London Borough of Hillingdon

The London Borough of Hillingdon (pronunciation) is a London borough in Greater London, England. It forms part of outer London and West London, being the westernmost London borough. It was formed in 1965 from the districts of Hayes and Harlington, Ruislip-Northwood, Uxbridge, and Yiewsley and West Drayton. The borough includes most of Heathrow Airport and Brunel University, and is the second largest of the 32 London boroughs by area.

London Borough of Hillingdon
Official logo of London Borough of Hillingdon
Hillingdon shown within Greater London
Hillingdon shown within Greater London
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
Ceremonial countyGreater London
Created1 April 1965
Admin HQHillingdon Civic Centre,
 • TypeLondon borough council
 • BodyHillingdon London Borough Council
 • London AssemblyOnkar Sahota (Lab) AM for Ealing and Hillingdon
 • MPsDavid Simmonds (Con)
John McDonnell (Lab)
Steve Tuckwell (Con)
 • Total44.67 sq mi (115.70 km2)
 • Rank180th (of 296)
 • Total310,681
 • Rank45th (of 296)
 • Density7,000/sq mi (2,700/km2)
Time zoneUTC (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Area codes01895, 01923, 020
ONS code00AS
GSS codeE09000017
PoliceMetropolitan Police

The main towns in the borough are Hayes, Ruislip, Northwood, West Drayton and Uxbridge. Hillingdon is the second least densely populated of the London boroughs, due to a combination of rural land in the north, RAF Northolt Aerodrome, and Heathrow Airport.[1]



The borough was created in 1965 under the London Government Act 1963, covering the combined area of the former Municipal Borough of Uxbridge, Hayes and Harlington Urban District, Ruislip-Northwood Urban District and Yiewsley and West Drayton Urban District. The area was transferred from Middlesex to Greater London to become one of the 32 London Boroughs.[2] The councils involved were initially unable to decide upon a name, with Keith Joseph suggesting "Uxbridge" in October 1963, later revised to Hillingdon.[3]


Hillingdon Civic Centre in Uxbridge

The local authority is Hillingdon Council, based at Hillingdon Civic Centre in Uxbridge.

The borough is divided into 21 wards:[4]

  • Belmore
  • Charville
  • Colham and Cowley
  • Eastcote
  • Harefield Village
  • Hayes Town
  • Heathrow Villages (including Harmondsworth, Sipson and Harlington)
  • Hillingdon East
  • Hillingdon West
  • Ickenham and South Harefield
  • Northwood
  • Northwood Hills
  • Pinkwell
  • Ruislip
  • Ruislip Manor
  • South Ruislip
  • Uxbridge
  • West Drayton
  • Wood End
  • Yeading
  • Yiewsley

Greater London representation


Since 2000, for elections to the London Assembly, the borough forms part of the Ealing and Hillingdon constituency. The Conservative candidate Richard Barnes won the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections, and since the 2012 election the Labour candidate Onkar Sahota has served as the Ealing and Hillingdon London Assembly member. At the same election in 2012 Conservative candidate Boris Johnson won the largest share of Hillingdon's votes, becoming elected Mayor of London for a second term.


Population pyramid of Hillingdon in 2021



From 2001 to 2011 the borough's population grew by 11.5% (4.4% above the England and Wales mean of 7.1%). By comparison Merton and Bromley grew by 4.5% and Tower Hamlets grew by 26.4%.[5] The number of households increased from 2001 to 2011 by 3.3%, and the average number of people per household was 2.7.[6]

Source: A Vision of Britain through time, citing Census population



37.1% of the borough's population identified themselves as White British in the 2021 census.[7] In the south-east of the borough, in particular Hayes, there is a large population of South Asian residents.

