The Mid Sussex town of Haywards Heath has a population of around 23,000. Legend says the place is named after local highwayman, Jack Hayward. The town grew into a thriving community with the coming of the railways in the 19th century. Today, it has excellent transport links to London and is well-placed for Gatwick airport, so it is an attractive choice for commuters.
Local amenities include The Orchards, a pedestrianised shopping precinct, along with a mix of smaller, independent shops. The Olympos Leisure Centre offers swimming, sports and keep-fit facilities. Munster Green, a conservation area, Beech Hurst Park, Victoria Park and Borde Hill Gardens provide open space. Clair Hall is the venue for concerts, theatre and exhibitions.
The local economy depends on commuters. Major employers in the area include the financial services sector and local government, although there is also some manufacturing and light industry.