We have been placing a range of roles in Crawley this year. They are good positions for one of our major strategic partners. Because it’s a place not many people know much about, we are frequently asked what it’s like. So this article gives us to chance to sing the praises of a beautiful market town – and indeed office - in West Sussex, that is only 28 miles south of Charing Cross and 18 miles north of Brighton – and yes, on the edge of Gatwick Airport. Steve Barrey, our Director, Gatwick Office, helped us to spill the beans:
The town started off in the C5th, when settlers named the area Crow's Leah—meaning a crow-infested clearing, or Crow's Wood. The name adapted itself over the years. It’s progressed from being strictly for the birds to become a serious business hub with some impressive facilities and amenities. The area is a large-scale local employer and with more development planned in the coming years, it is turning into one of the country's most up-and-coming locations.
Where is it exactly?
Crawley is in West Sussex, just a few miles from the Surrey border. It’s popular with people who want to live away from the bustle of London – and where they can get more property for their money. People also like it for its appealing mix of urban and rural. The wonderful Sussex countryside surrounds the town. Top places to live include Horsham and Haywards Heath
It’s closer than you think, easy to get to and easy to get around
Blessed with excellent transport links Crawley is next to the M23, which takes you straight into London and it lies just ten miles or so from the M25, providing easy access to the rest of the south-east.
The town centre has a train station and there is another in the Three Bridges neighbourhood, with both offering direct services to London Victoria.
The Gatwick Express can get you to London in under 30minutes. London Bridge on the train is less than an hour away.
There is also an extensive local bus service and shuttle bus system that connects people with all parts of the town. Public transport is 24/7 and the buses run every 7 minutes.
Happily, the buses stop right outside the office.
(If you’re on the bus you can travel round the only square roundabout in the country - The Squareabout – at Paymaster General's Roundabout.)
There are many inexpensive local car parks. In fact you don’t have to drive far for anything.
Some parts of the town are pedestrianised so walking and cycling is easy and adds to the relaxed open feel of the place.
Time out - serious retail therapy and leisure facilities
Crawley is very well served on the shopping front. The city centre is vibrant, energetic and friendly and features the ultra-modern County Mall shopping centre. It’s the town's focal point and holds all the big retailers.
Those who prefer sports to shopping will like the amazing K2 leisure centre really near to the office. It boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool, badminton, tennis and squash courts, indoor bowls, a gym, and a sauna.
Also at the Crawley Leisure Park, you will find restaurants, a bowling alley and multiplex Cineworld – and the nearby stylish Hawth theatre hosts some of the country's biggest names in comedy, music and theatre.
The great outdoors
Crawley has plenty of open space, including Tilgate Park, which includes a nature centre and large swathes of lovely woodland.
Just outside the southern edge of Crawley Buchan Country Park is a large area of woodland and heathland carved out of St Leonard's Forest and a good place for a walk and a breath of fresh air.
The Sussex countryside offers Ashdown Forest (including Pooh Corner) and the Buchan Park nature reserve.
The office – a centre of excellence, a centre of everything
The offices are in Park House, Manor Royal Business Park and they are new, smart with all the latest technology.
With 1100 desks it’s a very busy, lively, place and people enjoy working there. Contractors here are working on a range of projects including PPI and Pensions.
Associates are involved in everything we do here and there are great opportunities to progress.
The social side is really important and life out-of-office hours means sports and restaurants. We pitch in together to do a lot of charitable work too – fund raising and contributing to local causes as a team.
People appreciate the air-con especially in the summer, the break out areas where the table tennis is and the dress-down Fridays.
The subsidised restaurant goes down well - as does the coffee from the fresh coffee machine.
Outside are green courtyards surrounded by plants and gardens where people can relax.
And getting to and from the office is easy too - with cycle racks, showers, changing rooms, car share arrangements and electric ports to charge your car.
So, next time you see a role located in Crawley – maybe think twice? You can check out the latest ones here.
There’s more to it than you may think.