Crawley – West Sussex

Crawley is a town located in the county of West Sussex, England. It is situated approximately 28 miles south of London and has a population of around 111,000 people. Crawley is an important town in West Sussex, serving as a major economic hub and transportation center for the region.


  • Crawley is a borough located in West Sussex, England.
  • The town has a rich history, starting as a small market town and growing into a thriving borough.
  • Key industries in Crawley include aviation, healthcare, and retail, with major employers such as Gatwick Airport and the NHS.
  • Crawley has a range of educational institutions, including primary and secondary schools, colleges, and a university campus.
  • The town offers a variety of cultural and leisure activities, including parks, museums, and entertainment venues.

History of Crawley: From a Small Market Town to a Thriving Borough

Crawley has a rich history that dates back to the Saxon period. It started as a small market town, with agriculture and farming being the main industries. However, the town experienced significant growth and development during the industrial revolution in the 19th century. The construction of the railway line in 1848 further boosted Crawley’s growth, as it became a transportation hub for goods and people.

After World War II, Crawley was designated as a New Town under the New Towns Act of 1946. This led to a period of rapid expansion and development, with new housing estates, shopping centers, and infrastructure being built to accommodate the growing population. Today, Crawley is a thriving borough with a diverse economy and a vibrant community.

Economy of Crawley: Key Industries and Major Employers

Crawley has a diverse and robust economy, with key industries including aviation, manufacturing, retail, and business services. The town is home to Gatwick Airport, one of the busiest airports in the UK, which provides employment opportunities in various sectors such as aviation, hospitality, and logistics.

In addition to Gatwick Airport, Crawley is also home to several major employers including Thales Group, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Elekta Ltd. These companies contribute significantly to the local economy and provide employment opportunities for the residents of Crawley.

The economy of Crawley has experienced steady growth over the years, with new businesses and investments coming into the town. The local government has also implemented various initiatives to support economic development and attract new businesses to the area. With its strategic location and strong infrastructure, Crawley is well-positioned for further growth and development in the future.

Education in Crawley: Schools, Colleges, and Universities

Crawley has a wide range of educational institutions, including primary and secondary schools, further education colleges, and higher education institutions. The town has a number of well-regarded primary and secondary schools, both state-funded and independent, that provide quality education to students.

For further education, Crawley is home to Central Sussex College, which offers a variety of vocational courses and apprenticeships. The college has strong links with local businesses and provides students with opportunities for work experience and practical training.

In terms of higher education, Crawley is located within close proximity to several universities including the University of Sussex and the University of Brighton. These universities offer a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across various disciplines.

Culture and Leisure in Crawley: Parks, Museums, and Entertainment Venues

Crawley offers a range of cultural and leisure activities for residents and visitors alike. The town is home to several parks and green spaces, providing opportunities for outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, and picnicking. Tilgate Park is one of the largest parks in Crawley, offering a variety of recreational facilities including a lake, nature reserve, and adventure playground.

Crawley also has a number of museums and cultural attractions that showcase the town’s history and heritage. The Crawley Museum Society operates a local history museum that displays artifacts and exhibits related to the town’s past. The Hawth Theatre is another popular cultural venue in Crawley, hosting a variety of performances including plays, concerts, and dance shows.

In terms of entertainment venues, Crawley has several options including a multiplex cinema, bowling alley, and leisure center. The town also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Crawley Festival which celebrates the town’s cultural diversity.

Shopping in Crawley: Retail Districts and Local Markets

Crawley has a vibrant retail scene, with several retail districts and shopping centers catering to different consumer needs. The County Mall is the main shopping center in Crawley, offering a wide range of high street brands, department stores, and eateries. The shopping center is conveniently located in the town center and provides a one-stop shopping experience for residents and visitors.

In addition to the County Mall, Crawley also has several retail parks and districts that offer a mix of big-name retailers and independent shops. The Broadfield Barton Shopping Parade is one such district, providing a range of convenience stores, cafes, and services to the local community.

Crawley also has a number of local markets that offer fresh produce, artisanal products, and unique crafts. The Crawley Farmers’ Market is held on the first Friday of every month and showcases locally sourced food and drink. The market provides an opportunity for residents to support local producers and enjoy fresh, seasonal produce.

Transport and Infrastructure in Crawley: Road, Rail, and Air Links

Crawley benefits from excellent transport links, making it easily accessible from other parts of the country. The town is located near major road networks including the M23 motorway, which connects Crawley to London and Brighton. The A23 road also runs through Crawley, providing easy access to other towns and cities in the region.

