Inward Investment: Why Now is the Right Time to Choose Reading

October 12, 2023
News & Insights
Reading is buzzing right now and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking at the latest reports from property experts Savills and Knight Frank or reading the annual health of the economy report from PWC/Demos, you’ll see that Reading is ticking all the boxes for residents and businesses alike.

Strong growth following the pandemic, an exciting social scene, many leisure amenities and plenty of prime commercial space are just some of the key reasons why more companies are choosing to invest in and relocate to Reading. Recent developments and a focus on infrastructure have helped make Reading a well-connected and easily accessible centre for living and working. The arrival of the Elizabeth Line, which puts Reading and Central London within one hour of each other, has clearly delivered many of the highly anticipated benefits. The promise of the line drove high levels of commercial space uptake when other centres were on the decrease. However, the real draw has to be the holistic mix Reading offers for dynamic companies looking for new space, expansion opportunities and a highly skilled economy.

Attracting young talent

Like many successful and vibrant towns and cities, Reading is enjoying population growth. This is a sure sign of long-term economic stability, especially if the right mix can be achieved. By 2033, the largest age band in Reading is projected to be 15 - 24. This, in conjunction with the increase of over 65s, clearly demonstrates Reading's multigenerational appeal.

Whilst the 15-24s hold the promise of future workforce, the town is also extremely good at attracting graduates who have studied elsewhere. Approximately 30% of the graduates working in Reading grew up here, studied elsewhere and have returned. Reading University also offers a steady stream of skilled graduates.

Residential development

Reading has performed relatively well in terms of its supply of new homes, building more than the Local Plan annual target in three of the last five years. With several large-scale developments taking place and a strong pipeline of applications and sites, there’s a real drive to maintain that delivery rate.

Purpose built stock is catering for demand with flats for younger people and those seeking ‘city’ centre living. The new housing stock is also fulfilling the continual demand in the rental market which remains highly competitive. The mix of freehold, leasehold and rental property means there’s plenty of choice to cater for the demands of a wide spectrum population demographic.

Where prime urban space is being used for flats and affordable housing, there’s still plenty of space for the sandwich generation, with families able to access edge of town developments in Reading and the surrounding town and villages. Supported by improved commuter links and better public transport there’s now an interconnected network of housing and commercial property that supports a positive work life balance without compromise.

Opportunity for further growth

While Reading is doing well currently in terms of its supply and demand for both residential and commercial property, Savills have identified that the longer-term plan needs to acknowledge the rate of growth and make provision for additional housing stock and extra commercial floor space. However, this opens up a huge opportunity for inward investment. Harnessing that growing talent pool of young people, many of whom are moving into Reading, and having the opportunity to take advantage of prospective development creates the ideal ingredients for high growth, exciting companies looking to relocate or develop purpose-built premises and headquarter facilities.  

As the plans develop for future business premises, commercial space and housing, there’s still ample space availability to accommodate inward investment, start ups and expansion. Research by Knight Frank says 95% of lettings over the past 12 months in Reading have been for prime new office buildings, or ones comprehensively refurbished to meet modern standards. This demonstrates that new stock is already coming online and existing landlords are upping their game and willing to adapt space to meet the demands of a more discerning clientele. With a range of incubators, shared space, multi-tenant and entire buildings on offer, Reading can cater for every size of company and equally ensure there is sufficient supply chain to support the growth of occupiers.

If you’re looking to relocate to Reading and would like to know more contact REDA – Reading’s Economy and Destination Agency

If you’re looking for high quality, prime office space without standing views and high levels of occupier satisfaction, please contact us here at The Blade.


Savillspositioned for growth article/research

KnightFrank M25 & South East Markets Report

PWCGood Growth for Cities Report

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