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Crawley originally traded as a market town. The Development Corporation intended to develop it as a centre for manufacturing and light engineering, with an industrial zone.[80] The rapid growth of Gatwick Airport provided opportunities for businesses in the aviation, transport, warehousing and distribution industries. The significance of the airport to local employment and enterprise was reflected by the formation of the Gatwick Diamond partnership. This venture, supported by local businesses, local government and SEEDA, South East England's Regional Development Agency, aims to maintain and improve the Crawley and Gatwick area's status as a region of national and international economic importance.[107]

Since the Second World War, unemployment in Crawley has been low: the rate was 1.47% of the working-age population in 2003.[108] During the boom of the 1980s the town boasted the lowest level of unemployment in the UK.[109] Continuous growth and investment have made Crawley one of the most important business and employment centres in the South East England region.[2]

In April 2020, the Centre for Cities thinktank identified Crawley as the place in Britain at the highest risk of widespread job losses due to the coronavirus' effect on the economy; classing 56% of jobs in the town as either vulnerable or very vulnerable of being furloughed or lost.[110]

Manufacturing industry

Crawley was already a modest industrial centre by the end of the Second World War. Building was an important trade: 800 people were employed by building and joinery firms, and two—Longley's and Cook's—were large enough to have their own factories.[111] In 1949, 1,529 people worked in manufacturing: the main industries were light and precision engineering and aircraft repair. Many of the jobs in these industries were highly skilled.[80][111]

Industrial development had to take place relatively soon after the new town was established because part of the Corporation's remit was to move people and jobs out of an overcrowded and war-damaged London. Industrial jobs were needed as well as houses and shops to create a balanced community where people could settle.[112] The Development Corporation wanted the new town to support a large and mixed industrial base, with factories and other buildings based in a single zone rather than spread throughout the town. A 267-acre (108 ha)[112] site in the northeastern part of the development area was chosen. Its advantages included flat land with no existing development; proximity to the London–Brighton railway line, the A23 and the planned M23; space for railway sidings (which were eventually built on a much smaller scale than envisaged); and an adjacent 44-acre (18 ha) site reserved for future expansion, on the other side of the railway line (again, not used for this purpose in the end). Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) opened the first part of the industrial area on 25 January 1950;[13] its main road was named Manor Royal, and this name eventually came to refer to the whole estate.White British account for 84.5% of the population and 15.5% of people are from other ethnic backgrounds. People of Indian and Pakistani origin account for 4.5% and 3% of the population respectively. Many inhabitants of Crawley work locally at Gatwick Airport as either air or ground crew.[97][98]

Many Chagossians expelled from the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean settled in Crawley in the 1960s and 1970s, and it was reported in 2016 that the town's Chagossian community numbered approximately 3,000 people.[99] Crawley MP Henry Smith stated that Crawley "is home to perhaps the largest Chagossian population in the world".[100]

The borough has a population density of around 22 persons per hectare[101] (9 persons per acre), making it the second most densely populated district in West Sussex, after Worthing. The social mix is similar to the national norm: around 50% are in the ABC1 social category,[102] although this varies by ward, with just 44% in Broadfield North[103] compared to 75% in Maidenbower.[104]

The proportion of people in the borough with higher education qualifications is lower than the national average. Around 14% have a qualification at level 4 or above, compared to 20% nationally.[105]

Crawley originally traded as a market town. The Development Corporation intended to develop it as a centre for manufacturing and light engineering, with an industrial zone.[80] The rapid growth of Gatwick Airport provided opportunities for businesses in the aviation, transport, warehousing and distribution industries. The significance of the airport to local employment and enterprise was reflected by the formation of the Gatwick Diamond partnership. This venture, supported by local businesses, local government and SEEDA, South East England's Regional Development Agency, aims to maintain and improve the Crawley and Gatwick area's status as a region of national and international economic importance.[107]

