Reading:UK "a powerful calling card"

by James Renoux-Wood Thu 18 September 2014, 5:27 pm

Reading:UK magazine is a "powerful calling card for wooing prospective businesses into Reading and lays out a compelling message for investors and developers looking for a prime location".

So said Nigel Horton-Baker, executive director at Reading UK CIC, speaking at the launch of 3Fox International’s rebranded Reading:UK magazine. (Click here to read)

The event took place on Wednesday 17 September at Reading's most recently opened office scheme One Valpy, developed by Landid Property, which is located near the new £900 million station and where much of the city’s major office regeneration projects are in evidence. 

“A staggering 2.2 million square feet of office space has been built within just 500 metres of the train station,” said Horton-Baker.  “The strength of investment and development in Reading is amazing. 

“In addition, Reading is recognised in almost every report that comes out as a key UK and international business location. Grant Thornton recently ranked Reading as the second most dynamic economy outside of London and the Financial Times regards Reading the tenth best city in Europe for its foreign direct investment strategy.” 

Representatives from two key sponsors of Reading:UK magazine and the launch event also spoke at the event: Aaron Pope, associate director asset manager of M&G, the developer behind the Apex Plaza office scheme – which is now fully let – and Forbury Place, which is set to become the largest speculative office development outside of London, as well as Gordon Carey, head of design at Landid Property. Stanhope, the developer which has planning approval in a joint venture with Benson Elliot for a £500 million mixed-use scheme in the town centre, also sponsored the magazine and launch event.

Carey said: “We’re delighted with One Valpy and we have had a fantastic response to it.

“It is not the traditional type of office space that many of us have been used to over the years. It’s got a really different feel to it. We are trying to construct buildings which are economical, effective and energy efficient, and which encourage the best businesses to come to Reading. That is essential to the success of offices in the future. 

Carey also announced that planning permission had been received for the refurbishment of Thames Tower next to the station, where work is to begin by the end of 2014.

Pope pointed to the ambition to attract international investors to Reading through M&G's Forbury Place scheme. 

“We are really hoping that the quality of this space will start to attract organisations away from the safe option of London,” he said.

"Our Forbury development really serves to highlight how important working with Reading UK CIC and Reading Council is. Although we are looking to attract existing Reading occupiers, we are also looking further afield – not only regionally, but internationally. It is therefore vital to promote Reading as a business and lifestyle choice for occupiers. Publications like the one we are launching today will help toward this goal.”

Horton-Baker concluded by thanking those who sponsored and contributed towards the publication of the magazine and said it would become “a key marketing tool for all future events.”

Visit the newly launched Reading UK website, here.

View a gallery of images from the event here.

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