Ten things I love about Haywards Heath

By Cllr John Sabin, Town Mayor

1 Parks and open spaces

Haywards Heath has a lot of parks and open spaces. Beech Hurst Gardens, Victoria Gardens and Clare Park are all used for community events as well, and they are very well-used.

We also have protected wildlife habitats Paiges Meadow and Scrase Valley. Local wildlife groups and the Haywards Heath Society are involved in making sure that they stay protected.

2 Communications

Haywards Heath has a really good rail connection to London (50 minutes), Gatwick (15 minutes) and Brighton (20 minutes) as well as having an excellent bus service.

A lot of Haywards Heath people commute to London. Gatwick is very handy for business trips, holidays, whatever and we are also close to Brighton with its beaches. From a communications point of view it we are very well served.

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3 Countryside

We are really well-placed. Haywards Heath is a busy town but within a short walk or drive you’re in the countryside. We’re also surrounded by lovely villages such as Cuckfield and Lindfield.

4 The Orchards

This is the shopping mall in the middle of the town. It’s a hub of activity all year round, whether it’s karaoke competitions, local musicians playing, small businesses putting on their promotions, or the Strictly Come Gardening event.

Most weekends there is something going on.

5 Low unemployment area

The unemployment figures are very low – 1.4% across Mid-Sussex. Perhaps as a result of that, we have quite low crime and it’s a sociable place.

6 Schools

Haywards Heath has some really well performing schools and a local Sixth Form College, Central Sussex, so pupils don’t need to go to Brighton and Crawley for Sixth Form. This is a great area for bringing up children, there is so much going on.

7 Vibrant night economy

There are lots of wine bars and restaurants and various events going on in the evenings, so that’s a great attraction for younger people. In the main, restaurants are all concentrated on the Broadway so in the evenings that’s the main hub of activity.

8 Community Events

We have lots of community events throughout the year, both free entry events put on by the Council and commercially-organised concerts.

The Council puts on Town Days and Spring Festivals, and of course we had a party for the Jubilee. That was at Beech Hurst Gardens. Rock School performed, we had the Warden Park Dance Group, Oathall Community College put on a VIP stall for the older members of the community, and we had a magician. We ended up with a really great firework display and a beacon.

And we had a barn dance as well which was really successful – a great day.  The town also boasts a Swimarathon, the Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride and Christmas Fair, as well as top drawer acts such as Katherine Jenkins and Lesley Garrett.

9 Medical Facilities

We have an NHS hospital on our doorstep and lots of other specialist clinics so you don’t have to go for miles and miles to get expert treatment.

10 Caring Community

Last but not least, there are an awful lot of voluntary organisations in Haywards Heath. A number of national organisations, like Age UK for example, are located in the town.

Then we have The Yews Community Centre which provides facilities for nearly 30 local charities, ranging from pre-school charities to providing care for the really seriously disabled and vulnerable. Of course we have a lot of people volunteering – the unsung heroes as we call them. It’s a really caring community and there’s a lot of good stuff going on here.