Reading is set to be the UK’s fastest growing city economy over the next three years
according to EY’s UK Region and City economic forecast 2016, published today (5 December 2016)
The EY report forecasts a growth in Reading’s GVA (productivity) of 2.5% over the next three years, growing faster than London’s 1.9% per year to 2019. EY estimate that employment in Reading will grow at a rate of 0.9% between 2017-19 in key sectors, the fastest of any UK city, creating potentially 3000 additional jobs.
Nigel Horton Baker, Executive Director, Reading UK CIC, said: “Strong location advantages, massive investment in office stock and transport infrastructure, high wages and a highly-skilled workforce are making Reading increasingly attractive as a base for companies and their employees, forced out of London by spiralling prices.
“Reading’s economic edge with companies and talent derives from an investment in top quality office accommodation around Reading’s town centre rail nexus (3.7m sq ft within 500 metres of Reading station) and business parks, wages that rank in the top 5 in the UK, massive investment in electrification of the mainline into London, terminus of Crossrail, the prospect of a direct rail link to Heathrow and a new Green Park Station as well as a positive lifestyle choice for working and living.
“In addition, Reading’s real depth in many of the UK’s high growth sectors, in particular, the creative and digital sectors, professional, scientific, technology, administration and support services, attracts other innovation and knowledge based companies. EY estimates that the digital sector accounts for 25% of Reading’s productivity. A recent report by Nesta identified Reading has having the highest increase in employment in the creative sector outside London with more than 40,000 people employed, while November’s PwC Good Growth Index showed that Reading’s strong business start-up culture was increasing the gap between the city and other competitors.”
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