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Why Invest in the Thames Valley?

A Truly Unique, Truly Global Destination

The Thames Valley is the fastest-growing region in the UK, outside of London. The region encompasses companies from all over the world, covering a wide range of sectors, who are brought together in a connected business community. For this reason, the Thames Valley is considered to the be the UK’s true ‘turbo-economy’, the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’ and therefore, the place to be.

The Thames Valley is home to….

The No. 1 University in the world

The University of Oxford has been recognised for four consecutive years and the world’s best university.

Highest Performing Cities

Oxford and Reading listed in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Report as the highest performing cities for a third year in the row.

Heathrow Airport

The UK’s largest airport, handling over 80 million international passengers annually and flying to 203 worldwide destinations.

Fastest Growing City in the UK

Reading is forecast to be the fastest-growing city in the UK with 2.2% Gross Value Added (GVA) growth per year from 2018 to 2021.

Most Productive City

Slough is ranked as the most productive city in the UK, with productivity per capita rising to £100,000 per worker in the 2020 Cities Outlook Report.

Best Place to Work

Slough named the best place to work in the UK based on its ease of finding a job, relatively high average salaries in comparison to living costs, employee satisfaction and cost of housing.

With a wealth of visitor and heritage sites …

And a thriving economy…

As the fastest-growing region outside of London and a much more cost-effective alternative, the Thames Valley offers great potential for growth. It also boasts some impressive statistics:
The Thames Valley economy is worth £83,848 million, bigger than 11 of the EU’s 28 member states, including Hungary, Luxembourg and Bulgaria.
The region’s economy has a 1.9% expected GVA growth rate until 2021, outpacing the UK average of 1.7%.
Employment rates are forecast to grow to average 1% per annum in the Thames Valley.

70% of international companies setting up in the UK for the first time will locate within one hour of Heathrow Airport.

EY’s Regional Economic Forecast

The UK economy is expected to strengthen over the coming months with the Thames Valley set to be one of the strongest performing regions over the next three years, highlighting a 2.2% predicted growth in Gross Value Added (GVA), which is higher than the South East region (1.9%) as a whole.

 

The Regional Economic Forecast document highlights strong growth in three locations within the region between 2020-2023 including Slough (2.4%), Windsor & Maidenhead (2.3%) and Reading (2.2%) – these predicted increases in GVA will exceed that of major cities and London.

The strength of predicted increases in GVA for Slough, Windsor & Maidenhead, Guildford and Reading, all of which exceed that of the major cities and London, means the Thames Valley is bucking the trend of the more dominant larger cities sucking the growth out of towns. It also shows that the Thames Valley has much more opportunity for broader growth.

 

Richard Baker, EY, Managing Partner for the Thames Valley and South

Click on the report to find out more.

Click on the report to find out more.

PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Report

Oxford and Reading have topped the index for the past four years, reflecting consistent improvement across the board. This year’s ratings have shown the cities as particularly strong in income growth, jobs, skills and the environment.

 

The wider South East region has also performed strongly, with six out of eight cities in the South East have scored above the UK average. Southampton featured in 3rd position, and Cambridge in 9th.

 

The Index sets out to show there is more to life, work and general well-being than simply measuring GDP. It measures the performance of 42 of the UK’s largest cities, England’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and ten Combined Authorities, against a basket of 10 factors which the public think are most important when it comes to economic well-being.

The strong performance of both Oxford and Reading in the PwC Good Growth for Cities index follows increasing levels of available jobs, growing incomes, and a diversity of skills in the city. Growth is visible throughout the Thames Valley, particularly since the Oxford- Milton Keynes -Cambridge Arc has become a major UK focus.

 

John Ellis, PwC Reading Office Senior Partner

Thames Valley Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Results

The Thames Valley has delivered another set of good inward investment results during the 2018-19 financial year. Whilst overall investment numbers are down, compared with 2017/18 (consistent with national figures) there are some encouraging trends around the value of FDI and across a number of sectors, most notably Life Sciences & Healthcare and Software & Computer Services.

fDi’s European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020/21 Report

Cities and towns from across the Thames Valley scored highly in an array of categories for the annual fDi Magazine report on Europe’s Top Cities and Regions of the Future for 2020/21. The annual list gives an overview of the best locations in terms of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) statistics, taking into account the regions’ and cities’ infrastructure, capabilities and incentives.

