Some of the best connectivity in the East of England
Bishop’s Stortford is a particularly affluent area, partly due to the town’s status as a commuter town for the (mainly financial) workers in London. The town is also home to many people working in the tourist industry, including hotels, catering and airline staff, because it is the closest large town to Stansted Airport.
Bishop’s Stortford and Hertford are the main towns in East Herts. The other towns in the district are Ware, Buntingford and Sawbridgeworth. In total, about 85% of Bishop’s Stortford’s residents work in the services sector. Pharmaceutical giants GlaxoSmithKline have several operational centres throughout this region, the largest is a 16-acre site in Ware. They are the biggest PLC employer in East Herts and the fourth largest on the London Stock exchange.
Property prices in Hertfordshire vary quite substantially, mainly due to the demography of the area. East Hertfordshire prices are slightly above the regional average, unsurprisingly as it is in prime commuter belt, they are however still significantly below the London average. The county as a whole saw a rise of 13.4% in the last year.
The population of East Herts in mid-2014 was 143,021 which is an increase of 3.72% since the 2011 census.
Despite it not being in East Hertfordshire, Stansted Airport is a major contributor to the area. A report in 2013 found that the operation served 17 million passengers per annum (mppa), generated £750 million GVA and provided 14,000 jobs. It found that the best use of the existing airport infrastructure, at 35 mppa, would generate £2.195 billion and support an additional 3,800 jobs. Maximum use of the existing airport infrastructure, at 45 mppa, would generate £2.660 billion and support an additional 8,310 jobs. This is expected to be very useful over the next eight to thirteen years, due to the other major airports in the south operating at near maximum capacity already.
The report was undertaken on behalf of the London Stansted Cambridge Consortium (LSCC), which represents business and local authorities in the London, Stansted, Cambridge corridor (which includes East Hertfordshire), and is home to the world’s most significant technology and life sciences companies, including Google, Microsoft, Astra Zeneca and GSK, it is already generating 12 per cent of the UK’s Gross Value Added (GVA).
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Economy & Employment
Pharmaceuticals manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline is the largest single employer in the borough.
The Ware complex is one of the largest UK manufacturing sites for Britain’s biggest pharmaceuticals company, GlaxoSmithKline. Across its 16 acres, 730 staff produce billions of pounds worth of respiratory treatments each year: this is the birthplace of the drug Seretide (known in the US as Advair), GSK’s top-selling medicine. Last year, Ware produced £4bn-worth of Seretide inhalers. About 95 per cent of them were exported to the likes of China, South Korea and the US.
Stansted Airport located nearby in Uttlesford is a major employer in the region. As of 2013 they contributed around £750 million a year to the local economy and employ around 14,000 staff, many of whom reside in East Herts.
Raytheon and GlaxoSmithKline both have large premises within Harlow town. Nortel also had a large site on the eastern edge of the town, acquired when STC was bought in 1991, and it was here that Charles K. Kao developed optical fibre data transmission.
One of Europe’s leading online golf stores, Onlinegolf, is also based here.
With excellent train services throughout the borough, a large majority of residents commute to London for work daily.
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The Kao Park (a new data park) is set to draw new MedTech, Life Science and technology companies to the region.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, the cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure, said: “Harlow Enterprise Zone is a big boost not only to Harlow but to the whole
of the M11 corridor. There is potential for 5,000 new jobs which will have a huge knock-on effect on the area’s economic wealth. He also stated Stansted Airport continues to be a key economic growth driver in the region.
The former Nortel plant which is set to become a 21st-century business park and data centre named Kao Park after Sir Charles Kao, who invented fibre optic cable on the site. The Kao Park development will occupy the southern sector of the London Road Enterprise Zone, with a further 35-acre northern sector being developed by Harlow Council for MedTech, Life Science and ICT design and build opportunities. Anglia Ruskin University is set to create a MedTech campus on the site.
Bishop’s Stortford is a traditional town of Victorian and Edwardian terraces with areas of more modern houses. It is on the verge of major expansion with 2,500 new homes planned to the north of the town centre and the possibility of another 550 in two developments around the train station and The Causeway.
Air: Stansted Airport is the nearest airport and is the third largest airport serving London. It operates mainly to Europe but also has some international flights.
Rail: Bishop’s Stortford station is on the London Liverpool Street to Cambridge main line operated by Greater Anglia. The Stansted Express services take around 25 minutes to reach Tottenham Hale and 40 minutes to reach London Liverpool Street and allow Bishop’s Stortford to be part of the London Commuter Belt
Road: Bishop’s Stortford is close to junction 8 of the M11 motorway, which runs from London and the M25 north to Cambridge. To the north of the town is the A120, which meets the A10 at Buntingford to the west and the A12 at Colchester to the east.
Bus: A comprehensive bus service operates through the borough. With local, town and commuter services being operated.
Hockerill Anglo-European College is an international school with academy status located in Bishop’s Stortford. Hockerill has many international connections with schools, owing to its Language College status. It has more than 800 students, with about a third boarding. It offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) and became the first state school to be awarded the accolade of Sunday Times International Baccalaureate school of the year award 2011. In the most recent Ofsted inspection of Boarding, all aspects of the Boarding provision were rated as ‘outstanding’.
Further Education: Hertford Regional College is a FE college located over two sites in Hertfordshire. Formed from the merger of Ware College and East Herts College in the early 1990s. Today, Hertford Regional College is based at two sites at Turnford and at Ware. The college offers a range of courses including Diplomas, BTEC awards, apprenticeships and Access courses. Hertford Regional College also offers some higher education courses, primarily in conjunction with the University of Hertfordshire.
Further Education: The University of Hertfordshire in Hertford, has received its highest graduate employment rate for ten years, climbing 45 places in a national survey. It is also ranked in the top nine of UK universities. History research at the University has been rated as ‘world leading’ and ‘internationally excellent’ in the 2014 REF results.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping: Bishop’s Stortford serves as a centre for meeting, shopping, and entertainment for a large number of villages in Essex and Herts. Bishop’s Stortford is served by a variety of shops, both high street chains and long-established family firms. The main retail streets are South, Potter, North and Hockerill streets. There is a modern shopping complex called Jackson Square and markets are held on Thursday and Saturday.
Culture and Dining: Hertford Theatre, previously known as Castle Hall, is a modern theatre, cinema and art gallery complex at The Wash in the town centre. The Hertford Corn Exchange is a building where entertainment such as comedy and art exhibitions take place. Hertford has many food, drink and entertainment establishments which have grown in number considerably since the eighties and nineties. It attracts people from nearby towns, and often the North London suburbs. There are approximately 25 pubs and clubs in the area and around 35 restaurants.
Green Space: Hatfield Forest Extraordinary woodland involving trees of up to 1200 years old. Great for outdoor play, hiking and picnicking (Bishop’s Stortford). East Herts Miniature Railway (open weekends) is a 7 and a quarter gauge miniature railway with several different train types that are lovingly maintained. Located in the Vane Hage Garden Company grounds.