The wards where Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Residents comprise the largest racial groups are:

  • Barnhill (partly covering eastern Hayes, south of Yeading),
  • Pinkwell (mostly the area around the railway station in southern Hayes),
  • Townfield (Part of eastern Hayes and west of Southall),
  • Yeading (Eastern Hayes)

Whites as a whole form 48.2% of the borough, Asian residents 33.3%, and Black residents 7.8%. In addition, the most common main language, English (77.9%), is followed by Punjabi (4.7%), Polish (1.7%), Tamil (1.6%) and Urdu (1.1%).[8][better source needed]

Ethnic Group Year
1971 estimations[9] 1981 estimations[10] 1991 census[11] 2001 census[12] 2011 census[13] 2021 census[7]
Number % Number % Number % Number % Number % Number %
White: Total 97.6% 207,868 93.4% 203,149 87.7% 192,120 79.1% 166,031 60.4% 147,387 48.2%
White: British 176,244 72.5% 142,916 52.1% 113,377 37.1%
White: Irish 6,911 2.8% 5,949 2.1% 5,585 1.8%
White: Gypsy or Irish Traveller 344 0.1% 479 0.2%
White: Roma 691 0.2%
White: Other 8,965 3.7% 16,822 6.1% 27,255 8.9%
Asian or Asian British: Total 22,061 9.5% 33,048 13.6% 69,253 25.0% 101,938 33.3%
Asian or Asian British: Indian 15445 6.7% 23,234 9.6% 36,795 13.4% 57,341 18.7%
Asian or Asian British: Pakistani 2008 0.9% 3,816 1.6% 9,200 3.3% 14,243 4.7%
Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi 928 0.4% 1,459 0.6% 2,639 0.9% 4,050 1.3%
Asian or Asian British: Chinese 1185 0.5% 1,883 0.8% 2,889 1.0% 3,184 1.0%
Asian or Asian British: Other Asian 2495 1.1% 4,539 1.9% 17,730 6.4% 23,120 7.6%
Black or Black British: Total 3,810 1.6% 8,006 3.3% 20,082 7.2% 23,955 7.9%
Black or Black British: African 852 0.4% 4,227 1.7% 11,275 4.1% 15,844 5.2%
Black or Black British: Caribbean 2128 0.9% 3,275 1.3% 4,615 1.6% 5,752 1.9%
Black or Black British: Other Black 830 0.4% 504 0.2% 4,192 1.5% 2,359 0.8%
Mixed or British Mixed: Total 5,588 2.3% 10,479 3.7% 13,359, 4.3%
Mixed: White and Black Caribbean 1,427 0.6% 2,719 0.9% 3,151 1.0%
Mixed: White and Black African 694 0.3% 1,409 0.5% 1,897 0.6%
Mixed: White and Asian 1,983 0.8% 3,602 1.3% 4,201 1.4%
Mixed: Other Mixed 1,484 0.6% 2,749 1.0% 4,110 1.3%
Other: Total 2582 1.1% 2,847 1.2% 8,091 2.8% 19,268 6.3%
Other: Arab 2,925 1.0% 4,462 1.5%
Other: Any other ethnic group 2582 1.1% 2,847 1.2% 5,166 1.8% 14,806 4.8%
Non-White: Total 2.4% 14,790 6.6% 28,453 12.3% 50,886 20.9% 107,905 39.6% 158,520 51.8%
Total 100% 222,658 100% 231,602 100% 243,006 100.00% 273,936 100.00% 305,907 100%

Parks and recreation

The Eastcote House walled garden
London Borough of Hillingdon from the air

The borough maintains over 200 green spaces, totalling around 1,800 acres (730 ha).[14] As much of the area is within the Metropolitan Green Belt it was, in 2008, one of the least densely populated of all the London boroughs; open spaces range in size from the Colne Valley Regional Park by the River Colne in the north of the borough, to smaller gardens and parks such as the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens and Lake Farm Country Park in the south of the borough.[15]

Council leader Raymond Puddifoot had given a promise that green-belt land in Hillingdon would be safe on his watch: 'I can give a categoric assurance that under this administration we will never see a threat to the green belt.'[16] In August 2012, however, Mr Puddifoot announced plans to build on green-belt (and longtime common land) site Lake Farm in the south of the borough.[17] Dismissing the discontent of residents in the south of the borough, the Conservative majority of the council's planning committee peremptorily rubber-stamped the plans in March 2013.[18]

