Location and amenities are both key features Reading boasts for businesses. It's become well-established as the capital of the Thames Valley, and thanks to its proximity to London (25 minutes by train), and the types of business that settle here, Reading is fast becoming well known in the tech industry - in addition to its more traditional occupier base of professional services and pharmaceuticals.
The key features for small and large businesses include:
- High retention of university graduates
- Reading is ranked 5th for the number of start-ups that begin here
- Easy access to London and the rest of the UK
- Rated as one of the top places to live by PwC and Demos
- A popular destination for pharmaceutical and technology companies
- The city's high graduate retention means a skilled workforce is easier to find here
According to research from Savills, Reading is a very popular choice for those that need access to all the amenities of London, but would rather not pay London prices for their office space. Reading is one of the leading office centers outside of London, as Savills research shows it's seen a greater level of office take-up since 1991 than any other center in the region.
Reading town center is certainly well connected.
Reading station is one of the busiest in the UK, with direct routes to London, Bristol and the South West, and Birmingham.
Major companies that have set up an office in Reading include Visa, Deloitte, Capita, Siemens and Prudential, meaning you'll be within close proximity of successful professional finance and technology corporates.
The town center also features plenty in terms of post-work facilities too. There's an abundance of restaurants and bars that are ideal for all occasions, from client meetings to Christmas parties. The Oracle Shopping Centre is home to a variety of restaurants and bars too.
Reading town center is also home to Forbury Gardens - a Victorian green space that's just the thing for a spot of fresh air on your lunch break.
Out of town
Reading is home to several major business and science parks located outside of the city center. One of the main benefits to setting up your office out of Reading city centre is its accessibility. From here, you'll have access to the M4 at J10, J11 and J12. Access to the business parks is also possible by bus, as well as being close to Theale and Winnersh train stations.
The business parks include the lakeside Arlington Business Park, the 195-acre Green Park, the versatile Thames Valley Science Park featuring professional offices and laboratories, the international Thames Valley Park and Winnersh Triangle that's home to businesses such as Atos and Virgin Media.
Beyond the city center is a popular location for pharmaceutical and technology companies. Here you'll find big corporates such as Microsoft, as well as businesses such as Oracle, Jacobs, Becton Dickenson, Huawei and Bayer.
While well-established companies have set up a base here, start-ups and small companies will find themselves within close proximity of corporates with a mature workforce, making the area ideal for access to clients, facilities and a general professional atmosphere.
The business parks in this area also accommodate for out of work amenities. Across the parks you'll find a gym, places to eat and drink as well as a network of events for occupiers to get involved in. Events include a range of topics from upcoming tech talks to photography competitions.
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