The numbers stack up

Features Posted 11/02/19
A young population, the second largest economy in Surrey and beautiful countryside, attract and retain businesses of all sizes to the borough.

All business great and small are welcome to settle in Reigate and Banstead, a vibrant borough with a growing population, set within a designated area of outstanding natural beauty.

Statistics issued by the borough council illustrate the story. The majority of the population is aged between 25 and 59, although predictions are that the number of over-65s will increase by 26% within a decade. Unemployment is low, compared with national figures and resident income is almost £9,000 higher than the UK average.

With the second largest economy in Surrey, the industry sector of Reigate and Banstead is valued at £4.7 million in gross value added to the area. More than 7,000 businesses have settled within the borough and they provide jobs for 73,000 people. A significant proportion of those jobs (12%) are within the financial and insurance sector.

The number of businesses registered within the borough grew by 27% between 2010 and 2017, a figure significantly greater than the South East average of 22%. Growth of these businesses also outpaces both the South East and national average and Reigate and Banstead has a greater proportion of companies turning over more than £50 million than areas of a similar size.

It’s not just new companies that do well. Business survival rates recorded by the borough council show that after the second year of operation, those within the area last longer than those of a similar size in the rest of Surrey, the South East or even the UK.

Retail within the borough’s two main town centres, Redhill and Reigate, is also doing well, with high occupancy levels and a lively community feel. In addition, Horley is undergoing a £750,000 revamp to create a safer, pedestrian-friendly high street which encourages shoppers to stay longer and enjoy food and drink in the open, when the weather allows.

Work began on 28 January and will take six months. It includes resurfacing the pedestrianised shopping area (known as Princess Precinct) between Victoria Road and Albert Road, new lighting, seating and planters, improved drainage and new loading bays for deliveries. It will also improve accessibility with level surfacing and safer crossing points, including dropped kerbs and tactile paving.

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council are working together to deliver the project. Work will be carried out by Murrill Construction and managed by Surrey County Council’s principal contractor Kier.

Executive member for business and economy on Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, Eddy Humphreys, said the work would inevitably cause disruption to Horley town centre, but the improvements would allow better use of the high street for public events such as St George’s Day and the Christmas lights switch-on.

The council is putting £530,000 from its Capital Programme towards the improvements and a further £220,000 is coming from Surrey County Council. The latest project is the third phase of a package of public works for which the borough council set aside £1 million in 2008.

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