Wandsworth: A Short Guide
The London borough of Wandsworth is located in Southwest London, on the bank of the Thames. To its east, it borders the borough of Lambeth, and to its south are the boroughs of Merton and Kingston upon Thames, with Richmond upon Thames to the west. Town centres include Putney, Tooting, Clapham Junction, Balham and Wandsworth town.
The History of Wandsworth
Wandsworth was once considered a part of Surrey county, made up of sprawling woodlands and open fields. The area as we know it today has gone through a number of district boundary changes over the years. In 1965, parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Battersea came together with the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth to make The London Borough of Wandsworth.
Wandsworth is known for its strong transport links, served by a network of railway lines that were key to transforming the area from rural land into bustling urban development.
According to census data, Wandsworth’s wards contain a total estimated population of 306,995 residents. The area boasts the lowest unemployment rate of all London boroughs, and a crime rate 15% lower than the average for the rest of London. Statistically, this makes it one of the ten safest boroughs in London.
Wandsworth is also home to many green spaces and schools, many of which are rated OFSTED ‘outstanding’. As a result, the borough is a hotspot for young families looking to relocate to London. Surveys have reported Wandsworth as the favourite destination for young professionals to make their home, citing the area’s proximity to the city centre and open space as draw factors.
Business and Opportunities
Contributing to Wandsworth’s high levels of employment, approximately 19,000 businesses are active across the borough, made up of a range of industries. The largest by company count is the professional, scientific and technical sector, with a number of significant management consultancies and engineering firms operating out of the area. This is followed by the information and communication sector and retail trade.
The borough’s success is due in part to its transport connections, providing opportunities for employment and travel to residents and commuters. Clapham Junction is one of the busiest railway interchanges in the world, seeing a train depart on average every 30 seconds during the day. The station connects Wandsworth to cities such as Exeter and Brighton, as well as central terminals across London like Waterloo, East Croydon and Gatwick airport.
Though Wandsworth might not spring to mind as one of the tourist traps of Inner London, it contains a number of well-known historical landmarks and local amenities. Situated on the Thames, it is connected to the north side of the river by a number of famous bridges, including the Albert Bridge.
Battersea is home to a number of amenities, including the 200-acre Battersea Park which features a large lake, zoo, the Pump House Gallery, and a number of sporting and ecological facilities.
Nearby, Battersea power station is based on the Thames’ south bank, a former coal facility that once powered much of London. After it was decommissioned in 1975, the station remained an unmissable icon of the London skyline, inspiring musicians, filmmakers and artists interested in the city’s industrial past. A number of redevelopment proposals were touted for the huge site: including housing, nightclubs, and even a scrapped theme park. Current plans aim to introduce a number of global retail brands, restaurants and entertainment venues to the station, for an initial opening in September 2022.