Bexley is one of 33 boroughs that make up Greater London. It borders the River Thames to the north, the boroughs of Greenwich to the west, Bromley to the south and the county of Kent to the east. Bexley Riverside is one of the Mayor of London’s Opportunity Areas.
Bexley is home to around 232,000 residents, which outside of London would give it ‘Small City’ status. There are 78,000 jobs within the borough and it has a high economic activity rate in comparison to other outer London Boroughs (72% or 118,900 people Census 2011).
It shares its suburban characteristics with many other outer London boroughs. However, Bexley has industry and innovation in its DNA. Ever since Henry VIII founded a naval dockyard at Erith in 1515 the borough has been highly industrious, making a significant contribution to the London economy. Today, the borough remains one of the most important manufacturing locations in London, home to almost 400 companies making everything from sausages to prestige sports cars. Other key sectors include energy, construction, low carbon goods and logistics. Notably, because of almost six miles of frontage on the River Thames, Bexley has the highest rate of commercial river activity of any London Borough, shipping millions of tonnes of food oils, construction materials and recycling in and out of the capital every year.
The borough has five town centres: Bexleyheath, Crayford, Erith, Sidcup and Welling. They act as the focus for much of the borough’s vibrant retail and leisure offer. Bexleyheath is the largest town centre and is also home to the Council’s Civic Offices. Our centres are all unique, Bexleyheath is a bustling metropolitan hub, whilst centres like Sidcup have almost a market town high street feel. There’s a strong local mix of national brands and independent retailers backed up by some of the best shopping in London at major shopping malls like Westfield Stratford and Lakeside, which are only a short drive away.
Elsewhere in the borough, there are over 100 parks and green spaces, and some of London’s most fascinating heritage at places like the Crossness Pumping Station in Thamesmead, Hall Place in Crayford and Danson House near Bexleyheath. Here, Bexley's strategic location between countryside and city serves it well. To the east, Kent, the Garden of England and to the west, Greenwich, a World Heritage Site with year round attraction.
Bexley’s close proximity to London, the Dartford River Crossing and the Channel Tunnel is a key attraction. Our businesses benefit from great connections to central London and the south east of England by both road and rail networks. The M25 orbital motorway and the Dartford River Crossing can be accessed in just 10 minutes. The A2 (M2) passes through the heart of the borough, offering a direct connection between London and the south coast ports and Channel Tunnel. Three railway lines also run through the borough, offering connections to Victoria, Charing Cross and Cannon Street. They pass through key interchanges at London Bridge and Lewisham which connects to the Docklands Light Railway (DLR). Bexley also has great connections to Europe by rail, with Ebbsfleet International just 20 minutes away. From here, you can do business with London, the rest of the UK and all of Europe. The capital’s airports and major coastal ports are also within easy reach of Bexley.
Future planned infrastructure investment will boost these connections, offering new routes into London and increased capacity on existing routes. Crossrail services are scheduled to start from Abbey Wood in 2018, and will offer easier, quicker and more direct connections to Canary Wharf, the West End and Heathrow Airport. Journeys from Abbey Wood to Canary Wharf will take an estimated 11 minutes. Bexley is working hard to attract further investment to improve local road and transport connections around Abbey Wood, to ensure the benefits of Crossrail are maximised. The extension of Crossrail eastwards to Gravesend is a continuing priority for the Council, as are capacity improvements to the local road network.
In comparison to the other industrial areas in London, commercial land and accommodation for light industrial, storage and distribution is plentiful and comparatively affordable. There’s a good range of accommodation immediately available. From vast modern warehouses to small workshops, there is something to suit everyone. There are approximately 80 hectares of land currently available for development and Bexley’s strategic location is starting to attract a lot of interest from inward investors.