing to design and implementation of individual initiatives.

Independent retailers sub-group: Enable independent retailers to have a strong voice within town centre plans and help them take part in its delivery. Support them to access services which strengthen businesses.

Town Centre Professional Services Business Forum (PSBF): This forum was formed in March 2017 with the aim of making a demonstrable difference to the centre’s day and night economies, and local skills and employment - complementing and supporting objectives outlined in both the Town Centre Regeneration Programme and the Employment and Skills Plan. Work on their current six objectives is underway. The group consists of town centre banks, law and accountancy firms, commercial agents, architects and Crawley College; they meet monthly.

Historic High Street Business Forum: A new group of High Street businesses was formed in May 2017 with a view to improving the business environment and footfall. They are currently working on a High Street action plan to support their work. The group meets monthly.

Healthy High Streets: Continue to work with and support this network of major retailers in its aim to assist in town centre regeneration. The network includes M&S, Boots, Santander, Greggs and EE who are providing expertise to help strengthen the town centre business environment. Official Healthy High Street support ended in summer 2017 but they continue to work together to build on work already undertaken.

Town Centre Business Improvement District: Explore the potential, including resources and feasibility, of a dedicated business improvement district for the town centre.

Strengthen links between the town centre and Manor Royal: Explore and define how town centre stakeholders should co-operate more closely with the Manor Royal BID. Strengthen business and commercial links between the town centre and Manor Royal.

High Street action: strengthening existing evening economy: The prospect of more than 1,800 new residential units in the next few years and more jobs through business growth presents excellent opportunities for Crawley High Street and its businesses, creating a stronger focal point for the evening economy. The council is working with High Street businesses and retailers to develop a proactive and relevant High Street action plan to boost footfall.

Marketing, branding and inward investment

Vibrant town centre events programme: Help to create a clear identity and character for the town centre while also generating footfall and promoting a positive reputation through a high quality programme of events. This will be achieved through a partnership approach with stakeholders including the Town Centre Partnership, Healthy High Streets, retailers and non-retail business. The council has formed an internal events team and hired an Events Officer.

Strong town centre place branding: A strong, dynamic and honest place brand has been developed by the Town Centre Partnership Board through partnership work and research with stakeholders. The brand, which it is hoped will be owned by stakeholders, is currently being rolled out over various platforms and aims to help create a positive image and attract more footfall, business and resident pride. It was adopted through the Town Centre Partnership in spring 2017.

High quality signage and wayfinding: New monolith and finger posts have been designed. Following stakeholder consultation, particularly around the Historic High Street, it will begin to be rolled out in late 2017.

Investor relations communication: Excellent relationships have been formed with commercial agents, some landowners and local businesses to help create an environment where the public and private sector work together to support the aims of this programme.

Open for business networking events: A stakeholder event on regeneration progress was held in September 2017 which encouraged positive debate about the town’s future direction. An investor tour around the town in November showed interested parties the progress made so far and highlighted opportunities.

Town centre regeneration micro-site: The council has launched a new website to promote and consult on the physical, economic and community regeneration of the town centre. It will be to highlight commercial and community assets including The High Street and its evening economy.

Complementary policy

The Crawley 2030 Local Plan and Town Centre Supplementary Planning Guidance: The council has developed clear guidance to enable the sustainable regeneration of the town centre. The appropriate balance of mixed uses across the area will be highlighted, all of which will contribute to a vibrant new neighbourhood and a dynamic hive of business and economic activity in the town centre.

Employment and Skills Plan: The council, in partnership with stakeholders, has developed a clear plan of action to tackle some of these issues affecting some Crawley residents. The plan highlights the town’s qualification, employment level and pay deficits when compared to surrounding areas and the in-commuting workforce.

Employ Crawley: A flagship project within the Employment and Skills Plan, Employ Crawley opened in autumn 2017. A physical hub based in Crawley Library, it offers an holistic approach to supporting residents both into work and into higher skilled, higher paid employment.

Town Centre Skills Academy: Establish CITB skills academy status across town centre regeneration sites. Skills academy status is granted by the CITB if there is a commitment from site developers, working with the college, Job Centre Plus, and the council, to maximise the recruitment of local residents into construction site jobs and apprenticeships. This scheme is featured in the Crawley Employment and Skills Plan.

Community safety: Work with police, voluntary sector and local agencies to uphold the town centre as a safe and friendly environment with a positive reputation.

Action through enforcement : Working with colleagues in the Town Centre Partnership and other stakeholders, the council will consider taking enforcement action (Section 215 powers) to oblige town centre property owners to tackle and improve poor quality buildings. This will improve the town centre environment and encourage pride, footfall and investment.

Affordable housing: The council is committed to ensuring affordable housing developments are unlocked within the town centre.

A regeneration plan founded on stakeholders

Achieving this ambitious long-term goal for a vibrant and dynamic town centre can only be achieved through a comprehensive public and private partnership. We will continue to work with town centre stakeholders to make it happen. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our existing town centre partners for their work so far and look forward to creating a bright and prosperous future for the town centre.

he scale of public and private investment being made in our town is impressive. It’s an exciting time to be involved in Crawley

Manor Royal Business District

We have invested a lot into County Mall. We strongly support the vision to attract new development throughout the town which will attract many more people to Crawley.

Standard Life

Crawley is clearly a great opportunity and it is down to businesses like ours to support its continued growth and success.