Sitting snugly around the south of the M25, the county of Surrey boasts an economy that is worth a massive £35 billion and was home to just under 70,000 active enterprises in 2015. So what are the reasons that so many businesses have decided to choose this area in which to situate themselves?
Surrey is landlocked with six neighbours, but this is not a disadvantage. Indeed, sharing borders not only with London but with so many other affluent counties offer benefits of connectivity. The majority of the county sits within London’s Green Belt so there’s never a long journey to reach a picturesque countryside. The plentiful green space is set off by the blue of waterways; several tributaries of the River Thames such as the rivers Mole, Wey and Bourne flow through the region. The one million residents of Surrey enjoy its central location by commuting to their workplace not only within the county but also to London and to neighbouring counties, and Surrey businesses can similarly enjoy the best talent of workers from these surrounding areas.
For businesses that require good transport infrastructure, and there aren’t many that don’t, Surrey stands proud. With many stations able to get you into Central London in under half an hour, business and networking meetings with city associates are not a problem. The M25, M3 and M23 motorways run through Surrey so excellent road connectivity with the rest of the country and South of England allow ease of commute. Surrey enjoys easy access to major airports of its neighbours without having to play host to the landing strips themselves, so international businesses have clearly noticed the benefit to locating here.
Across the county, busy town centres are plentiful. Looking at the likes of Woking, Guildford, Farnham, Camberley, Leatherhead and Epsom, you will find a vibrant culture and leisure offering alongside a massive variety of business spaces. From renovated offices or premises in town to larger out of town business parks, the access, social and wellbeing benefits to workers in being located in these towns is undeniable.
A major contrast between Surrey and London, its close neighbour, is the access to green space, countryside and property that can be found here. When a commute can be cut from 90 minutes to 20 without compromising the profile of an employer, many skilled professionals are seeking opportunities out of the city. Surrey has a plethora of entertainment venues that negate the need to travel into London for fun and excitement. From taking in a pre West End show at the New Ambassadors in Woking to experiencing history at the Rural Life Centre near Farnham to the mass of brand names available when shopping in Camberley, locating a business in Surrey offers access to a lifestyle that offers a much sought after balance to working stress.
The largest independent business support organisation in the county is Surrey Chambers of Commerce, which networks 55,000 businesspeople countywide. In addition to this, Surrey benefits from a huge array of more localised business networking and support infrastructure. Surrey is one of the most successful and productive areas for business in the country with every county borough housing a higher percentage of knowledge-based businesses than the UK average. So this is clearly a county that embraces innovation.
More company headquarters are located in Surrey than in any other region in the UK outside of London. Proving popular with electronics giants such as Sony, Toshiba and Philips, and motoring brands McLaren and Toyota, other household names include Nestle, Unilever and Merrill Lynch. With the space and range of buildings on offer to either establish a massive flagship building or add a centrally located premise to a portfolio, the proof of Surrey’s pedigree can be easily found in the businesses who have already called this county home.
Any time we start something new it is exciting and we are very motivated and committed. As time goes by, however, the burst of enthusiasm can wane as the reality of how much work is going to be involved kicks in. When you find yourself slacking a little and not being as enthused about the new change or goal you are working towards, that isn’t a sign to quit. It is a sign that it is time to re-commit.Meet the team