Since the Second World War, unemployment in Crawley has been low: the rate was 1.47% of the working-age population in 2003.[108] During the boom of the 1980s the town boasted the lowest level of unemployment in the UK.[109] Continuous growth and investment have made Crawley one of the most important business and employment centres in the South East England region.[2]

In April 2020, the Centre for Cities thinktank identified Crawley as the place in Britain at the highest risk of widespread job losses due to the coronavirus' effect on the economy; classing 56% of jobs in the town as either vulnerable or very vulnerable of being furloughed or lost.[110]

Manufacturing

Since the Second World War, unemployment in Crawley has been low: the rate was 1.47% of the working-age population in 2003.[108] During the boom of the 1980s the town boasted the lowest level of unemployment in the UK.[109] Continuous growth and investment have made Crawley one of the most important business and employment centres in the South East England region.[2]

In April 2020, the Centre for Cities thinktank identified Crawley as the place in Britain at the highest risk of widespread job losses due to the coronavirus' effect on the economy; classing 56% of jobs in the town as either vulnerable or very vulnerable of being furloughed or lost.[110]

Crawley was already a modest industrial centre by the end of the Second World War. Building was an important trade: 800 people were employed by building and joinery firms, and two—Longley's and Cook's—were large enough to have their own factories.[111] In 1949, 1,529 people worked in manufacturing: the main industries were light and precision engineering and aircraft repair. Many of the jobs in these industries were highly skilled.[80][111]

Industrial development had to take place relatively soon after the new town was established because part of the Corporation's remit was to move people and jobs out of an overcrowded and war-damaged London. Industrial jobs were needed as well as houses and shops to create a balanced community where people could settle.[112] The Development Corporation wanted the new town to support a large and mixed industrial base, with factories and other buildings based in a single zone rather than spread throughout the town. A 267-acre (108 ha)[112] site in the northeastern part of the development area was chosen. Its advantages included flat land with no existing development; proximity to the London–Brighton railway line, the A23 and the planned M23; space for railway sidings (which were eventually built on a much smaller scale than envisaged); and an adjacent 44-acre (18 ha) site reserved for future expansion, on the other side of the railway line (again, not used for this purpose in the end). Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) opened the first part of the industrial area on 25 January 1950;[13] its main road was named Manor Royal, and this name eventually came to refer to the whole estate.[80]

The Corporation stipulated that several manufacturing industries should be developed, rather than allowing one sector or firm to dominate. It did not seek to attract companies by offering financial or other incentives; instead, it set out to create the ideal conditions for industrial development to arise naturally, by providing large plots of land with room for expansion, allowing firms to build their own premises or rent ready-made buildings, and constructing a wide range of building types and sizes.[80][113]

Despite the lack of direct incentives, many firms applied to move to the Manor Royal estate: it was considered such an attractive place to relocate to that the Development Corporation was able to choose between applicants to achieve the ideal mix of firms, and little advertising or promotion had to be undertaken.[113] One year after Manor Royal was opened, eighteen firms were trading there, including four with more than 100 employees and one with more than 1,000.[80] By 1964, businesses which had moved to the town since 1950 employed 16,000 people; the master plan had anticipated between 8,000 and 8,500. In 1978 there were 105 such firms, employing nearly 20,000 people.[80][114]

The Thales Group opened a new manufacturing and office complex in Crawley in 2009. The site consolidated manufacturing and offices in the Crawley area and the south-east of England.[115]

While most of the jobs created in the new town's early years were in manufacturing, the tertiary sector developed strongly from the 1960s. The Manor Royal estate, with its space, proximity to Gatwick Airport and good transport links, attracted airport-related services such as logistics, catering, distribution and warehousing; and the corporation and private companies built offices throughout the town. Office floorspace in the town increased from 55,000 square feet (5,100 m2) in 1965 to a conservative estimate of 453,000 square feet (42,100 m2) in 1984.[80] Major schemes during that period included premises for the Westminster Bank British Caledonian and The Office of the Paymaster-General.[80] The five-storey Overline House above the railway station, completed in 1968, is used by Crawley's NHS primary care trust and various other companies.[116][117]

