The Thames Valley is the tried and tested technology region in Europe, benefitting from outstanding global connections, including close proximity to Heathrow International, the world’s busiest airport. Find out how this combination provides commercial opportunities for any aspiring international business.
Home to 115,000 businesses, including 11 of the world's top 15 tech companies
of international companies setting up in the UK for the first time will locate within one hour of Heathrow Airport.
for economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business friendliness.
highest performing region in Northern Europe (South East) according to FDI European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19.
Easy access to London, the UK's largest workforce on your doorstep.
the scale of a mobile workforce within 1 hour.
the sum of the infrastructure investment into central Reading station. Now the 2nd busiest rail hub in the UK.
the journey time from Slough to London Paddington. Thirty minutes from Reading.
The Gateway to Europe
10mins - 1hr
between Thames Valley locations and Heathrow, the world's busiest, and the UK’s premier global hub airport.
passengers a year pass through Heathrow Airport travelling to 204 destinations in 85 countries, serving 31 destinations in North America via up to 119 daily departures.
Over 25 million
business travellers a year (33% of the total). 22.6% of all London Heathrow’s passengers are North American.
Over £16 bn worth of infrastructure investment
Europe’s largest infrastructure project connecting Reading and Heathrow to London and the City. Journey times to Canary Wharf will be less than an hour from Maidenhead.
Western Rail Link to Heathrow is a proposed rail link between Reading and Heathrow Airport, reducing the journey time between Slough and Heathrow to just six minutes.
A £580m+ scheme by Highways England is underway to improve the M4, making it a ‘smart motorway’ between junctions 3 and 12.
As one of the world’s top economies, offering excellent growth opportunities and investment potential, the UK is viewed as a low-risk business environment with a high quality of life – making the country a truly unique and great place.
Ideally located on the doorstep of London with easy access and good transport links, the Thames Valley benefits from close proximity to Heathrow Airport, providing outstanding global connections and access to markets across Europe and the rest of the world.
Intra-regional transportation networks are impressive, having been bolstered by many new and substantial investments into infrastructure, such as the completion of the Smart M3 Motorway. The region’s connectivity is set to continue, with both Crossrail and the Reading Green Park Station (serving the Green Park Business Park and Madejski Stadium) becoming operational in 2019, and the Smart M4 Motorway to be completed by 2022. Excellent transport links ensure access to other buoyant markets across the UK, from north to south.
The Thames Valley is not only the UK’s true powerhouse but its engine. Strongly viewed as a proven investment destination and the number one region outside of London for attracting inward investment, it continues to experience significant growth. Driven by the breadth and depth of businesses already located here, a great pool of talented people, and globally renowned academic institutions driving scientific collaboration and commercialisation, it’s easy to see why so many choose the region.
Ongoing opportunities profit the local business community, presenting many compelling reasons to locate to the region:
Joint fastest growing UK region, with GVA of 1.9% per year to 2019 (EY)
UK’s top performing small region of the future (FDI Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19)
Expected growth rate of 2.3% through to 2020, outperforming all UK regions including London (EY’s UK Regional Economic Forecast 2017/18)
Strongly placed in the top five for economic potential, human resources, cost effectiveness, quality of life, infrastructure and business support
Widely regarded as the number one region outside of London for attracting inward investment
What do Maidenhead and Slough offer inward investors?
Interview with Caroline Waldron, Associate Director at Lambert Smith Hampton.
What are some of Oxford's commercial offerings?
Interview with Kevin Wood, Head of Oxford Office at Lambert Smith Hampton.
Where is Reading and what are the town's greatest attributes?
Interview with Tom Fletcher, Head of Reading Office at Lambert Smith Hampton.
What is infrastructure in the Greater Thames Valley area like?
Interview with Jon Rea-Palmer, Associate Director at Lambert Smith Hampton.
The Thames Valley is also home to:
An estimated economy size of £83,848 million, bigger than that of 11 of the EU’s 28 member states, including Hungary, Luxembourg and Bulgaria
10 of the top 50 global organisations in the world; 113 of the world’s top $30 billion brands
115,000 businesses, including 11 of the world’s top 15 tech companies
Two of the top three UK cities with GVA per worker over 25% above the national average (Cities Outlook 2018)
Three of the ten fastest growing towns and cities in the UK, four of the ten most entrepreneurial and five of the ten most productive (UK Vitality Index 2018)
University of Oxford – the number one university in the world for the third year in a row (THE World University Rankings 2019)
Reading, one of the top 10 ‘Small European Cities of the Future’, and the second ‘Small European City of the Future for Business Friendliness’ (FDI Intelligence European Cities and Regions of the Future 2018/19)
Reading and Oxford – the two highest performing UK cities (PwC’s Good Growth for Cities 2018)
Fastest employment growth of all UK cities (Reading) with 0.9% growth, outpacing the UK by 0.3% (EY’s UK Regional Economic Forecast 2017/18)
We work alongside the Department for International Trade (DIT), the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Local Authorities and professional service providers to support foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Thames Valley.
For the 2017/18 financial year, we are proud to report that the Thames Valley has retained its status as the number one region in the UK, outside of London, for attracting FDI. 191 FDI projects were recorded as entering the region, with a high proportion of these investors strongly supported by the Chamber.
The Thames Valley Chamber is a proven centre of excellence for International Trade and Inward Investment support services. Our team provides practical support to help inbound and established businesses reach their potential. We are one of the largest Chambers accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce in the UK and the only accredited Chamber in the region.