The presence of the Serbian community in the UK, unlike the Bosnian, Kosovar, Albanian and Croatian, dates back from post-WWII. There was indeed some sporadic migration from Bosnia and Croatia between 1945-1990, but the main presence was only been established in the 1990s following the Bosnian and Croatian conflicts. As for Albanians, there was virtually no presence in the UK prior to the 1990s. There was a small number of arrivals from the early 1990s, with the main establishment of a community after 1998 as a result of the war in Kosovo.
Taking into consideration the geographic proximity that the Balkans has with the UK, and the level of involvement the UK had with these Balkans conflicts in the 90s, the UK was considered as a natural choice of destination for these communities.
As regards to the locations of Balkan communities in London, the map below shows these ethnicities’ chosen residences. It is interesting how the various communities are stretched across one particular area in London- namely the the West, Central and North West of London.
It is important to note that the decisions of local councils had an important role in their establishment. After the Kosovo and Bosnian conflicts, Hounslow Council was one of the main councils appointed for being responsible to provide housing for incoming asylum seekers and refugees. This is illustrated in the map above. Whereas the west London areas of Fulham and Hammersmith are particularly populated by the Serbian community. Apart from the Serbian Orthodox Church situated in Notting Hill, later on, following the conflicts in the Balkans, Fulham Library opened a Serbian history section.
Figures extracted from Jospeh Rowntree Foundation