Schlumberger House, the head office of WesternGeco at Gatwick Airport

Companies headquartered in Crawley include Doosan Babcock Energy,Companies headquartered in Crawley include Doosan Babcock Energy,[118] WesternGeco,[119] Virgin Atlantic,[120] Virgin Atlantic's associated travel agency Virgin Holidays, William Reed Business Media,[121] Dualit[122] and the Office of the Paymaster-General.[80] Danish company Novo Nordisk, which manufactures much of the world's insulin supply, has its UK headquarters at the Broadfield Business Park,[123] and BDO Global has an office in Crawley.[124] The UK headquarters of Nestlé is in the Manor Royal area of Crawley.[125] In addition the registered offices of TUI UK and Thomson Airways are located in Crawley.[126][127]

British Airways took over British Caledonian's former headquarters near the Manor Royal estate, renamed it "Astral Towers" and based its British Airways Holidays and Air Miles divisions there.[128][129] Other companies formerly headquartered in Crawley include Astraeus Airlines,[130] British United Airways,British Airways took over British Caledonian's former headquarters near the Manor Royal estate, renamed it "Astral Towers" and based its British Airways Holidays and Air Miles divisions there.[128][129] Other companies formerly headquartered in Crawley include Astraeus Airlines,[130] British United Airways,[131] CityFlyer Express,[132] CP Ships,[133] First Choice Airways,[134] GB Airways,[135] Laker Airways,[136] Tradewinds Airways,[137] and Air Europe.[138]

Crawley has numerous hotels, including The George Hotel, dated to 1615. It is reputedly haunted.[139]

Even before the new town was planned, Crawley was a retail centre for the surrounding area: there were 177 shops in the town in 1948,[111] 99 of which were on the High Street.[80] Early new town residents relied on these shopping facilities until the Corporation implemented the master plan's designs for a new shopping area on the mostly undeveloped land east of the High Street and north of the railway line.[112] The Broadwalk and its 23 shops were built in 1954, followed by the Queen's Square complex and surrounding streets in the mid-1950s.[38] Queen's Square, a pedestrianised plaza surrounded by large shops and linked to the High Street by The Broadwalk, was officially opened in 1958 by Queen Elizabeth II.[140] The town centre was completed by 1960, by which time Crawley was already recognised as an important regional, rather than merely local, shopping centre.

In the 1960s and 1970s, large branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer were opened (the Tesco superstore was the largest in Britain at the time). The shopping area was also expanded southeastwards from Queen's Square: although the original plans of 1975 were not implemented fully, several large shop units were built and a new pedestrianised link—The Martlets—was provided between Queen's Square and Haslett Avenue, the main road to Three Bridges.[80] The remaining land between this area and the railway line was sold for private development by 1982;[80] in 1992 a 450,000 square feet (41,800 m2)[141] shopping centre named County Mall and anchored by an Owen Owen department store was opened there.[142] Its stores includes major retailers such as The Entertainer, Boots, WHSmith and Superdry as well as over 80 smaller outlets.[143] The town's main bus station was redesigned, roads including the main A2220 Haslett Avenue were rerouted, and some buildings at the south end of The Martlets were demolished to accommodate the mall.

A regeneration strategy for the town centre, "Centre Vision 2000", was produced in 1993.[144] Changes brought about by the scheme have included 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of additional retail space in Queen's Square and The Martlets, and a mixed-use development at the southern end of the High Street on land former

In the 1960s and 1970s, large branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer were opened (the Tesco superstore was the largest in Britain at the time). The shopping area was also expanded southeastwards from Queen's Square: although the original plans of 1975 were not implemented fully, several large shop units were built and a new pedestrianised link—The Martlets—was provided between Queen's Square and Haslett Avenue, the main road to Three Bridges.[80] The remaining land between this area and the railway line was sold for private development by 1982;[80] in 1992 a 450,000 square feet (41,800 m2)[141] shopping centre named County Mall and anchored by an Owen Owen department store was opened there.[142] Its stores includes major retailers such as The Entertainer, Boots, WHSmith and Superdry as well as over 80 smaller outlets.[143] The town's main bus station was redesigned, roads including the main A2220 Haslett Avenue were rerouted, and some buildings at the south end of The Martlets were demolished to accommodate the mall.

