Jobs in Crawley, United Kingdom
Town Planning that Worked
Crawley is located on the main road connecting London and Brighton, approximately halfway in-between. It was licensed to run a Wednesday market in 1202, but it did not begin to prosper until the 18th century turnpike road running from London to the seaside resort in Brighton was constructed, and it became an important coaching town. The George, a timber-framed house dating from the 15th century, became a large coaching inn which is today the George Hotel, with conference facilities, 84 bedrooms and many period features. The coming of the railway brought further growth and prosperity to Crawley, which became a transport hub for the entire area. Many large country estates were split up into smaller farms and new housing developments, and this provided a stimulus for the construction industry.
After the Second World War, the British Government passed the New Towns Act of 1946 designating a number of towns in South East England for development. The idea was to move large numbers of displaced people from London into these towns by creating jobs and building housing for them there. Crawley was one of these towns. A master plan was developed for the establishment of new residential, commercial, industrial and civic areas, and rapid development occurred. The plan called for several residential neighbourhoods radiating out from the old market centre, an industrial area to the north and commercial development of the town’s existing High Street. Each neighbourhood was designed to include a central shopping area, community centre, church, school and recreational open spaces. A variety of housing types were offered, but all were low-rise and many came with gardens.
Crawley’s growth benefited greatly from the presence of Gatwick Airport at the edge of town. Commercial flights had operated since 1933, but significant expansion took place during the 1950s, and air traffic in and out of Gatwick has increased steadily ever since. Today, many of the manufacturing and service companies located in Crawley’s large industrial area derive some, if not all of their business from the airport. Additional residential neighbourhoods have been developed, commercial and retail activities have expanded to the east, and a mixed-development strategy has been implemented in the town centre.
Crawley has maintained a relatively stable rate of investment and growth since the 1950s, and has weathered periods of economic contraction relatively unscathed. Today it is one of the most important business and employment centres in South East England. Because of the way the neighbourhoods were developed, Crawley boasts a large number of public parks and gardens as well as other outdoor sporting and adventure activities which rank high on Trip Advisor’s list of things to do there.
The K2 Leisure Centre opened in 2005 with the only Olympic-size swimming pool in South East England, and was used as a training centre for the UK’s Olympic teams prior to the 2012 games. It is a large facility, but can still be crowded at times. Hawth Theatre has provided a much-appreciated venue for live performance since 1988, and Crawley Leisure Park includes a Cineworld cinema, bowling alleys, and a health and fitness club, as well as several restaurants.
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