Steeped in history, surrounded by award-winning green spaces and home to one of the oldest horseracing events, the Derby, the Borough of Epsom and Ewell is one of the best places to live and work. And don’t just take our word for it, the borough regularly appears in polls for being one of the best places to live.
Bordered by outer London boroughs to the north and rolling hills designated as areas of outstanding natural beauty to the south, the borough is home to approximately 80,000 people. The area comprises three main conurbations; the main town of Epsom, the village-like Ewell and the 1930’s development of Stoneleigh.
Just within the M25, Epsom has the feel of a historic market town, yet is less than 30 minutes from London, has excellent road links and sits between both Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Its proximity provides a unique position for business.
The area is home to international companies and locally grown businesses. Atkins is the largest employer with a very long established business in Epsom and has around 2000 employees located in the area, Toyota’s UK Headquarters is close to Epsom Downs, Nuffield Health is headquartered in the town and Aon, Bunzl, and McDermott also have offices within the town centre. Local family business Wilsons has been selling cars in the borough for over 100 years.
As well as significant large employers, the business community includes many smaller creative and innovative businesses, which thrive in the town environment and benefit from the area’s prime location. These small businesses cover a wider range of employment types including creative and innovative games developers, graphic designers, architects, and recording studios.
The annual Epsom and Ewell Business Awards celebrates business excellence in the local community and is testament to the range of innovative, successful businesses operating in the area.
In 2018, to coincide with 100 years of women’s suffrage, a special Best Woman in Business Award, sponsored by Surrey Chambers, was presented to Jessica Rea, who established her outstanding business as a milliner in Ewell eight years ago. The 2019 awards are due to launch on July 12th.
There’s a good range of commercial property available locally, from flexible working space available for small and micro businesses, including City Skyline, Nammu Workplace and 19 West Street, to Grade A flagship buildings to accommodate new company Headquarters (Kirkgate and 20-24 East Street).
Epsom & Ewell Borough Council offer a range of services to business. As part of local engagement, it is a sponsor and promotes the local Epsom and Ewell Business Awards; holds a quarterly business breakfast in the borough and, with Surrey Chambers of Commerce, has collaborated on business events and initiatives.
Both organisations are sponsoring the Grow your Business Show at Epsom Downs Racecourse on September 12th. Recently the Council launched its Borough Investment Fund, a grant scheme offering grants to owners or occupiers of commercial buildings within the borough to improve and enhance shop fronts, windows, doors and signage.
Of course it’s not all work and no play. Epsom and Ewell has plenty of art and cultural events to offer residents, the local work force, families and young people. The Epsom Playhouse is a well-established local theatre venue in the town centre, offering a range of shows and events.
The borough is world renowned for the annual Derby Festival, which takes place in June on Epsom Downs Racecourse and is the key fixture on its racing calendar attracting thousands of visitors. The Racecourse is also a key local venue hosting a busy programme of conferences, meetings and events. In addition, the local racehorse training industry is massively important making a major contribution to the local economy and a key part of the Jockey Club’s Vision for Epsom.
As well as the Downs, the borough is well-served with award-winning parks and open spaces offering areas for quiet contemplation and play, as well as sporting activities.
Epsom town centre attracts its fair share of visitors. With a compact and busy shopping centre with a mix of high street names and independent retailers, a growing number of casual dining restaurants and the cinema and theatre, as well as a twice weekly market, and monthly Farmers Market in the town centre means the borough offers something for everyone.
Epsom town centre’s role is also being reinforced with significant investment in highway improvement works and enhanced public realm, including a transformation of the market place. There has also been private sector investment in the town recently with the development of Epsom Square, a town centre plaza and indoor hub offering a fantastic range of restaurants, entertainment, lifestyle and health services as well as Epsom library.
The town centre also benefits from the creation of the newly formed Business Improvement District (BID) which represents nearly 400 businesses working together to strengthen the town's appeal to create ever more reasons for people to visit, work and enjoy this historic market town.
Building on the vibrancy and creativity inherent in this university town, the BID is working on a range of projects to enhance business performance, improve trading conditions and increase both footfall and activity within the town centre.
The recent Derby Festival was a great example of the BID, the local council and the racecourse all working together to give residents and visitors a sense of 'Derby' ownership. Flags throughout the town, history walks, fashion shows and a free concert in the Market Place to launch the festival all combined to showcase what the town has to offer and it's proud connection to the greatest flat race in the world.