A regeneration strategy for the town centre, "Centre Vision 2000", was produced in 1993.[144] Changes brought about by the scheme have included 50,000 square feet (4,600 m2) of additional retail space in Queen's Square and The Martlets, and a mixed-use development at the southern end of the High Street on land formerly occupied by Robinson Road (which was demolished) and Spencers Road (shortened and severed at one end). An ASDA superstore, opened in September 2003, forms the centrepiece.[145] Robinson Road, previously named Church Road, had been at the heart of the old Crawley: a century before its demolition, its buildings included two chapels, a school, a hospital and a post office.[146]

Policing in Crawley is provided by Sussex Police; the British Transport Police are responsible for the rail network. The borough is the police headquarters for the West Sussex division,[147] and is itself divided into three areas for the purposes of neighbourhood policing: Crawley East, Crawley West, and Crawley Town Centre.[148] A separate division covers Gatwick Airport.[147] There is a police station in the town centre; it is open 24 hours a day, and the front desk is staffed for 16 hours each day except Christmas Day.[149] Statutory emergency fire and rescue services are provided by the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service which operates a fire station in the town centre.[150] The South East Coast Ambulance Service is responsible for ambulance and paramedic services.[151]

Crawley Hospital in West Green is operated by West Sussex Primary Care Trust. Some services are provided by the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, including a 24-hour Urgent Treatment Centre for semi-life-threatening injuries.[152] The Surrey and Sussex was judged as "weak" by the Healthcare Commission in 2008,[153] however in 2015 both the hospital[154] and the Surrey and Sussex Trust[155] were rated good by the Care Quality Commission.

Thames Water is responsible for all waste water and sewerage provision. Residents in most parts of Crawley receive their drinking water from Southern Water; areas in the north of the town around Gatwick Airport are provided by Sutton & East Surrey Water; and South East Water supplies Maidenbower.[156]

UK Power Networks is the Distribution Network Operator responsible for electricity.[157] Gas is supplied by Southern Gas Networks who own and manage the South East Local Distribution Zone.[158]

The provision of public services was made in co-operation with the local authorities as the town grew in the 1950s and 1960s. They oversaw the opening of a fire station i

Crawley Hospital in West Green is operated by West Sussex Primary Care Trust. Some services are provided by the Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, including a 24-hour Urgent Treatment Centre for semi-life-threatening injuries.[152] The Surrey and Sussex was judged as "weak" by the Healthcare Commission in 2008,[153] however in 2015 both the hospital[154] and the Surrey and Sussex Trust[155] were rated good by the Care Quality Commission.

Thames Water is responsible for all waste water and sewerage provision. Residents in most parts of Crawley receive their drinking water from Southern Water; areas in the north of the town around Gatwick Airport are provided by Sutton & East Surrey Water; and South East Water supplies Maidenbower.[156]

UK Power Networks is the Distribution Network Operator responsible for electricity.[157] Gas is supplied by Southern Gas Networks who own and manage the South East Local Distribution Zone.[158]

The provision of public services was made in co-operation with the local authorities as the town grew in the 1950s and 1960s. They oversaw the opening of a fire station in 1958, the telephone exchange, police station and town centre health clinic in 1961 and an ambulance station in 1963. Plans for a new hospital on land at The Hawth were abandoned, however, and the existing hospital in West Green was redeveloped instead.[159] Gas was piped from Croydon, 20 miles (32 km) away, and a gasworks at Redhill, while the town's water supply came from the Weir Wood reservoir south of East Grinstead and another at Pease Pottage.[33][160]