Harmondsworth Moor, a park owned by the borough, is administered by British Airways on behalf of the borough.[19] After British Airways planned to create a new headquarters in 1992, the airline agreed to convert a former landfill site into Harmondsworth Moor.[20]

The Grand Union Canal passes through Hayes, Yiewsley, Cowley and Uxbridge in the borough. Ruislip Lido was built as a feeder reservoir for the canal, but was eventually disconnected and changed to become a recreational lido. Two Sites of Special Scientific Interest next to the canal, Frays Farm Meadows and Denham Lock Wood, are managed by the London Wildlife Trust.

The borough also operates children's centres, recreational areas for children of under five years of age and their families. The centres include: Barra Hall, Belmore, Cherry Lane, Colham Manor, Cornerstone, Cowley St. Laurence, Harefield, Hillside, McMillan Early Childhood Centre, Nestles Avenue, Oak Farm, and Uxbridge College (Hayes Campus).[21]

The borough owns four theatres: the Beck Theatre in Hayes (which is operated on behalf of the borough by Trafalgar Entertainment[22]), the Compass Theatre in Ickenham, the Winston Churchill Theatre and Hall (part of the Manor Farm site) and the Open Air Theatre in Barra Hall Park in Hayes.

Sport and leisure


The borough has seven Non-League football clubs:

The borough is also home to Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre (HOAC), a water sports and activity centre.[23] The centre is home to a number of independently run sports clubs:

  • Queensmead Sailing Club[24]
  • Hillingdon Rowing Club[25]
  • Hillingdon Junior Canoe Club[26]
  • Harrow Angling Club[27]


Waterside, the headquarters of British Airways in Harmondsworth

Economic history


The south's former strong connection with industry has diminished since the 1980s to be replaced by a preponderantly residential suburban population; the north has remained a consistently residential suburban area, although with significant swathes of rural land. The borough's residential areas expanded with the extension of the Metropolitan Railway from Harrow on the Hill to Uxbridge in the early 20th century and the gradual establishment of stops along the line, becoming known as "Metro-land".

Contemporary economy


Hillingdon has a large economy by national standards, ranked 14th out of 408 local area districts in Britain, and ranked fifth out of the London boroughs.[15]

British Airways is headquartered in Waterside, Harmondsworth, in Hillingdon.[28] The building officially opened in 1998.[29] Prior to the opening of Waterside, the airline's head office was the Speedbird House at London Heathrow Airport.[30] An office of American Airlines is located at the Orient House (HAA3) within Waterside.[31]

In 2007 Cadbury Schweppes announced it would be moving to Uxbridge from Mayfair to cut costs.[32] The company later split and Cadbury plc moved to its new head office in Cadbury House in the Uxbridge Business Park in June 2008.[33]

Guoman Hotel Management (UK) Limited has its head office in the Thistle London Heathrow in West Drayton.[34][35]

British Midland International had its training centre in Stockley Close, West Drayton.[36][37] Hellenic Imperial Airways had its United Kingdom offices in the Axis House in Harlington.[38] China Airlines had its UK office in the Hyde Park Hayes 3 (HPH3) in Hayes.[39]

One of the predecessor organisations of British Airways, British Overseas Airways Corporation, had its head office in Speedbird House.[40] The other predecessor, British European Airways, had its headquarters in South Ruislip,[41] as did BEA Helicopters.[40] During its existence the airline British Eagle had its head office on the grounds of Heathrow Airport.[42]

A 2017 study by Trust for London and New Policy Institute found that there is a 22% poverty rate in Hillingdon, slightly below the London-wide figure of 27%. It also found that 24% of Hillingdon's local employees are low-paid, narrowly above the London average of 21%.[43]

Government facilities

London Heathrow Airport also known as LHR

London Heathrow airport is located in the borough and is one of the busiest airports in the world. It was originally used by the Royal Air Force. The British Government's UK Visas and Immigration has two immigration removal centres: Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre and Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre in Harmondsworth.[44][45]

The borough includes RAF Northolt and the former sites of RAF Eastcote, RAF South Ruislip, RAF West Drayton, RAF Ruislip 4MU, RAF West Ruislip and RAF Uxbridge.



