Thames Valley Berkshire LEP publishes annual Business in Berkshire report
The report provides an evidence base for Berkshire’s economy to help all those involved in supporting local businesses to understand the structure and nature of the local economy, which firms are powering it – or have the potential to do so, and how the local business ecosystem is developing.
It recognises the significant consequences, which the Covid-19 pandemic will have on the sub region and will importantly inform a recovery strategy for the region as part of the Berkshire Local Industrial Strategy.
Key findings for 2019 include the following:
The number of registered businesses grew by an average annual growth rate of 3.5% between 2010 and 2019.
Foreign-Owned Companies continued to climb, to c.1,300 by early 2019; within Berkshire, Reading attracted the greatest number of FDI projects in 2018/19, followed by Windsor & Maidenhead, while Slough has the greatest proportion of employment in EU owned firms and Bracknell in ‘rest of the world’ owned firms.
Extensive urban regeneration and the much-anticipated arrival of Crossrail –in addition to the recently opened Elizabeth Line – have added to Berkshire’s locational strengths.
Recent announcements of investment in Berkshire by leading firms (such as Sanofi and Virgin Media) suggest long-term optimism for the performance of businesses.
Commenting in the Foreword to the Report, Jacinta George, Business Environment Group Chair and Life Sciences & Healthcare Lead, Thames Valley Berkshire LEP, said:
‘Given the unprecedented times in which we find ourselves, I hope that this report helps to inform a wide range of local business support and economic development activities as we work together to help Berkshire based businesses survive and recover post the Covid-19 pandemic’.
Reflecting on the report, Paul Britton, CEO, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, said:
‘The Thames Valley is a tried and tested destination for FDI. Part of our role is to ensure we remain one of the UK’s and indeed, Europe’s, most successful regions. Overall, we are seeing encouraging trends around the value of FDI across a number of sectors, most notably Life Sciences & Healthcare and Software & Computer services. With 70% of international companies setting up in the UK for the first time locating within one hour of Heathrow airport, we will continue pushing Government for the delivery of major infrastructure projects, such as the Western Rail Link to Heathrow and a third runway at London Heathrow’.
Andy Cowie, President of Reading and Wokingham Chamber of Commerce, added:
‘Delighted to read of the key findings in this report, including the fact that Reading attracted the greatest number of FDI projects in 2018/19. As a vibrant technology and life sciences hub, Reading’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign-owned companies will be further strengthened in the near future by major infrastructure developments which are currently underway, including Crossrail and the M4 Smart Motorway’
Download the full report, HERE.
View the accompanying Business in Berkshire 2019 infographic HERE.
Read more, HERE.