The Towns Fund is a £3.6 billion fund investing in towns across the UK as part of the government’s plan to level up our regions.
In September 2019, the government announced 101 places invited to develop Town Deal proposals as part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund.
Crawley was included and, following the submission of a Town Investment Plan in July 2020, has now been granted by the government £21.1 million to help boost job creation, business growth and economic recovery.
The plan seeks to deliver transformative regeneration schemes, which will unlock jobs and boost economic activity.
The projects are guided by the Crawley Town Deal Board, an established group of more than 50 representatives from local businesses, community organisations and public organisations. This will ensure each project remains focused on community and business needs.
The project includes:
- Crawley innovation centre – establishing Crawley's first advanced engineering and digital technologies fusion centre
- Invest in Skills - infrastructure for vocational training and higher education
- Green business infrastructure grants - to attract green technology and construction businesses
- New "Commercial Eastern Gateway" in the town centre - to design and enable a hub for professional services
- A transformed bus station and sustainable transport interchange
- Manor Royal Gigabit Business Park - an incentive programme for Manor Royal businesses to connect to full fibre and 5G infrastructure
- Designing a new Cultural Quarter in the town centre - to unlock employment and business growth in the cultural and creative industries
- Manor Royal business environment improvement programme - business environment upgrades and modernisation
- Crawley home "green retrofitting" programme – to design, launch and deliver home "green retrofit" grants
The Crawley Towns Fund Programme was also awarded £1 million of “accelerated” Towns Fund money in 2020, which has been invested in regeneration schemes including four new “micro parks” in the Manor Royal Business District. These have improved the public realm in the area, ensuring employees will be no more than 10 minutes’ walk away from an outside space to sit, rest or have an informal meeting.
Following the submission of the full Town Investment Plan in 2020, the Heads of Terms was signed in March 2021. Full business cases for each project have been developed and submitted to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to release the funding.
In January 2023, Crawley Borough Council confirmed that seven Towns Fund projects worth £12.6 million that will boost Crawley’s economy have been approved to date by the government. For further information read our news story about the Seven Towns Fund projects. One of the largest of Crawley’s Towns Fund projects, Invest in Skills for Crawley, was approved in March 2023.