South East England

South East England

infobox England region | name = South East England| short_name = South East
hq = Guildford
imagename =

status = Region
area_km2= 19,096
area_mi2= 7,373
area_rank= 3rd
density = 419/km²
nuts= UKJ
euro= South East England
population = 8,000,550 (2001)
population_rank= 1st
gdp_rank= 2nd
assembly = South East England
election = not directly elected
url =

South East England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics in 1999. Its boundaries include Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Surrey and West Sussex. In common usage, however, the area referred to as the 'south east' can vary considerably.The headquarters for the region's governmental bodies are in Guildford. The largest city in the region (by population) is Brighton and Hove.

Its population as of the 2001 census was 8,000,550, making it the most populous English region. The highest point is Walbury Hill in Berkshire at 297m/974 ft. The major conurbations of the region include Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton (population in 2001 461,000), Portsmouth (442,000), Reading (370,000) and Southampton (304,000). [List of conurbations in the United Kingdom] Settlements closer to London are part of the conurbation known as the Greater London Urban Area.

The South East is a diverse region, with the highest percentage of people born outside of the UK other than London. 2005 Estimates state 88.5% of people as White British, 4.5% Other White (inc. 1.0% Irish), 3.1% South Asians, 1.4% Mixed Race, 1.3% Black British, 0.6% Chinese, 0.6% Other [] .

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

"See: List of districts in south east England by population"

Historical boundaries

Until 1999, there was a South East Standard Statistical Region which also included the counties of Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Greater London. The former South East Civil Defence Region covered the same area as the current government office region.

Common usage

In unofficial usage, the "South East" can refer to a varying area - sometimes only to Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex, and Surrey, but more usually to the former Standard Statistical Region, which corresponded approximately to the London commuter belt.

Politics of the area

The South East of England is the most Conservative voting region of the UK both in terms of seats and votes. The area also has some strong supporting seats for other parties such as Slough for Labour and Lewes for the Liberal Democrats. However, the safest Conservative seat in the country, Buckingham has a majority of over 38%.

The South East England Regional Assembly is based on the A3100 in Guildford near the "London Road" train station.


The main road transport routes are along the M1 through Buckinghamshire; the M40 through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire: the M2 motorway/A2 and M20 through Kent, and the M23 through West Sussex; the M3 through Hampshire and the A34 through Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. The east-west corridor through the south of the region is provided by the A27 and the M27. The main intercontinental airport is Gatwick Airport, with regional airports at Kent International Airport (Ramsgate), Shoreham Airport and Southampton Airport. Heathrow Airport is in Greater London but also serves (and is serviced by) the South East region. The Great Western Main Line passes through Berkshire and Reading. The South Eastern Main Line and High Speed 1 pass through Kent. The Brighton Main Line passes through Surrey and West Sussex. The West Coast Main Line passes through Milton Keynes The Chiltern Main Line is a major commuter line btween Birmgham and London passing through Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. The Port of Dover and the port at Folkestone have many ferry services to France and Belgium.


The South East of England is a very prosperous area.

Many high technology companies are located near to the M3 in Surrey and the M4 in Berkshire. Sun Microsystems have their UK base in Blackwater near Camberley. Microsoft and Oracle have their UK headquarters next door to each in Reading, as do the Yell Group.


Companies in Berkshire essentially follow the M4 corridor. PepsiCo have their UK base in Theale as have Wolseley, the builders and plumbers merchants who own Bathstore and Plumb Center. Vodafone and High and Mighty are based in Newbury. Pentax UK and Groupe SEB UK (owner of Krups, Moulinex, Rowenta, and Tefal) are in Langley near Slough. Mars Limited has a large chocolate factory also in Slough on the enormous Slough Trading Estate. Honda UK, Citroën UK, Fiat UK, LG Group UK and Reckitt Benckiser are also in Slough. Centrica and InterContinental Hotels Group are in Windsor. Interserve, the construction company, BG Group, and Guide Dogs for the Blind are in Reading. Porsche Cars Great Britain is in nearby Calcot. HMV Group, Hitachi UK and Costain are in Maidenhead. Dell UK, Panasonic UK, BMW UK, HP UK and Waitrose are in Bracknell.