In December 2008, a new three-storey library was opened in new buildings at Southgate Avenue, replacing the considerably undersized establishment formerly at County Buildings.[161]

The Civil Aviation Authority Regulation Safety Group is in the Aviation House in Gatwick Airport in Crawley.[162]

Crawley's early development as a market town was helped by its location on the London–Brighton turnpike. The area was joined to the railway network in the mid-19th century; and since the creation of the new town, there have been major road upgrades (including a motorway link), a guided bus transit system and the establishment of an airport which has become one of Britain's largest and busiest.

Road

The London

The London–Brighton turnpike ran through the centre of Crawley, forming the High Street and Station Road. When Britain's major roads were classified by the British government's Ministry of Transport between 1919 and 1923,[163] it was given the number A23. It was bypassed by a new dual carriageway in 1938[164] (which forms the A23's current route through the town), and then later to the east side of the town by the M23 motorway, which was opened in 1975. This connects London's orbital motorway, the M25, to the A23 at Pease Pottage, at the southern edge of Crawley's built-up area. The original single-carriageway A23 became the A2219.

The M23 has junctions in the Crawley area at the A2011/A264 (Junction 10) and Maidenbower (area of Crawley) (Junction 10A). The end of the motorway at Pease Pottage is Junction 11. The A2011, another dual-carriageway, joins the A23 in W

The M23 has junctions in the Crawley area at the A2011/A264 (Junction 10) and Maidenbower (area of Crawley) (Junction 10A). The end of the motorway at Pease Pottage is Junction 11. The A2011, another dual-carriageway, joins the A23 in West Green and provides a link, via the A2004, to the town centre. The A2220 follows the former route of the A264 through the town, linking the A23 directly to the A264 at Copthorne, from where it then runs to East Grinstead.

The first railway line in the area was the Brighton Main Line, which opened as far as Haywards Heath on 12 July 1841 and reached Brighton on 21 September 1841. It ran through Three Bridges, which was then a small village east of Crawley, and a station was built to serve it.[165]

A line to Horsham, now part of the Arun Valley Line, was opened on 14 February 1848. A station was provided next to Crawley High Street from that date.[166] A new station was constructed slightly to the east, in conjunction with the Overline House commercial development, and replaced the original station which closed on 28 July 1968. The ticket office and Up (London-bound) platform waiting areas form the ground floor of the office building.[167]

The urban area of Crawley is served by a total of three rail stations including Ifield railway station. Due to Crawley's expansion this station is now surrounded by the town's western areas. Opened as Lyons Crossing Halt on 1 June 1907 to serve the village of Ifield, it was soon renamed Ifiel

A line to Horsham, now part of the Arun Valley Line, was opened on 14 February 1848. A station was provided next to Crawley High Street from that date.[166] A new station was constructed slightly to the east, in conjunction with the Overline House commercial development, and replaced the original station which closed on 28 July 1968. The ticket office and Up (London-bound) platform waiting areas form the ground floor of the office building.[167]

The urban area of Crawley is served by a total of three rail stations including Ifield railway station. Due to Crawley's expansion this station is now surrounded by the town's western areas. Opened as Lyons Crossing Halt on 1 June 1907 to serve the village of Ifield, it was soon renamed Ifield Halt, dropping the "Halt" suffix in 1930.[168]

Regular train services run from Crawley, and also Ifield, to London Victoria and London Bridge stations, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, Horsham, Bognor Regis, Chichester, Portsmouth and Southampton. Three Bridges has direct Thameslink trains to Bedford and Brighton.[169][170]