The borough maintains 17 libraries: Charville, Eastcote, Harefield, Harlington, Hayes End, Hayes, Ickenham, Manor Farm, Northwood Hills, Northwood, Oak Farm, Ruislip Manor, South Ruislip, Uxbridge, West Drayton, Yeading, and Yiewsley.[46]

Hillingdon has undertaken the largest school expansion programme in London, ensuring that all children within the borough can go to a school close to where they live.

In May 2011, Hillingdon Council received the Library Innovation of the Year award at the 2011 Bookseller Industry Awards.[47]

Also within the borough are Brunel University and Uxbridge College's Uxbridge and Hayes campuses, as well as the Douay Martyrs Catholic Secondary School and St Bernadette Catholic Primary School.

The London Borough of Hillingdon also offers music lessons as part of the Hillingdon Music Service.


Uxbridge tube station
London Heathrow Airport is the busiest airport in Europe in terms of passenger numbers and the second busiest in the world in terms of international passenger numbers.

National Rail and London Underground stations in the borough are:

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: driving a car or van, 34.5% of all residents aged 16–74; Underground, metro, light rail, tram, 7.9%; bus, minibus or coach, 7.9%; on foot, 4.6%; train, 2.8%; work mainly at or from home, 2.6%; passenger in a car or van, 2.0%.[48]

The Royal Air Force station RAF Northolt is situated in South Ruislip near the A40 and the tube station. Most early RAF airfields were named after the nearest railway station; in this case Northolt Junction, the original name of South Ruislip station. The station has been redeveloped in recent years to house a number of additional military capabilities besides the RAF operations, and is popular with business people and politicians for private flights.[49]

Town twinning


Hillingdon is twinned with:

The borough has been twinned with the French town of Mantes-la-Jolie and the German town of Schleswig since the Hayes & Harlington Urban District created the link in 1958.[50] The twinning programme was reviewed in 2011 and it was suggested that the link with Schleswig be ended owing to a lack of contact between the towns.[51] In December 2011, the borough decided instead to end the link with a second German town, Emden, citing administrative problems.[52]

Coat of arms


The coat of arms for the London Borough of Hillingdon was granted on 22 March 1965.[53] Between 1973 and 1978, the borough's civic centre was built in Uxbridge.[54]