To read more, click HERE.

Click on the report to find out more.

Key Thames Valley rankings for 2020/21 include the following:

London was ranked as number one in the European Cities of the Future (Overall) category with Slough (15th), Cambridge (21st) and Newbury (23rd) also listed in the top 25.

Three Thames Valley towns and cities were ranked in the Top 10: Northern European Cities of the Future, including Slough (5th), Cambridge (8th) and Newbury (9th).

In the Small European Cities of the Future category, Slough was ranked 1st, and Cambridge (2nd), Reading (5th), Milton Keynes (9th) and Bracknell (10th) were also listed.

Key sector strengths

Technology

The UK is a significant market opportunity for inward investors and at its heart – the Thames Valley – is one of its most important clusters of innovative, high-growth, IP-rich companies across the full range of tech sub-sectors.

Oxford listed as one of the top 20 European Investment Tech Cities

 

Berkshire has 600+ tech start-ups p.a.

 

Largest mega-cluster of data centres in Europe

 

More than 8,000 technology-led companies based in the region

Life Sciences

Within the Thames Valley, the Life Sciences and Healthcare (LSH) sector is one of the most important benefitting from a number of world leading academic institutions and industry centres of excellence.

Heart of the ‘Golden Trianlge‘ LSH cluster

 

More than 135 LSH companies based in the region, with 8,000 employees

 

Leading medical research institutes, 5 UK Academic Heath Science Centres

 

University of Oxford ranked No. 1 in Clincial, Pre-Clinical and Health (8th year)

Tech Nation Report 2020 

Oxford has been listed as one of the top 20 European investment tech cities, just after Helsinki and Dublin, with £200 million raised in 2019. The South East in more general terms has cemented its position as one of the UK’s leading tech hubs with £448 million invested in emerging tech, £281 million invested in Artificial Intelligence and 11 high-value tech scaleups, of which two are Oxford-based, ByBox and Osler Diagnostics. Digital tech now employs 2.9m people in the UK which has increased by 40% from 2017.

 

Read more, HERE

“The South East is home to a high number of digital tech clusters and we’re seeing all the emerging trends highlighted by the Tech Nation 2020 report happening across the region including right here in the Thames Valley which is setting itself up as an AI hub.”

 

Elizabeth Corse, Entrepreneur Engagement Manager – South East, Tech Nation

Life Sciences Industrial Strategy

Since the Government launched its Life Sciences Strategy in 2011, over £7.5bn of inward investment in Life Sciences has been secured; leading to the creation of 18,000 new jobs. The second Life Sciences Sector Deal was published in December 2018 and co-authored by the University of Oxford’s Regius Professor of Medicine, Sir John Bell. It sets out the second phase in implementing the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and contains several references to the work, assets and companies across the Thames Valley.

 

Read more, HERE.

“The Thames Valley is the second engine of growth of the UK economy, outside of London and that’s for good reason – the Thames Valley is going to be the fastest growing region through to 2020 and Reading, at the centre of the Thames Valley is going to be the fastest growing UK city for the next 5 years.”

 

Simon Greenstreet, Head of Communications, Bayer 

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce works alongside the Department for International Trade, the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships, Local Authorities and professional service providers to promote foreign direct investment into the Thames Valley.

 

A proven centre of excellence for International Trade and Inward Investment services, the Chamber provides practical support to help inbound and established businesses reach their potential. Find out more below.

Read more

Getting Started

Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce (TVCC) has proven expertise in helping co-ordinate and deliver inward investment activity across the region.

 

Working alongside the DIT global networks and International Chambers of Commerce, TVCC promotes the Thames Valley as a leading international business location and investment destination of choice for foreign-owned companies (FOCs).

 

TVCC works closely with a full range of proven, well-established commercial partners: accountants, legal services, property agents and recruitment agencies that have global knowledge and regional expertise, along with sector and market specialists.

Hear firsthand from Canadian company Itergy on the support they received from the DIT and TVCC.
Lambert Smith Hampton discuss how they work with DIT and TVCC to deliver their services.
Discover how the DIT and TVCC have helped G-SMATT in their international expansion journey.
James Cowper Kreston speak of the services they offer foreign-owned companies.
DIT and TVCC supported CloudFactory in establishing their UK presence in Reading – hear how.
Heathrow
Microsoft
James Cowper Kreston
Lambert Smith Hampton