Crawley was one of several towns where the boundaries of Southdown Motor Services and London Transport bus services met. In 1958 the companies reached an agreement which allowed them both to provide services in all parts of the town.[171] When the National Bus Company was formed in 1969, its London Country Bus Services subsidiary took responsibility for many routes, including Green Line Coaches cross-London services which operated to distant destinations such as Watford, Luton and Amersham. A coach station was opened by Southdown in 1931 on the A23 at County Oak, near Lowfield Heath: it was a regular stopping point for express coaches between London and towns on the Sussex coast. This traffic started to serve Gatwick when the airport began to grow, however.[171] When the National Bus Company was broken up, local services were provided by the new South West division of London Country Bus Services, which later became part of the Arriva group. Metrobus acquired these routes from Arriva in March 2001, and is now Crawley's main operator.[172] It provides local services between the neighbourhoods and town centre, and longer-distance routes to Horsham, Redhill, Tunbridge Wells, Worthing and Brighton.[173]

In September 2003 a guided bus service, Fastway, began operating between Bewbush and Gatwick Airport.[174] A second route, from Broadfield to the Langshott area of Horley, north of Gatwick Airport, was added on 27 August 2005.[175]

Gatwick Airport

In September 2003 a guided bus service, Fastway, began operating between Bewbush and Gatwick Airport.[174] A second route, from Broadfield to the Langshott area of Horley, north of Gatwick Airport, was added on 27 August 2005.[175]

Gatwick Airport was licensed as a private airfield in August 1930.[177] It was used during the Second World War as an RAF base, and returned to civil use in 1946. There were proposals to close the airport in the late 1940s, but in 1950 the government announced that it was to be developed as London's second airport.[178] It was closed between 1956 and 1958 for rebuilding. Her Majesty The Queen reopened it on 9 June 1958. A second terminal, the North Terminal, was built in 1988.[179] An agreement exists between BAA and West Sussex County Council preventing the building of a second runway before 2019. Nevertheless, consultations were launched in 2002 by the Department for Transport, at which proposals for additional facilities and runways were considered. It was agreed that there would be no further expansion at Gatwick unless it became impossible to meet growth targets at London Heathrow Airport within existing pollution limits.[180]

Sport and leisure

Entrance to the K2 Leisure Centre
Crawley Town F.C. is Crawley's main football team. Formed in 1896, it moved in 1949 to a ground at Town Mead adjacent to the West Green playing fields. Demand for land near the town centre led to the club moving in 1997 to the new Broadfield Stadium, now owned by the borough council.[181] As of the 2019/2020 season, Crawley Town play in League Two, the fourth tier of league football in England. Perhaps the pinnacle of the club's history was in February 2011 when they played against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the fifth round of the F.A. Cup, a match which saw 9,000 Crawley fans make the trip to Manchester; the game was lost 1–0.[182] Three other local teams play in the Sussex County Football League: Three Bridges F.C., Oakwood F.C. and Ifield Galaxy F.C.. Crawley Rugby Club is based in Ifield,[183] and a golf course was constructed in 1982 at Tilgate Park.[184] Crawley Hockey Club plays their home matches at Hazelwick School, Three Bridges.[185] Three Bridges Cricket Club is a founding member of the Sussex Cricket League[186] and in 2018 were promoted back to the Premier Division.[187]

The new town's original leisure centre was in Haslett Avenue in the Three Bridges neighbourhood. Building work started in the early 1960s, and a large swimming pool opened in 1964. The site was extended to include an athletics arena by 1967, and an additional large sports hall was opened by the town mayor, Councillor Ben Clay and Prime Minister Harold Wilson in 1974.[188] However, the facilities became insufficient for the growing town, even though an annexe was opened in Bewbush in 1984.[189] Athlete Zola Budd had been asked to take part in a 1,500-metre race as part of the opening celebrations, but her invitation was withdrawn at short notice because of concerns raised by council members about possible "political connotations and anti-apartheid demonstrators".[190]

In 2005, Crawley Leisure Centre was closed and replaced by a new facility, the K2 Leisure Centre, on the campus of Thomas Bennett Community College near the Broadfield Stadium.[191] Opened to the public on 14 November 2005,[188] and officially by Lord Coe on 24 January 2006, the centre includes the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in South East England.[192] In March 2008 the centre was named as a training site for the 2012 Olympics in London.[193]

