Spotlight on Crawley

Gatwick Diamond Economic Growth Forum On Location – Crawley

September 22, 2017, Arora Hotel, Crawley

This event encouraged healthy debate and ideas on Crawley’s future based on an overview of current projects, plans and future ambitions given by those involved in planning them, as well as an update on Crawley and its future from those involved in planning it, and the chance for business stakeholders in the town to join the debate about its future.

What delegates heard:

  • Discussion and debate among public and private sector about how to create and drive the future of the town
  • An update on the council’s ongoing town centre regeneration work and a clear picture of its vision for the future
  • How Business Improvement Districts can help regenerate town centres, and what the Manor Royal BID has achieved, with discussion about whether a BID would work for Crawley Town Centre
  • An update on a number of the key developments in the town – including Crawley Gateway, by the station
  • An update on the councils successful bid for money from the Growth Fund

Who was there:

  • Town centre businesses, retailers and those in the commercial offices
  • Land owners and current investors
  • Metrobus, and other transport operators
  • Other stakeholders such as commercial agents, educationalists and those involved in creating and maintaining the talent pool
  • Members of these groups in the surrounding area, including but not limited to Gatwick Airport, Horley, Horsham.


8am Registration and networking

Part One – What are the plans?

9am Welcome from the chair – Rosemary French, CEO, Gatwick Diamond Initiative

9.15am A Vision for Crawley– an update from the leader of the council. Peter Lamb, Leader, Crawley Council

9.45am Crawley Gateway – an update on the project which will transform the station and its surroundings. Surinder Arora, Arora Group.

10.15am Why come to Crawley? The ongoing work on Queens Square and the town centre aims to change the face of the town, and persuade retailers to expand, revitalise, or launch new presences. Is it working? Marie Burns, Burns + Nice; Federico Fraguela Ferro and Jonathan Heasman, Decathlon

10.40am Property trends – what is happening in the Crawley commercial property market? Which offices are letting, and which lying empty? What has been the effect of the changes in permitted development rights? What could happen going forward? Adam Godfrey, SHW.

11am Coffee

Part two – what more could be done?

11.30am A BID for Crawley town centre?

Learning from HammersmithPatricia Bench, CEO of the Hammersmith town centre BID, one of the UK’s most successful, talks about what they do. Could Crawley copy them?

Learning from Manor RoyalSteve Sawyer of the Manor Royal BID talks about his experience. Can Crawley learn from, and link better with, our largest employment area?

12 midday The Skills equation – what needs to be done with skills to assist the town’s regeneration? Shelagh Legrave, Chief Executive Chichester College Group – which includes Crawley College

12.15pm Linking to employers – Crawley town centre has a wealth of employers, particularly in the professional services sector. How can the town cater better for the needs of their employees? What will the newly formed town centre Professional Services group deliver? Speakers: Faye Bargery, Irwin Mitchell; Jon Maile, Partner at Grant Thornton UK LLP

12.45pm Response from the council – Peter Smith, Cabinet Member for Regeneration

12.55pm Closing words from the chair.

1pm Networking

Event sponsored by:


Gatwick airport