Just forty minutes away from Central London by train, Guildford is one of the England's most expensive areas to live outside of London. It is home to the University of Surrey and is a popular retail hotspot for the county.
While the high street plays a significant part in the economy of the town - providing employment for locals and students - recruitment agencies will be more interested in the international businesses that have set up offices there. For example, the town is popular with consumer electronics and pharmaceutical firms, such as Ericsson and Colgate-Palmolive, whose staff can avoid the heaving crowds of London while enjoying the cleaner air of Surrey. Philips UK also has its head office in Guildford, highlighting its reputation as a hub for the electronics industry.
The specific area of the electronics industry for which Guildford is most famous among recruitment agencies, however, is computer game development. Guildford is home to Lionhead Studios, the game developer behind Fable and Black & White. Established in 1997, Lionhead became part of Microsoft Studios in 2006 and between 2001 and 2005 won 3 BAFTAS. Staff members come from a variety of different backgrounds, but Lionhead have a graduate scheme in place which attracts graduates from all over the country, not just from the University of Surrey.
Guildford is a thriving town, with unemployment from October 2011-September 2012 at 4.8% and with 73.6% of the economically active population in employment.