Economy & Employment
Leatherhead is home to the headquarters of several major national and international corporations. Businesses and organisations located here include:
- Unilever – owner of brands such as Dove, Knorr, Lynx, Marmite and VO5
- The Police Federation of England and Wales
- Robert Dyas
- CGI – a global information technology company offering services such as IT infrastructure, outsourcing, and system integration services
- The Halliburton Company – one of the world’s largest old field service companies
These companies employ thousands of people in Leatherhead. Unilever alone increased their workforce by around 300 between 2009 and 2014, showing its presence has had a positive impact on Leatherhead’s local economy and employment figures.
Mole Valley has a number of economically active residents far surpassing the national average at 88.5% compared to 77.8%. Some 52.7% of workers are employed as managers, directors and professionals, and the gross weekly pay in Leatherhead is over £100 higher than the national average.
Mole Valley is home to several industrial estates, which are homes to several other major employers, including a Post Office sorting office, Tesco’s and Sainsbury’s supermarkets and The National Trust, which owns land and has charity offices in Leatherhead.
In July 2016, a regeneration masterplan that could last 10 years and cost £200m was approved by Mole Valley District councillors. The plan involves bringing a vibrant urban quarter and a new riverside park to Leatherhead, as well as simplifying the road system and renovating the Swan Centre.
The council said the project’s success would depend on funding bids approved by Coast to Capital local enterprise partnership – a partnership between local authorities and businesses in south London, Surrey and Sussex.
The Leatherhead Sustainable Transport Package (STP) is a set of proposals that would make it easier, quicker, and safer to walk and cycle between Fetcham, Leatherhead town centre, railway station, business parks and the proposed Riverside Quarter.
Overall, the proposals of the £4.9m scheme will:
- Create safe, attractive routes connecting major destinations that people will want to use;
- Improve pavements and pedestrian areas so that they are wide, well surfaced and suitable for buggies and wheelchairs;
- Provide cycle routes which are continuous and separated from busy traffic
The works are estimated to start in 2017 and will be created in phases over three years.
Surrey County Council is positive the scheme will encourage economic growth as transport links are improved between Leatherhead and nearby smaller communities, such as Fetcham.
Rail: Leatherhead station is serviced by South West Trains and Southern Rail, connecting the area to London Victoria (around 44 mins) and Waterloo stations (around 43 mins), as well as nearby towns such as Dorking and Horsham.
Bus: Leatherhead is serviced by a number of bus lines with destinations such as Kingston, Epsom and Cobham.
Road: Leatherhead is located along the M25, with easy connections to other major motorways running both north and south. The A24 runs along the outskirts of Leatherhead, allowing residents access to London through Epsom and Morden.
Air: Heathrow Airport, around 27 mins’ drive, and Gatwick Airport, around 23 mins’ drive are the closest airports to Leatherhead.
Cycle: Mole Valley District Council is committed to improving cycling links and cyclists’ safety, which will happen through the £5m Sustainable Transport Project.
Leatherhead is home to 10 primary schools, three secondary schools, two independent schools and three special schools.
Several of these are considered Outstanding by Ofsted, including West Hill School, Polesden Lacey Infant School, Woodlands School, St Andrew’s Catholic School, Fetcham Village Infant School and St Peter’s Catholic Primary School.
Further education: Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation Training College, Surrey Hills Onward Learning and the International Dermal Institute are all located in Leatherhead, offering a range of courses.
Higher education: Leatherhead is located near plenty of universities and higher education institutions, including:
- The University for the Creative Arts, located in Epsom
- North East Surrey College of Technology (NESCOT)
- Kingston University
- St Mary’s University, Twickenham
All of London’s brilliant educational institutions are easily reachable to Leatherhead’s residents.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & dining: The Swan Centre offers 20 retailers. Epsom, located seven minutes away by train, is home to The Ashley Centre, offering over 60 retailers,, and Spread Eagle Shopping Centre.
Culture and leisure: The Leatherhead Theatre puts on panto, jazz and film events. The Epsom Playhouse offers both professional and community theatre productions.
The Epsom Downs Racecourse is home to the Epsom Derby, inaugurated in 1780. It is considered Britain’s richest horse race and the most prestigious of the five Classics.
Green spaces: Leatherhead is near Norbury Park, mixed wooded and agricultural land associated with its Georgian manor house, built in 1774. The park contains several historically important finds, including I a small Bronze Age hoard dating from around 1150-1000 BC, and a grove of yew trees believed to have been used by Druids.
Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) covers 422 sq. kms. It was designated in 1958 and covers a quarter of Surrey.