Reading has been the focus of many positive forecasts recently, as one of the UK’s fastest growing cities. What’s next for the town?
According to new research by EY, Reading is expected to be one of the UK’s fastest growing towns or cities over the next three years, in terms of its economic growth. EY’s UK Region and City Economic Forecast predicts an increase of 2.4% Gross Value Added (GVA) per year until 2020. The broader Thames Valley region, including the Slough and Langley area we also cover, is not far behind with expected GVA of 2.3% per year. GVA measures how much money is generated through goods and services produced in an area.
EY also says that “Employment across the Thames Valley is forecast to grow by 0.7% between 2017 and 2020, with employment in Reading expected to increase by 0.9% per year during the same period. As a result, both will outpace the broader South East (0.6%) and UK (0.4%).”
Reading's success is down to its thriving digital industries, which accounts for 25 per cent of the town's GVA, as well as it’s professional, information, communication and technical sectors. The proximity to London and great transport links are also a bonus to both companies and workers who chose to base themselves here. Reading Station, for example, has undergone a recent £897 million revamp.
The town also boasts top quality office accommodation and innovative business parks, as well as further advantages such as the planned introduction of Crossrail and the electrification of the mainline into London.
GetReading has also reported that Reading's thriving tech industry has caused house prices to soar by 60%, and it’s no wonder with the great amenities and facilities, attractive and popular housing developments and great links to the M4, M25 and Heathrow Airport. The educational prospects are also a big benefit to those moving to the area. There is also a thriving arts and cultural scene, great private and public schools and some wonderful museums and open spaces.
Richard Baker, managing partner at EY in the Thames Valley & South, says: “The pace of economic and employment growth in Reading and the Thames Valley is already outpacing London and the wider South East and will continue to do so over the next three years. The growth… reflects the strengths of the region in terms of its highly skilled workforce; the employer base ranging from world-leading corporates through to fast-growth entrepreneurs; and the region’s sectoral composition.”
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