The borough of Reigate & Banstead is located in the county of Surrey within the south east of England. The borough covers approximately 12,900 hectares in area, stretching from the outer edge of London in the north to its border within West Sussex in the south.
The borough's main built up areas are centred on four key settlements: the village of Banstead in the north, the central towns of Redhill and Reigate and the town of Horley in the south. Reigate & Banstead shares its borough boundary with these adjoining local authorities:
- London Borough of Sutton
- London Borough of Croydon
- Tandridge District
- Crawley Borough
- Mole Valley District
- Epsom & Ewell Borough.
Mid-2009, the population of the borough was estimated to be 136,100, with two-thirds residing in the four main settlement areas and the rest in the other villages or outlying areas.
The borough currently has the largest population of all of the Surrey districts and has also seen the largest population growth during the period of 2001 to 2009.
The age structure in the borough is broadly similar to the regional picture and in terms of gender, there are slightly more females than males.
The borough is recognised as a relatively affluent area with a buoyant local economy. Economic activity is concentrated predominantly in the central urban areas of Redhill and Reigate.
The borough benefits from its location in relation to the M23/A23 corridor linking London to the south coast and proximity to both the M25 and Gatwick Airport. The borough is also part of the Gatwick Diamond economic sub-region. As a result of this strategic location and the high quality of the local environment, the borough has attracted a number of major national and international companies.
Almost 80% of the working age population within the borough is economically active. However, as a result of the economic downturn, unemployment has risen and is currently one of the highest in Surrey. Reigate & Banstead has a well qualified population with the percentage of residents with no qualifications significantly lower than the national average. Additionally, more than half of the population are educated to NVQ3 or above.
Commuting within the borough is high. According to latest figures, more than 27,000 people commute into the borough and 34,000 of our residents commute out, making Reigate & Banstead a net exporter of labour.
In terms of commercial premises, the latest Valuation Office Agency statistics show that there are over 1,200 retail outlets, 800 offices, 350 Industrial and 350 warehouse units in the Borough with a total floorspace of around 900,000 square metres.
The borough benefits from a rich green fabric with around 70% of the borough designated as Metropolitan Green Belt. Reigate & Banstead is also traversed by the North Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and is home to part of the internationally designated Mole Gap to Reigate Escarpment, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).
The desirable location of Reigate & Banstead, alongside its strategic transport links mean there is significant pressure for development. In addition to this, the borough experiences high levels of road traffic (both through and internally) giving rise to pollution and air quality issues.
Surrey-i website for more data on Surrey and it's residents.