Crawley is well-served by rail links, with three train stations located within the town. Crawley railway station is the main station serving the town, offering regular services to London Victoria, Brighton, and other destinations. Gatwick Airport railway station is also located in Crawley, providing direct connections to London and other major cities.

Gatwick Airport, located in Crawley, is one of the busiest airports in the UK and serves as a major international gateway. The airport offers a wide range of domestic and international flights, connecting Crawley to destinations around the world. It provides employment opportunities and contributes significantly to the local economy.

Housing in Crawley: Property Market Trends and Affordable Housing Options

The property market in Crawley has seen steady growth over the years, with a range of housing options available to suit different budgets and preferences. The town offers a mix of housing types including detached houses, semi-detached houses, terraced houses, and apartments.

In terms of property prices, Crawley is relatively affordable compared to nearby areas such as London. The average house price in Crawley is lower than the national average, making it an attractive option for first-time buyers and families looking to get on the property ladder.

Crawley also has a number of affordable housing options available, including social housing schemes and shared ownership properties. The local government has implemented various initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing in the town and ensure that residents have access to suitable accommodation.

The housing market in Crawley is also supported by ongoing housing developments and regeneration projects. These projects aim to provide additional housing stock and improve the quality of existing properties, contributing to the overall growth and development of the town.

Health and Wellbeing in Crawley: Healthcare Facilities and Recreational Activities

Crawley has a range of healthcare facilities and services that cater to the needs of its residents. The town is served by several GP practices and clinics, providing primary healthcare services to the local community. Crawley Hospital is also located in the town, offering a range of specialist services including outpatient clinics, diagnostic tests, and minor surgeries.

In terms of recreational activities, Crawley offers a variety of options for residents to stay active and maintain their wellbeing. The town has several sports facilities including leisure centers, swimming pools, and sports clubs. These facilities offer a range of activities such as swimming, gym workouts, group fitness classes, and team sports.

Crawley also has a number of parks and green spaces that provide opportunities for outdoor activities and relaxation. Residents can enjoy walking, jogging, cycling, and picnicking in these green areas, promoting physical and mental wellbeing.

The local government in Crawley also supports various health and wellbeing initiatives and programs. These initiatives aim to promote healthy lifestyles, improve access to healthcare services, and raise awareness about the importance of wellbeing in the community.

Future of Crawley: Development Plans and Growth Prospects for the Borough

Crawley has ambitious development plans for the future, aiming to further enhance its economic growth and quality of life for its residents. The town is set to undergo several regeneration projects that will improve its infrastructure, create new job opportunities, and attract new businesses to the area.

One of the key development projects in Crawley is the regeneration of the town center. This project aims to create a vibrant and attractive town center with improved retail, leisure, and cultural facilities. It will also include new housing developments and public spaces, enhancing the overall appeal of Crawley.

In terms of economic growth prospects, Crawley is well-positioned for further expansion. Its strategic location near Gatwick Airport and excellent transport links make it an attractive destination for businesses looking to establish a presence in the region. The town’s diverse economy and strong infrastructure provide a solid foundation for future growth.

However, there are also challenges that Crawley faces in its future development. These include managing population growth, ensuring affordable housing options are available, and maintaining a balance between economic development and environmental sustainability. The local government will need to address these challenges effectively to ensure a sustainable future for Crawley.

In conclusion, Crawley is a thriving borough in West Sussex with a rich history, diverse economy, and a range of amenities and attractions. The town offers a high quality of life for its residents, with excellent transport links, educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and recreational activities. With its ambitious development plans and strong growth prospects, Crawley is poised for a bright future as an economic and cultural hub in the region.


What is Crawley?

Crawley is a town and borough in West Sussex, England. It is located 28 miles south of London and has a population of approximately 106,000 people.

What is the history of Crawley?

Crawley was a small market town until the 1940s when it was designated as a New Town under the New Towns Act of 1946. This led to a significant increase in population and the development of new housing, infrastructure, and industry.

What are some notable landmarks in Crawley?

Some notable landmarks in Crawley include St. John the Baptist Church, Crawley Museum, Tilgate Park, and the Hawth Theatre.

What is the economy of Crawley like?

Crawley has a diverse economy with a mix of industries including aviation, retail, and business services. The town is home to Gatwick Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the UK.

What is the transportation system like in Crawley?

Crawley has good transportation links with easy access to the M23 motorway and several major roads. The town also has a railway station with regular services to London and other destinations. Additionally, Gatwick Airport is located just outside of Crawley and provides international air travel options.

What is the education system like in Crawley?

Crawley has a range of primary and secondary schools, as well as several colleges and a university campus. The University of Brighton has a campus in Crawley that offers courses in nursing, midwifery, and other healthcare-related fields.

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