- £37.5 billion economy – bigger than Birmingham, Liverpool or Leeds
- Next to London and the UK’s two largest global gateways – London Gatwick and London Heathrow
- Location of choice for some of the UK’s largest corporations – including BP, McLaren, Novartis, Proctor & Gamble, Siemens and Samsung
Surrey's strengths in research and development make it the smart choice for companies focused on innovation. Surrey is home to a range of niche sectors and knowledge-driven industries, that are going from strength to strength, including:
- 5G and communications
- Advanced automotive
- Creative media technologies
- Cyber security
- Space and satellite technology
Surrey is the only county to border London and the UK’s two largest airports – London Gatwick and London Heathrow.London Gatwick serves over 200 destinations in 90 countries, and 47 out of the top 50 business destinations in Europe.London Heathrow serves 185 destinations in 84 countries.
Surrey offers access to major arterial roads, including the M25, M3, M23, A3 and A25. The county is well connected by road and rail to Central London and the key ports of Portsmouth andSouthampton on the south coast.
High speed internet
Superfast broadband makes Surrey one of the best connected places in the UK. Offering connection speeds of up to 8 times the UK average, it is the natural home for high-tech companies.
Surrey has a long-standing heritage of innovation and research, led by its four universities. Our businesses are doing things that have not been done elsewhere, creating new and exclusive opportunities across industries.
Surrey’s position at the forefront of leading-edge technologies means the county is prepared for emerging opportunities in: 5G, agri-tech, creative industries, and electric and autonomous vehicles, amongst others.
Quality of life
Surrey is the most wooded county in Great Britain, offering an excellent quality of life in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is home to a number of renowned international schools, including the International School of London in Woking, and ACS Cobham International School.
Surrey offers world-class specialisms in the following niche sectors:
The University of Surrey 5G Innovation Centre is the world’s first innovation centre dedicated to the development of 5G infrastructure. The centre works in partnership with sponsors, including the BBC, BT, EE, Fujitsu, Samsung, Telefonica and Vodafone, to develop the next generation of mobile technology.
McLaren has a reputation as a company at the forefront of British engineering and technology. The 500,000m²McLaren Technology Group in Woking is the corporate and production headquarters of the group, and develops ground-breaking technical solutions in sport, medicine, bio-mechanics and entertainment.
Creative media technologies
The creative media industry is booming in Surrey, with an established high-tech sector cluster in Guildford and its surrounding areas. Guildford is home to over 60 successful gaming companies, including Electronic Arts – one of the largest video game publishers in the world.
Surrey has two GCHQ-certified Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research – the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway and the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security at the University of Surrey. The Information Security Group collaborates with, and provides consultancy services to, industry and government.
The county has a concentration of cyber security related companies, including BAE Systems Applied Intelligence andThales.
Space and satellite technology
Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd has been innovating and delivering satellite missions for over 25 years, earning the reputation as the world’s first premier provider for operational and commercial satellite programmes.
The Surrey Space Centre at the University of Surrey is a Centre for Excellence in space engineering.
Other well-established sectors in the county include:
- Agri-tech (including food and drink)
- Oil and gas
- Medical veterinary
Skills and research
Surrey has a proven track-record of innovation and research, supported by significant public and private sector investment in research and development, and its four universities:
University of Surrey
University of Surrey is a UK top 10 university, with Centres of Excellence in cyber security and space engineering. The university is renowned for its research in science and technology, with a more recent focus on business and enterprise. Students are supported to undertake placements in industry as part of their studies.
The university's Research Park is a major Centre of Excellence in technology, science, health and engineering, and is home to over 110 companies ranging from start-ups through to HQs of technology companies.
Royal Holloway University of London
Royal Holloway is a UK top 20 university. The World List of Universities and Other Institutions of Higher Education places Royal Holloway within the top 1 percent of all higher education institutes worldwide.
Its Information Security Group is the largest academic information security team in the world and a Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research.
The University for Creative Arts
The University for Creative Arts specialises in art and design and is spread over five campuses in the south of England, including two in Surrey. The university has long-established relationships with business, cultural and creative industries and a wealth of experience in collaborative working.
The University of Law
The University of Law is the UK's longest-established specialist provider of legal education. It has eight centres in seven cities across the UK and specialises in providing professional law degrees for students who wish to pursue a career in the legal sector. It’s Surrey centre is located in Guildford.
- The Pirbright Institute - world leading Centre of Excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals.
- Campden BRI - UK's largest independent membership-based organisation carrying out research and development for the food and drinks industry worldwide.
- The Lilly Research Centre - recognised as Centre of Excellence in neuroscience research and produces prolific work in the discovery and development of new potential medicines.
- UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory (MSSL) - part of the Department of Space and Climate Physics of the University College London (UCL) and is the UK’s largest university space research group.
Surrey’s boroughs and districts are among the most competitive in the UK, based on their percentage of knowledge-based businesses. Six of the eleven Surrey districts are in the top 25 nationally.
There are 1.1 million people living in Surrey, with a working age population (aged 16-64) of 0.7 million. This is projected to rise by almost 20% by 2033. Surrey has a highly skilled workforce, with almost 44% qualified to degree level or higher, compared to 34% nationally (source: ONS data).
Currently, over half of all jobs in Surrey are in the top occupational categories covering managers, senior and professional occupations. Over the next 20 years, there is forecast to be a further shift towards these higher end occupations, as knowledge based sectors drive innovation and enterprise.