Allianz Cornhill Insurance have their UK headquarters in Guildford as do Ericsson and Philips UK. Motor company McLaren is based in Woking as is the UK base of Yum Restaurants (owner of KFC). Canon UK is in Reigate. The huge Compass Group is in Chertsey as is Samsung UK, and Thales Group UK is in Addlestone. Atkins, the civil engineering company is in Epsom. Dairy Crest is in Esher. Pfizer UK is in Walton-on-the-Hill. Edmund Nuttall is in Camberley. ExxonMobil UK (Esso) is in Leatherhead. Although BP has its international headquarters in central London, most of its UK division (chemicals and energy) is headquartered at Sunbury-on-Thames, just inside the Surrey boundary.


George Wimpey, RAF Air Command, Hyundai UK, Dreams, the UK base of Ariston (now owned by Indesit) and the UK headquarters of Staples are based in High Wycombe. The UK base of Robert Bosch is in Denham. Pioneer UK is in Stoke Poges. The Barracuda Group (owner of Varsity) is in Marlow. Leica Geosystems is based in Milton Keynes, as is Argos, BP Oil UK (retail), Domino's Pizza UK, VW Group (VW and Audi), Luminar Leisure and Homebase. Welcome Break is in Newport Pagnell, and Mercedes-Benz UK is in Tongwell.


The Army have a large garrison in Aldershot, with Sandhurst being nearby. B&Q is based in Chandler's Ford. Farnborough has many aerospace companies including BAE Systems and QinetiQ, as well as Nokia UK. The Ordnance Survey and a factory of Ford are based in Southampton, and Skandia Insurance have their UK base there. Toyota UK and much of the Royal Navy is based in Portsmouth. Kenwood Limited is in Havant. Virgin Media is based in Hook. The AA is based in Basingstoke as are Shire plc the pharmaceuticals group and GAME. Ineos is in Lyndhurst. Twinings is in Andover.


The RSPCA is in Horsham and Cats Protection is in Haywards Heath. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars make vehicles at Westhampnett. Virgin Atlantic is in Crawley as is Unilever Bestfoods and TUI Travel PLC. The Body Shop is in Littlehampton.


Geographer's A-Z Map Company is based in Borough Green. Bovis Homes is near Gravesend. Fairy is made by Procter & Gamble in Dartford, and Mazda UK is based there. Brake Bros Ltd is in Ashford. Cummins Power Generation is in Ramsgate. Hornby Railways is in Margate.


Oxford University Press and Amey plc are in Oxford. Motoring company Prodrive is based in Banbury along with Ascari. The UK base of Miele is in Abingdon. BMW assemble the much-lauded MINI at Cowley. Travelodge UK is in Thame.


Buckinghamshire, Medway and Kent, and Slough have an almost completely selective education system - not just a few grammar schools as other English areas may have; Kent has 33, Buckinghamshire has 13, Medway has 6 and Slough has 4. The other areas are comprehensive. In the top thirty schools at A level, all but three are selective schools; two of the others are sixth form colleges and one is a comprehensive (in Oxford). However, the results for each county as a whole are not always directly related to the number of grammar schools, as Kent and Medway perform under average.

At GCSE, the best performing area in the South East (and England) is Buckinghamshire. Berkshire is split into unitary authorities, and Wokingham and Slough perform the next best at GCSE. All of Berkshire's unitary authorities perform above the England average with Windsor and West Berkshire considerably above average. Surrey and Hampshire perform well at GCSE as well, and Oxfordshire, West Sussex, Medway and Kent are above average. In general, the South East does perform well at GCSE compared to many regions of England, however there are a number of districts performing significantly below average including the unitary authorities of Portsmouth (one of the lowest performing LEAs in the country), Southampton and Milton Keynes, and the districts of Adur in West Sussex and Hastings in East Sussex.

At A-level, the results do not follow the same variation at GCSE except that Buckinghamshire and Hampshire again do very well. In general, many areas of the South East perform below the UK average. Reading unitary authority performs the best (much better than it does at GCSE), followed closely by Buckinghamshire. The only other ceremonial county to perform well at A level is Hampshire. West Berkshire and Slough unitary authorities also perform above average. The lowest performing area at A level is Portsmouth, followed by Southampton, East Sussex, and Bracknell Forest.