See also


Notes and references

  1. ^ "South Ruislip Ward Profile" (PDF). London Borough of Hillingdon. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 March 2020.
  2. ^ Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. Vol. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
  3. ^ Cotton 1994, p.133
  4. ^ "Voting: Ward boundaries". Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  5. ^ 2011 Census interactive map
  6. ^ "Area: Hillingdon (Local Authority)". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 27 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Ethnic group - Office for National Statistics". Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  8. ^ "London Borough of Hillingdon Census Factsheets". Archived 16 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Migration and London's growth" (PDF). LSE.
  10. ^ Equality, Commission for Racial (1985). "Ethnic minorities in Britain: statistical information on the pattern of settlement". Commission for Racial Equality: Table 2.2.
  11. ^ "1991 census – theme tables". NOMIS. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  12. ^ "KS006 - Ethnic group". NOMIS. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  13. ^ "Ethnic Group by measures". NOMIS. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  14. ^ "Parks and open spaces". London Borough of Hillingdon. 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  15. ^ a b "Hillingdon profile 2008" (PDF). London Borough of Hillingdon. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 August 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  16. ^ Cracknell, James (1 August 2011). "Council going ahead with Green Belt school plan". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
  17. ^ Griffith, Jack (22 August 2012). "Lake Farm school plans 'due within weeks'". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  18. ^ Griffith, Jack (6 March 2013). "Fury as Hillingdon Council approves green belt school at Lake Farm". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Harmondsworth Moor Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  20. ^ "Contact Information." British Airways. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  21. ^ "Children's centres in Hillingdon Archived 8 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine." London Borough of Hillingdon. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  22. ^ Hill, Liz (31 March 2021). "Trafalgar Entertainment acquires HQ Theatres". Arts Professional.
  23. ^ "HOAC". 29 September 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  24. ^ "Home Page - Queensmead Sailing Club". Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  25. ^ "Hillingdon Rowing Club". Archived from the original on 18 January 2019. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  26. ^ "Hillingdon Junior Canoe Club". Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  27. ^ "Harrow Angling Society - Specimen carp & coarse fishing in the Colne Valley". Harrow Angling Society. Retrieved 18 July 2021.
  28. ^ "Contact Information." British Airways. Retrieved 18 May 2009.
  29. ^ "Our locations." British Airways Jobs. Retrieved 18 September 2009.
  30. ^ "Blue Sky prepares for launch as PAL 737-300s are secured." Flight International. 28 January 1998. Retrieved 14 December 2009.
  31. ^ "Impressum" (Archive). American Airlines China. Retrieved 24 April 2014. "American Airlines, Inc. Orient House (HAA3), Po Box 365, Waterside, Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB United Kingdom"
  32. ^ Muspratt, Caroline (1 June 2007). "Cadbury swaps Mayfair for Uxbridge". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 12 January 2022. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  33. ^ "Cadbury plc Confirms Strong Start to 2008". Investis. 19 June 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  34. ^ "Corporate Office." Thistle Hotels. Retrieved 28 December 2011. "The corporate office is based at Thistle London Heathrow and is situated across opposite the main reception adjacent to the Conference Centre"
  35. ^ "Thistle London Heathrow." Thistle Hotels. Retrieved 28 December 2011. "Bath Road, Longford West Drayton UB7 0EQ"
  36. ^ "bmi’s company rewards Archived 10 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine." British Midland International. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  37. ^ "the nineties Archived 10 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine." British Midland International. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  38. ^ "Contact Us Archived 11 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine." Hellenic Imperial Airways. Retrieved 10 May 2011. "London / United Kingdom Hellenic Imperial Airways Axis House 242 Bath Road Harlington UB3 5AY"
  39. ^ "Europe and Middle East Archived 26 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine." China Airlines. Retrieved 30 August 2011. "The United Kingdom 3rd Floor, West Wing, Hyde Park Hayes 3 (HPH3),11 Millington Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 4AZ"
  40. ^ a b "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 28 September 1967. 530.
  41. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 28 September 1967. 529
  42. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 2 April 1964. 502.
  43. ^ "London's Poverty Profile". Trust for London. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  44. ^ Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre Archived 5 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine. UK Border Agency. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  45. ^ Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre Archived 11 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine. UK Border Agency. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  46. ^ "Your local library". London Borough of Hillingdon. 13 January 2011. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  47. ^ Kobori, Minato (20 May 2011). "Hillingdon wins best library innovator of the year". Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
  48. ^ "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013. Percentages are of all residents aged 16-74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  49. ^ "About us". Royal Air Force. 2011. Retrieved 19 November 2011.
  50. ^ "Twin towns". London Borough of Hillingdon. 10 May 2012. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  51. ^ Coombs, Dan (17 February 2011). "Hillingdon to axe German town twin to save cash". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  52. ^ Griffith, Jack (1 December 2011). "Council cuts ties with German twin town". Uxbridge Gazette. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
  53. ^ "Hillingdon's coat of arms". London Borough of Hillingdon. 18 May 2010. Archived from the original on 8 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  54. ^ "Civic Centre" (PDF). London Borough of Hillingdon. May 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 June 2012. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
  • Cotton, Carolynne. (1994) Uxbridge Past. London: Historical Publications ISBN 0-948667-30-3

51°30′N 0°27′W / 51.500°N 0.450°W / 51.500; -0.450