The University of Oxford has been recognised for five consecutive years as the world’s best university.
Oxford and Reading listed in PwC’s Good Growth for Cities Report as the highest performing cities for a third year in the row.
The UK’s largest airport, handling over 80 million international passengers annually and flying to 203 worldwide destinations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Richard Baker, EY, Managing Partner for the Thames Valley and South
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.
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.
John Ellis, PwC Reading Office Senior Partner
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.
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.
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), 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) and Newbury (9th).
In the Small European Cities of the Future category, Slough was ranked 1st, Reading (5th) and Bracknell (10th).
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.
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.
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 Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Update was released in January 2020 detailing the progress that has been made against the priorities set out in the second Sector Deal. The update sets out a vision to deliver future growth and highlights opportunities for the UK to build on its strengths in order to remain globally competitive.
Read more, HERE.
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.