In the 2019 Good Growth for Cities report from consultancy PwC, the Berkshire town of Reading came second out of 42 locations.
The report ranked each town and city on its employment opportunities, environment, health factors, income prospects, skills, housing affordability, community conditions, work-life balance and income equality.
‘Reading has consistently punched above its weight due to a variety of factors, ranging from income and the skill levels of the workforce to the quality of healthcare and work-life balance,’ noted the report. ‘These factors can be big draws for business, with the likes of French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, KPMG, Ericson and Virgin Media all moving or expanding in the town in the last two years.’
Close to Heathrow Airport, Reading is a 22-minute train journey from central London and has good access to road routes. It is part of the UK’s Silicon Valley, located along the M4 motorway, where dozens of major tech companies have their UK bases.
‘One of Reading’s key offers to business is the talent pool available locally,’ said Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director at Reading UK Community Interest Company (CIC). ‘This continues to be an important part of Reading’s success, with over 50 per cent educated to degree level or above.’
GRE Assets has a major residential development, City Tower, in Reading.