Crawley Development Corporation made little provision for the arts in the plans for the new town, and a proposed arts venue in the town centre was never built. Neighbourhood community centres and the Tilgate Forest Recreational Centre were used for some cultural activities,[189] but it was not until 1988 that the town had a dedicated theatre and arts venue, at the Harold Wilson in 1974.[188] However, the facilities became insufficient for the growing town, even though an annexe was opened in Bewbush in 1984.[189] Athlete Zola Budd had been asked to take part in a 1,500-metre race as part of the opening celebrations, but her invitation was withdrawn at short notice because of concerns raised by council members about possible "political connotations and anti-apartheid demonstrators".[190]

In 2005, Crawley Leisure Centre was closed and replaced by a new facility, the K2 Leisure Centre, on the campus of Thomas Bennett Community College near the Broadfield Stadium.[191] Opened to the public on 14 November 2005,[188] and officially by Lord Coe on 24 January 2006, the centre includes the only Olympic-sized swimming pool in South East England.[192] In March 2008 the centre was named as a training site for the 2012 Olympics in London.[193]

Crawley Development Corporation made little provision for the arts in the plans for the new town, and a proposed arts venue in the town centre was never built. Neighbourhood community centres and the Tilgate Forest Recreational Centre were used for some cultural activities,[189] but it was not until 1988 that the town had a dedicated theatre and arts venue, at the Hawth Theatre. (The name derives from a local corruption of the word "heath", which came to refer specifically to the expanse of wooded land, south of the town centre, in which the theatre was built.)[194] Crawley's earliest cinema, the Imperial Picture House on Brighton Road, lasted from 1909 until the 1940s; the Embassy Cinema on the High Street (opened in 1938) replaced it.[13][195] A large Cineworld cinema has since opened in the Crawley Leisure Park, which itself also includes ten-pin bowling, various restaurants and bars and a fitness centre.[196] The Moka nightclub on Station Way opened in October 2012.[197]

Each neighbourhood has self-contained recreational areas, and there are other larger parks throughout the town. The Memorial Gardens, on the eastern side of Queen's Square, feature art displays, children's play areas and lawns, and a plaque commemorating those who died in two Second World War bombing incidents in 1943 and 1944.[13] Goffs Park in Southgate covers 50 acres (20 ha), and has lakes, boating ponds, a model railway and many other features.[198] Tilgate Park and Nature Centre has walled gardens, lakes, large areas of woodland with footpaths and bridleways, a golfing area and a collection of animals and birds.[199]

Crawley Museum[200] is based in the town centre. Stone Age and Bronze Age remains discovered in the area are on display, as well as more recent artefacts including parts of Vine Cottage, an old timber-framed building on the High Street which was once home to former Punch editor Mark Lemon and which was demolished when the ASDA development was built.[13]

Crawley has three Grade I listed buildings (the parish church of St Margaret in Ifield, the parish church of St Nicholas, Worth, and the Friends Meeting House in Langley Lane, Ifield), 12 Grade II* listed buildings and 85 Grade II listed buildings.[201] The borough council has also awarded locally listed building status to 58 buildings.[202]

Grade I listed buildings (the parish church of St Margaret in Ifield, the parish church of St Nicholas, Worth, and the Friends Meeting House in Langley Lane, Ifield), 12 Grade II* listed buildings and 85 Grade II listed buildings.[201] The borough council has also awarded locally listed building status to 58 buildings.[202]

The high street becomes an annual focus of motoring heritage in November as one of the official stops on the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run.[203]

Education

Local Education Authority's decision to change the town's three-tier system of first, middle and secondary schools to a more standard primary/secondary divide.[204] Since the restructuring, Crawley has had 17 primary schools (including two Church of England and two Roman Catholic) and four pairs of infant and junior Schools. Most of these were opened in 2004; others changed their status at this date (for example, from a middle to a junior school). Secondary education is provided at one of six secondary schools:

All six of these have a sixth form, the newest opening at Oriel High in September 2008.

