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Key sectors

Surrey nurtures some of the UK’s most successful companies and world-leading innovative industries.

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Surrey leads the way

Business Surrey is committed to bringing together companies in key sectors, encourage investment and building infrastructure, as well ensuring our county’s workforce has all the necessary skills to continue to prosper for years to come.

From cybersecurity to creative industries, gaming to food and drink, Surrey is leading the way in several key sectors crucial to the UK’s future economy.

These clusters of innovation make up Surrey’s Leading Edge – the sectors which set the county apart and will be crucial to helping the regional economy grow.

To support their development, we are committed to nurturing and bringing together companies in these key sectors as part of our clusters work.

We are also working with researchers and funding establishments to bring in investment and build infrastructure.

We are working with training providers to ensure the county’s future workforce has the necessary skills for these sectors to continue to prosper for years to come.

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Our sectors

From cybersecurity to creative industries, gaming to food and drink, Surrey is leading the way in several key sectors crucial to the UK’s future economy.


Surrey is a world leader in cybersecurity. It has a dynamic mix of startups, established security firms, and consultancy agencies. It is home to two of the UK’s Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR): Royal Holloway and the University of Surrey.

Royal Holloway is also one of the founder institutions of the International
Cyber Security Centre of Excellence
that is focussing on international cyber security challenges. This makes a huge contribution to a growing sector, which is worth £10.5 billion and grew by 5,300 jobs in 2022.

To support the growth and development of this sector, the Surrey Cyber Security Cluster was founded. This is a collaboration between universities, public organisations, and cybersecurity businesses across the region. It was the first nationally recognised UKC3 cluster in the south east and currently has more than 350 members.


Surrey’s video game industry is one of the largest and most vibrant in the UK.

It has over 85 studios and is often called the ‘Hollywood of Gaming’.

Surrey has seen many world-first innovations in this growing sector, which generates more than £3 billion a year for the UK GDP and employs almost 50,000 people.

The region is home to a diverse array of studios, from small independent teams to large companies.

The Surrey games development community is supported by a range of stakeholders with an interest in strengthening the cluster.

Guildford.Games, a not-for-profit organisation, celebrates the sector’s creative and technical excellence through its annual Festival and Games Awards.

The University of Surrey and the University for the Creative Arts are working closely with industry to stimulate innovation and address challenges faced by the sector through the Games and Innovation Nexus programme.

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Putting people at the heart of AI has been the focus of The Surrey Institute for People-Centred Artificial Intelligence since it was established more than 35 years ago. Located at the University of Surrey, the institute has already gained a reputation for inspiring the next generation of innovators to shape AI into ways which create a brighter future for everyone.

The government recently invested in this expertise, making Surrey the home of a new Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in AI for Digital Media Inclusion. The funding will help establish a unique creative industry hub for high-quality training in responsible AI within the region. The ambition is to place Surrey – and the UK as a whole – as a world leader in media inclusion.

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Surrey’s creative industries cluster is a vibrant and dynamic sector. It comprises a diverse array of businesses, educational institutions, and collaborative networks, which positions Surrey as a leading destination for creative professionals and enterprises. It has more than 10,000 digital startups, film and TV studios, artistic producers, and entertainment companies employing 45,000 people.

Surrey is renowned for its anchor institutions, such as Shepperton Studios and StoryFutures. It will soon be home to a satellite studio for the Convergent Screen Technologies and Performance in Realtime (CoSTAR) National Lab.

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Food & Drink

Globally acclaimed for its high-quality produce, research, and innovation, Surrey is home to over 5,000 businesses and three leading research agencies. With a robust supply chain and a talent pool enriched by the University of Surrey – the UK’s top institution for hospitality and tourism and third in food science – make the region a prime business hub.

Surrey nurtures both renowned international companies like Asahi, Compass Group and Nobel Foods, and successful local brands such as Hogs Back Brewery, RE:NOURISH and Silent Pool.

Animal Health

This sector encapsulates a unique blend of academic research, clinical expertise, and industry collaboration, positioning Surrey as a leader in the field of veterinary science and animal health. Many national and international research agencies call Surrey home. The anchor is the UK Government’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, which – following a £1.4 billion investment from the UK Government – is equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities.

The sector is underpinned by the Animal Health Innovation Network, managed by the University of Surrey. It works to drive innovation in animal health, addressing challenges ranging from disease prevention to the development of new treatments and care strategies.

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Surrey is the birthplace of British motorsport and home to the iconic McLaren Technology Centre Surrey. The region has over 5,000 automotive businesses and a thriving modern automotive industry with highly sought-after expertise. Giants like McLaren, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, Yamaha, and Gordon Murray form the bedrock of a vibrant cluster of technology-led, internationally recognised firms.

The sector is bolstered by innovative research from the University of Surrey’s Connected and Autonomous Vehicles Lab, Royal Holloway’s Internet of Things (IoT) Security Centre, and the design expertise of the University for the Creative Arts.

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Surrey’s sustainability sector is strengthened by Surrey County Council’s green agenda and the involvement of key employers such as the WWF-UK in Woking. We are committed to a net zero future and is working with businesses and organisations worldwide to bring innovation to the region to help transition to a low-emission economy. The region is home to businesses and startups focusing on green technologies, sustainable products, and environmental services.

We have strength in several key sectors and clusters, such as energy, agri-tech, automotive and technology, which intersect with some of the most impactful breakthroughs in carbon reduction. We are addressing current environmental challenges and paving the way for a more sustainable future locally and globally.

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Key stats

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22,000 technology businesses in Surrey

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13.2% of Surrey residents work in health

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Five of the largest car companies in the world have head offices in Surrey