Leatherhead is a town in Surrey, England, situated on the right bank of the River Mole, and at the edge of the contiguous built-up area of London. Its local district is Mole Valley. Records exist of the place from Anglo Saxon England. The town is situated 21 mi south of central London and 13 mi north-east of the Surrey county town of Guildford.
Elements of the town have been a focus for transport throughout its history. A main early spur to this was the construction of the bridge over the seasonally navigable River Mole in the early medieval period. Later the Swan Hotel provided 300 years of service to horse-drawn coaches. In the late 20th century the M25 motorway was built nearby. Leatherhead is typical of many towns which form part of the London commuter belt with many residents commuting daily into the UK capital. Recent years have seen the emergence of several industrial parks, and the town has attracted many service and headquarters operations, including well known companies.
The town has long been home to a cluster of research centres and research-focused businesses. ERA Technology Ltd is an engineering consultancy that has been in Leatherhead since the 1920s. Nearby is Leatherhead Food Research. The same area of west Leatherhead was home to the Central Electricity Research Laboratory (CERL), the main research lab for the CEGB until its dissolution in 2001.
A recently established local business cluster is that of racing cars. Lister Cars, makers of Lister Storm, Le Mans racing cars, are based in the town, and in nearby Dorking, while P1 International was founded here in 2000 by ex-Formula One World Champion Damon Hill.
The headquarters of the Police Federation of England and Wales is in Leatherhead.
Major local businesses: • AIRCOM International a provider of mobile telephone network management solutions has its headquarters in Randall's Research Park in Leatherhead. • CGI (formerly Logica) has had several offices on different sites in the town and is now on the Springfield Drive site. • ERA Technology Ltd, a strategic business unit based in Leatherhead. • ExxonMobil has several major divisions based at ExxonMobil House in Leatherhead, including its ExxonMobil Aviation and ExxonMobil Marine businesses, as well as its aviation fuels operations. • Halliburton Company has an office in Leatherhead, with its Landmark based there. • KBR has offices in Leatherhead, with its Granherne subsidiary based there. • Robert Dyas, hardware chain is based in Leatherhead • Unilever PLC has its UK and Ireland headquarters in Leatherhead at the purpose-built Unilever House - home to the following consumer brands: Bertolli, Cif, Colman's, Domestos, Dove, Flora, Hellmann's, Knorr, Lynx, Marmite, Persil, Radox, Sure, Surf, Toni & Guy, Tresemme, VO5 and Wall's ice cream.
Leatherhead has a population of over 11,320 people. Leatherhead also forms part of the Greater London metropolitan area which has a population of over 14,372,596 people.