Reading UK priorities 2022/23

The Reading UK Board set its six key priorities for the year ahead at its recent Board Away Day.

To kick off its 15th year, Reading UK Board of Directors, chaired by Adam Jacobs, met for its first in-person meeting since January 2019, though the Board has been meeting regularly online to manage the economy through the pandemic.

Like every business and organisation, this has been a difficult time but Adam Jacobs echoed the Board in feeling proud Reading UK had implemented a sound business continuity strategy and weathered the storm, increasing both Reading UK turnover and staff, providing support to the town centre during closure periods and for re-opening, keeping it safe, secure, clean and tidy, ensuring businesses accessed grants from the Government via Reading Borough Council and keeping in regular touch with our businesses across the town. 

The Board met in the great new South Central Institute of Technology at Reading College Campus to discuss our plans and priorities for the coming year based on an analysis of a difficult two years now behind us. We also invited other Reading business leaders to join us in the evening to test our plans and get their views and we were pleased to hear their views on the undoubted strengths of Reading’s business location, as well as its challenges, were aligned with ours.

As a result, Reading UK has drawn up six priorities for action in the coming year:

  1. Show leadership and inject pace and visibility to the ‘shaping of a better Reading’ conversations.
  2. Assert our role in advocating for business skills needs and develop a business-led skills and jobs strategy with Reading Borough Council that will match local people to new job opportunities locally.
  3. Launch a new Reading place brand and use it to create a genuine offer attracting new businesses and talented people to Reading as the capital of Berkshire, a ‘great place to live and work’.
  4. Align our Business Improvement District (BID) businesses plan behind the Town Centre Regeneration and future proof the BID for renewal in 2024.   
  5. Support businesses and the town centre to address the green agenda with practical solutions
  6. Launch Reading UK’s new corporate brand identity and grow the number of global and local supporters who share our purpose and mission and reflect the profile of our economy

Reading’s core strengths will underpin our future campaigns to attract new businesses; lure back more office workers more of the time; tackle the recruitment and retention problems facing firms by mobilising the local labour market; support more start-up local businesses; encourage more productive networking and more local procurement; regenerate and ‘green’ the town centre and access to it.

And the last word goes to our business guests who made three other impassioned pleas to Reading UK:-

  • secure the Prison for Reading and its people
  • give more support to high growth businesses which are the core to future economic growth
  • sort out the road congestion problems with more sustainable travel solutions

 

 
 

Reading UK priorities 2022/23