Top thirty state schools in South East England (2007 A level results)

* 1. Fort Pitt Grammar School, Chatham (1092)
* 2. Dr Challoner's Grammar School, Amersham
* 3. Dover Grammar School for Girls
* 4. Kendrick School, Reading
* 5. The Sixth Form College, Farnborough
* 6. The Judd School, Tonbridge
* 7. Peter Symonds College, Winchester
* 8. Sir William Borlase's Grammar School, Marlow
* 9. Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, Rochester
* 10. Highsted Grammar School, Sittingbourne

* 11. Aylesbury Grammar School
* 12. Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe
* 13. Dartford Grammar School for Girls
* 14. Barton Court Grammar School, Canterbury
* 15. Sir Roger Manwood's School, Sandwich
* 16. St Bernard's Catholic Grammar School, Slough
* 17. Langley Grammar School
* 18. Borden Grammar School, Sittingbourne
* 19. Invicta Grammar School, Maidstone
* 20. Dane Court Grammar School, Broadstairs

* 21. The Cherwell School, Oxford
* 22. Dartford Grammar School
* 23. Aylesbury High School
* 24. Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys
* 25. Rainham Mark Grammar School, Gillingham
* 26. Reading School
* 27. Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Faversham
* 28. Tonbridge Grammar School
* 29. John Hampden Grammar School, High Wycombe
* 30. Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School (929)

Local media

Local media include:
* The BBC South region is based on "Havelock Road" in Southampton; it has the "South Today" regional programme. The BBC South East is based in Tunbridge Wells; it has the "South East Today" regional programme. Most of Buckinghamshire is in the BBC South and ITV South region but most of Milton Keynes UA is covered by the BBC East region from Norwich, with the "Look East" programme. The ITV region for most of Milton Keynes is Anglia Television with the "Anglia Tonight" programme from Norwich. The ITV region for the south of the area is Meridian Broadcasting, which has the "Meridian Tonight" with South and South-East editions. In the northern part of the region, around Oxford is the ITV Thames Valley region, which has the "Thames Valley Tonight". All three ITV news programmes come from the ITV broadcasting centre at Whiteley near Fareham.
* BBC Radios Southern Counties, Solent, Oxford, Three Counties (Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes), and Kent.
* Commercial radio stations including Southern FM (Brighton), Horizon Radio (UK) (Milton Keynes), 2-Ten FM (Reading), Invicta FM (Whitstable), Power FM (Segensworth), Radio Mercury (Crawley), Passion Radio (Worthing), Fox FM (Cowley), Kick FM (Newbury), Kmfm (Kent), 107.8 Arrow FM (Hastings), Bright 106.4 FM (Burgess Hill), Mix 107 (High Wycombe), 107.4 The Quay (Portsmouth), Spirit FM (Chichester), 107.5 Sovereign Radio (Hailsham), Isle of Wight Radio (Newport), Mix 96 (Aylesbury), 107.2 Win FM (Winchester), Delta FM (Bordon), Wave 105 (Fareham), Juice 107.2 (Brighton), 96.4 The Eagle (Guildford), 107.7 Splash FM (Worthing), Ocean FM (Segensworth), Reading 107 FM, The Saint (Southampton), and 107.6 Kestrel FM (Basingstoke).
* Local regional newspapers are the Southern Daily Echo (Southampton), Oxford Times, Oxford Journal, Portsmouth News, Argus (Brighton), Oxford Mail, Reading Evening Post, Kent Messenger, Surrey Advertiser, Reading Chronicle, Medway News .KOS Kent on Sunday group,

ee also

* List of schools in the South East of England

External links

* [ Traveline South East Journey Planner]
* [ Government Office for the South East]
* [ South East England Regional Assembly]
* [ South East England Development Agency]
* [ Government's list of councils in the South East]
* [ Tourism Information - Visit South East England]
* [ Information and History of Southern England ]
* [ South East England Intelligence Network - facts, figures and research on the South East ]


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