There is also a primary / secondary School called The Gatwick School, which is a Free School that opened in 2014. It currently has 4 years, R, 1, 7 and 8.[205] The schools at Ifield and Thomas Bennett are also bases for the Local Authority's adult education programmes.[206] Pupils with special needs are educated at the two special schools in the town, each of which covers the full spectrum of needs: Manor Green Primary School and Manor Green College.

Desmond Anderson, based in Tilgate converted to Academy status in February 2017 and is now part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.[207] The Atelier 21 Future School for up to 120 pupils aged 4 to 14 years, based in Broadfield House, opened on 24 August 2020.[208]

All six of these have a sixth form, the newest opening at Oriel High in September 2008.

There is also a primary / secondary School called The Gatwick School, which is a Free School that opened in 2014. It currently has 4 years, R, 1, 7 and 8.[205] The schools at Ifield and Thomas Bennett are also bases for the Local Authority's adult education programmes.[206] Pupils with special needs are educated at the two [205] The schools at Ifield and Thomas Bennett are also bases for the Local Authority's adult education programmes.[206] Pupils with special needs are educated at the two special schools in the town, each of which covers the full spectrum of needs: Manor Green Primary School and Manor Green College.

Desmond Anderson, based in Tilgate converted to Academy status in February 2017 and is now part of the University of Brighton Academies Trust.[207] The Atelier 21 Future School for up to 120 pupils aged 4 to 14 years, based in Broadfield House, opened on 24 August 2020.[208]

Further education is provided by Central Sussex College. Opened in 1958 as Crawley Technical College,[209] it merged with other local colleges to form the new institute in August 2005.[210] The college also provides higher education courses in partnership with the universities at Chichester and Sussex. In 2004, a proposal was made for an additional campus of the University of Sussex to be created in Crawley, but as of 2008 no conclusion has been reached.[211]

Crawley has three local newspapers, of which two have a long history in the area. The Crawley Observer began life in 1881 as Simmins Weekly Advertiser, became the Sussex & Surrey Courier and then the Crawley and District Observer, and took its current name in 1983.[212] The newspaper is now owned by Johnston Press.[213] The Crawley News was first published in 1979, and later took over the operations of the older Crawley Advertiser which closed in 1982.[189] The newspaper was taken over by the Trinity Mirror group in 2015 as part of the purchase of Local World [214] but its last edition was published on 26 October 2016.[215] In September 2008 Johnston Press launched a new weekly broadsheet newspaper called the Crawley Times based on the companies paper produced in Horsham, the West Sussex County Times.[216]

The town is served by the London regional versions of BBC and ITV television from the Crystal Palace or Reigate transmitters—although some terrestrial aerials in the town may pick up The town is served by the London regional versions of BBC and ITV television from the Crystal Palace or Reigate transmitters—although some terrestrial aerials in the town may pick up BBC South and ITV Meridian signals from the Midhurst transmitter.[217]

Radio Mercury began broadcasting on 20 October 1984 from Broadfield House in Broadfield.[218] The station, now owned by Global Radio, broadcasts as Heart from Brighton, with the studios in Kelvin Way in Crawley closed in August 2010.[219] On 1 February 2011, the local Gold transmitter on 1521 AM closed and listeners were advised to retune to 1548 AM (Gold London) or 1323 AM (Gold Sussex).[220] Local BBC radio was provided by BBC Radio Sussex from 1983; this became part of BBC Southern Counties Radio following a merger with BBC Radio Surrey in 1994.[221] From March 2009, BBC Southern Counties Radio became BBC Sussex on 104.5FM & BBC Surrey on 104FM. Due to the positioning of their transmitters, when broadcasting separately both stations cover Crawley stories.

Ms. Dynamite


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