Just 40 miles west of London, Reading is at the heart of the prosperous Thames Valley region and has one of Europe’s strongest performing economies.
One of its main attractions is the presence of many global companies in the town. These businesses make Reading the second-best place in the country for wages, jobs, high skills, productivity and start-ups, according to the Centre for Cities Outlook 2018. 1
Technology is at the centre of Reading’s economy
Reading’s remarkable mix of technology companies contributes significantly to the town’s economic success and vast pool of talent.
Businesses specialising in software, telecoms, cybersecurity, cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things put Reading at the forefront of innovation and knowledge. These companies boast a highly skilled and well-paid workforce.
According to Tech Nation, Reading has the highest digital density in the UK with nearly twice the density of its nearest competitor. 2
In turn, the high growth technology sector attracts other innovation and knowledge-based companies. Prudential has had a long association with Reading, and now the town has grown into a regional and national hub for financial and business services.
Barclays, VISA, HSBC and Macquarie all have offices in central Reading while business consultancies including PwC, Grant Thornton and Ernst and Young have regional offices in the vicinity.
Multinational companies flock to Reading’s business parks
As well as being home to many major British companies, numerous multinational corporations such as Verizon Business, Cisco, Symantec, Microsoft, Oracle and LogicaCMG are based in the Reading area.
Huawei, Open Text, Bullitt, Datasift, Ultima Business Solutions, Pulsant, Atex, Halian, Acision, Datto, Nvidia, Atos, Ericsson and Nokia are other big names with a presence in the town.
The proximity of Heathrow airport has led to an influx of international companies. 50% are US companies, 65% of which are technology companies. Many of these multinationals are based at Thames Valley Science Park, which is home to 70 companies ranging from start-ups to global research and development centres. Green Park is another thriving business park that houses some impressive names in the tech cluster.
In the wake of all this business activity, the town has seen a sharp rise in overseas investors in property, particularly investment in town centre apartments.
Excellent career and job opportunities in Reading and the Thames Valley area
In the last few years, there’s been considerable transport infrastructure investment in Reading Station. Over two million square feet of new office buildings have been built or are in the pipeline within 500 metres of the station.
This, in turn, has led to significant new commercial investment in office spaces and residential developments. There’s also a current wave of start-ups taking advantage of the co-working spaces that have been created.
With all of this business activity and excellent road, rail and bus links, it’s unsurprising that more people commute into Reading than out. According to the Centre for Cities Outlook 2018, Reading is just behind London for the highest wages, with workers taking home an average salary of £655 a week, £2,620 a month before tax. 1
All in all, this combination of factors makes Reading a highly sought-after place to work and live.