Waverley - facts and figures for businesses

The borough of Waverley has a diverse rural landscape, characterful towns, high quality housing and schools and access to employment - all within easy reach of London and key transport links.. 

Population and characteristics

Waverley has a population of approximately 123,300 people and is primarily rural in nature, although the majority of the population lives in the main urban settlements of Cranleigh, Farnham, Godalming, and Haslemere.

Some 80% of the countryside is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and the borough has a rich historic heritage with 45 Conservation Areas and over 1,600 listed buildings.  See a map of Waverley borough.

Main towns

Cranleigh village profile

Farnham town profile

Godalming town profile

Haslemere town profile 

Skilled workforce

There is a range skilled workers at all levels.   Find out more about skilled workforce in Waverley.

Business and employment


Waverley has the highest business density in Surrey with 8,200 VAT registered businesses. 

There are around 4,000 businesses which pay business rates for premises in Waverley.

Waverley's business base is dominated by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). For more information on SME's in Waverley visit The State of Small Business website.  

About 91% of Waverley's businesses employ less than 10 people. This is higher than the national average of 88%.

Waverley has 15 large enterprises employing 250 or more people. For more information on businesses in Waverley visit the Office of National Statistics website.

A significant number of jobs in Waverley are based in rural businesses, 26% (source ONS BRES 2011). These are increasingly non traditional, creative, visitor attraction and knowledge based.

The borough has a higher than average proportion of younger businesses, with 17% of businesses being less than two years old and 53% of businesses in Waverley being up to 10 years old (compared to the national average of 35%).

Employment sectors

Main employment sectors in Waverley are:

  • professional
  • scientific
  • technical
  • education
  • retail
  • health.

High value growth areas

High value growth areas in Waverley are the creative industries including IT, green technologies and the visitor economy.

Waverley Economic Development Strategy 2018-2032

Business premises

Waverley offers a range of premises including 47 business parks and industrial estates, which provide flexible and secure accommodation for start-up firms and more established, smaller businesses. 

Map of business and industrial parks (PDF)

Free search of available premises

Please email business.support@waverley.gov.uk for a free search of of available business premises in Waverley.

Film Waverley

In 2016-2017 film activity brought in approximately £1.9 million to the local economy. Waverley has key locations for filming.  

Film Waverley.

Key statistics

Surrey-i contains further information, specialist reports, summary analysis and headline statistics on Surrey's demographics, economy and public services.

Page owner: Catherine Knight. Last updated: 26/10/2018 11:07

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