Gateway 3 (at Astral Towers) Entrance Upgrade
This gateway into Manor Royal Business District was looking tired and in disrepair. The roundabout edges were broken, wooden planters established years before were decaying and the roundabout could no longer attract sponsorship. First impressions did nothing to portray the significance of Manor Royal, to companies wanting to invest, or for staff having a sence of pride in the area.
Planning was approved in November 2015. Improvements began early 2016 on London Road at the junction with Betts Way and Fleming Way near to Astral Towers. The project was led by the Manor Royal BID team, after consulting with local employers. The objective of the project was to redesign and landscape the roundabout, introduce more robust chevron paving to the perimeter of a re-modelled roundabout and introduce a modern sculptural element to add character to this important gateway and help with navigation and wayfinding.
The sculpture stands 9 metres high by 20 metres wide. The design is inspired by engineering and manufacturing in its construction and use of materials while reflecting aspects of nature created by different sized perforations on the cladding to imprint images of trees. The original sculpture was designed by Allen Scott Landscape Architecture, and has the dual purpose of being both a way-marker and an artistic tribute to Manor Royal's business and industrial traditions.
The sculpture is made from a galvanised steel frame of geometric design and clad in corten steel panels. The super-sized "M" is synonymous with the Manor Royal brand and the roundabout improvements have been the most significant and challenging of all gateway improvements to date.
£144,000 (West Sussex County Council)
£131,949 (Manor Royal BID)
£20,000 (Crawley Borough Council)
£295,949 - Total Costs
As well as being financed and managed via Manor Royal BID, the project benefited from funding from West Sussex County Council and Crawley Borough Council.
The installation of the sculpture together with other aspects of the project including replacing tired kerb stones with chevron paving, removing rotting planters and replacing them with a simple but modern landscaping scheme has improved the look and feel of the area - and generated a rekindled interest in sponsorship of the roundabout.
"...This is an excellent example of how collaboration between the private and public sectors can improve the aesthetic appearance of a location."
Trevor Williams, Chairman of Manor Royal BID and Site Director of Thales UK
"...The continued development of signage and wayfinding on Manor Royal is helping to ensure it is easier to navigate and improves the look and profile of the business district..."
Councillor Peter Smith, Cabinet member for Planning and Economic Development at Crawley Borough Council
"Manor Royal Business District is of major importance to the wider West Sussex economy. These improvements to signs and the look and feel of the area strengthens the district and we were delighted to support it."
West Sussex County Council's Leader, Louise Goldsmith
"This is a bold and ambitious project and we are delighted to work for and with Manor Royal BID to deliver what will become another landmark project for the area."
Sion Thaysen, of Allen Scott Architects, the company behind the sculpture.