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Surrey is the country's top home office hotspot

21st February 2012 Print

A new analysis of home enterprise places the district of Surrey as the primary 'hotspot' for home offices amongst the 174 Principal Authority areas in England & Wales. Smart Growth Analytics' findings demonstrate the economic importance of home offices in regional economies across the country.

The 'hotspot' analysis ranks all the Authority areas on their volumes of home offices and their percentage of home offices as a proportion of all those in employment in the area. It shows that, with some 27,000 home offices and almost 5% of total area employment working in home offices, Surrey marks itself out as the nation's top home office hotspot.

In contrast, the 'average' Principal Authority in England & Wales, is home to around 5,000 home offices, and they account for around 3% of employment.

The Top 25 home office hotspots are dominated by the Greater South East (an area that comprises London, the South East and East of England). Just under two thirds (64%) of the Top 25 are in the Greater South East, despite the fact the area only accounts for just over one third (36%) of all Principal Authorities in England and Wales.

Joining Surrey in the Top 25, are the following Authorities from the Greater South East:

Hampshire (South East, 2nd)
Hertfordshire (East of England, 3rd)
Kent (South East, 4th)
Essex (East of England, 5th)
Oxfordshire (South East, 6th)
Buckinghamshire (South East, 7th)
West Sussex (South East, 8th)
Cambridgeshire (East of England,10th)
Camden (London, 13th)
Kensington and Chelsea (London, 16th)
East Sussex (South East, 17th)
Suffolk (East of England, 21st)
Barnet (London, 22nd)
Norfolk (East of England, 23rd)
Westminster (London, 24th)

Despite the dominance of the Greater South East, home offices are an essential part of every regional economy and Principal Authority area across England & Wales:

Three of the Top 25 home office hotspots are located in the South West (Devon in 9th, Gloucestershire in 11th, Wiltshire in 18th);

Two of the Top 25 hotspots are located in the West Midlands (Worcestershire in 14th and Staffordshire in 15th) and a further two are in the East Midlands (Northamptonshire in 20th and Leicestershire in 25th);

Also represented in the Top 25, are North Yorkshire, in Yorkshire & The Humber, in 12th, and Lancashire, in the North West, in 19th;

Wales has three Authority areas which make the Top 25 in the 'percentage only' subcategory of the combined home office score (Monmouthshire, Ceredigion and Powys). These areas demonstrate significantly above average concentrations of home offices against the national average;

The North East, whilst not represented in any of the 'Top 25' listings, has some 25,000 home offices, with almost 5,000 in County Durham and 4,000 in Northumberland.

Jim Plunkett-Cole, Principal Analyst at Smart Growth Analytics, commented: ''The findings demonstrate the economic importance of home offices in regional economies across the Country."

"They begin to help us understand the increasingly important home-based economic functionality of the more rural and residential areas outside of London, and particularly the Home Counties and Shire Counties across England & Wales."

"They provide strong supportive evidence of a need for home office support across these areas in order to maximise their economic contribution. In particular, they demonstrate a need for higher speed broadband, 'virtual' business support services and networking.''