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Meet the council: Crawley Borough Council

Tue 9th January 2018, 11:11 am

Crawley Council is one of 10 non-London authorities to attend Sitematch and meet developers to discuss regeneration and development opportunities. We caught up with Crawley to discuss its plans for the event.

Why are you taking part in Sitematch 2018?

Crawley is currently going through a significant period of regeneration which can be most readily seen in its town centre and large business district, Manor Royal. Some impressive developments have already been completed or are underway while others have planning permission.

There are still some key sites which the council is keen to bring forward and Sitematch is an excellent place to discuss these fantastic opportunities with the right kind of investors, developers and businesses. This is enhanced following the successful LEP bid for £14.6m which will be match funded and also see private sector investment resulting in an overall £60m investment programme.

How do you think your participation in Sitematch London will benefit your council?

Crawley Borough Council attended last year and we were impressed by the quality and organisation of the event; it also proved to be an excellent platform to showcase the town as a whole, to an audience otherwise focussed primarily on London.

Crawley is a fantastic place to invest with the UK’s second highest weekly earnings, third-best superfast broadband, sixth-highest employment rate, 10th most productive place in the UK and to top it off, it has recently been rated the town least affected by a hard Brexit in whole of the UK.

These impressive stats are partly due to the town’s excellent location at the heart of the ‘Gatwick Diamond’ and transport links including the M23, Gatwick Airport and fast trains to central London, along with 3,000 plus businesses including large global companies and an impressive medical-technology industry.

What key sites is your council currently looking to develop?

Our key opportunity are the County buildings. Located at the northern edge of the town centre, the 1-ha site contains West Sussex County Council’s previous administration buildings.

The site requires full redevelopment which should strive toward creating a vibrant and independent, mixed-use town centre quarter.

What kind of development partners are you looking for at Sitematch London?

Many of our opportunity sites are for mixed use so we would be interested in speaking with a wide range of interested parties; residential, grade-A office and those interested in co-working/start-up/innovation space.

What are you looking to discuss with developers at Sitematch?

We expect to have a range of discussions depending on the site of interest. We have a range of occupier opportunities across the town centre and Manor Royal, and would be very interested in speaking with anyone looking for new premises and/or refurbishment sites.

What are some of the qualities that make a developer attractive to work with?

Some of the qualities we look for are:

- Open, honest and fair – good communicators
- Positive and enthusiastic about the area
- An eye for quality
- Innovation, including those which reduce environmental impact
- Determination,  some sites are more complex than others and we’re always keen to speak to those interested in these kind of opportunities

If you are interested in meeting Crawley at the next Sitematch event on 8 February, please contact Josie Brewer on 020 7978 6840.

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